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Electric vehicle owner's clash with 'inconsiderate' ute driver - but who is in the wrong?

Petrol and electric car drivers disagree all the time, but it normally doesn't get this heated.

A frustrated electric vehicle driver said he was abused and threatened after politely asking another motorist to move his ute from a bay designated for EVs, highlighting yet another example of the common dispute involving petrol and electric car owners.

Sydney man Salim Tootooni said he had hoped to charge his car at an EV bay at Stanhope Village shopping centre in the city's northwest earlier this week, but when he arrived found a utility parked in the spot.

Tootooni said that when he took a closer look, he could see no driver in the car and only a passenger in the front seat. According to Tootooni, when he approached the female passenger she told him she had just recovered from surgery and her partner was inside the complex buying her medication.

Sydney man's shock after 'aggressive' response from ute driver

An electric vehicle charger bay at Stanhope Village shopping centre.
A Sydney driver was furious after attempting to park in an electric vehicle bay only to be met with aggression from a utility driver who refused to move. Source: Facebook

Tootooni said that the woman told him her partner would be back shortly and the space would then be free for him to charge his car. Though, when the woman's partner returned and Tootooni politely asked if he could take the spot, the man became aggressive, he said.

"I waited around 10 minutes, the partner came back and then I asked 'can you please move the car so I can just charge my vehicle?' and then he just flat-out refused. He just said 'no, I'm not going to' —but there was plenty of other parking, even on the street," Tootooni told Yahoo News Australia.

The Sydney man said he even asked to swap places with the driver, to a spot directly behind where he was parked, but the man again refused. "He actually said, 'OK go and call the police then', which made me really pissed off," he said.

Not the first time driver asked petrol car owners to move from EV charger ports

Tootooni said the man then returned to the pharmacy again, so he waited another 20 minutes for the spot, which he said he regularly charges his car at. When the man returned, Tootooni said he was even more aggressive than the first time, swearing profanities and threatening physical violence.

"I didn't want to have a fight or anything else," he said. "So I just went back to my car and he said a lot of stuff like 'you f**king dickhead' and 'you're f**king inconsiderate as f**k, just talking those kinds of words, but I didn't respond. Then he stayed in the car deliberately."

Eventually, after 40 minutes, Tootooni said the other driver left the space, again yelling abuse from his car window as he drove off. While the Sydney man said this isn't the first time he's asked somebody to move from an EV charging bay, this is the first occasion he was met with aggression.

Elsewhere around the country, other EV drivers have reported similar instances where petrol car drivers have clashed with electric vehicle owners. The topic of whether EV charging spaces should be located on the street has also long been a contentious point of debate in particular.

So who is in the wrong?

According to NRMA, parking a car with an internal combustion engine (ICE) is known as ICEing and can lead to hefty penalties for the offender. In New South Wales, parking an ICE vehicle in a designated EV charging station could attract a fine of up to $2,200.

In Queensland, it could cost you $55 and in Victoria, the minimum penalty is $99.

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