Tesla's questionable footpath move exposes growing problem as illegal parking 'surges'

As the demand for more public EV charging stations grows, so does the number of reports of illegal parking, Dan Gorog from Snap Send Solve told Yahoo.

A Tesla parked across a suburban footpath in Sydney in order to charge the electric vehicle.
An Aussie Tesla driver's questionable parking spot has been branded 'so bad' by fed-up locals. Source: Facebook/Snap Send Solve

An Aussie Tesla driver's questionable parking spot has been branded "so bad" by fed-up locals who say they regularly find EVs charging in places that restrict pedestrian access, reigniting the broader push for more public ports across the country.

Taken in Sydney's inner-city, one frustrated resident shared a photo of a Tesla parked across a footpath while it charged. The vehicle is seen backed up to a property's gate with a cable running through it, blocking the pathway from anyone hoping to pass.

Experts say that as Aussies' appetite for electric vehicles grows, so too does the need for more public charger ports, which have long been a controversial topic of debate between EV users and regular motorists.

There are currently just 3,000 public charging stations nationwide, equating to 7,000 individual plugs, prompting the federal government to announce that it is "working quickly to ramp up EV charging" as it incentivises carmakers to import cleaner cars.

The move would "ensure easier, cheaper holiday weekend driving," Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen previously said.

More than 10 electric vehicles are seen queued for a charging station in Keith, South Australia over the weekend.
More than 10 electric vehicles queued for a charging station in Keith, South Australia over the weekend. Source: TikTok

Though Bowen's words will have done little to help those currently driving EVs around the country, with the lack of chargers apparent in every jurisdiction. In Sydney, the Tesla driver's act was called out by people online, who said the move was "wrong" for a number of reasons.

Some branded the park "dangerous" toward children riding their bikes or scooters around the street, pointing out they would then be forced to go onto the road to get past. Others mentioned that the driver's decision was particularly frustrating for wheelchairs users, who would also have to resort to the road.

"This is so bad! So much for any person who requires any reasonable adjustments to move/walk down the street safely. The risk of them going on the road. Some people really have no sense," a woman said.

"That's an incredibly selfish attitude. It's a footpath and it doesn't belong to the homeowner or their visitors. Their convenience comes after everyone else's," another argued.

Speaking to Yahoo News Australia, Danny Gorog from Snap Send Solve revealed that across Australia, illegal parking has been one of "the top issues reported" to them. "[There has been] 40,061 reports from January to April this year — a significant 49 per cent increase from the same period last year," he explained.

"In New South Wales, we've seen a notable 48 per cent increase in the first quarter of 2024 compared to last year. And last month, Snap Send Solve recorded a staggering 3,138 reports of illegal parking — a 43 per cent increase from April last year."

Gorog said the "surge in illegal parking incidents" reported to Snap Send Solve is commonly caused by a lack of available parking spaces and the expensive costs associated with securing a spot. "Moreover, confusing or inconsistent parking regulations can result in people parking illegally," he said.

"As the popularity of EVs has grown, and with it, the availability of exclusive EV parking spots, we've seen an increasing number of reports of ICE cars parking illegally in EV-designated spots. With Snap Send Solve, these illegally parked cars can be reported to the relevant Solver."

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