Drivers might want to double check parking signs before leaving their car in the street with an increase in a new type of restriction that could prove costly for unwitting motorists.
With the rise in electric vehicles (EV) in Australia, charging stations are now being incorporated kerbside. However the accompanying parking signs indicating the spaces are similar to existing signage, with the use of the traditional numeral and letter P format.
One frustrated EV driver wanting to charge his car in Sydney's Newtown blasted two fuel vehicles who had used the EV charging spaces.
He photographed the sign which shows a large 4P with a 12-hour window and below a graphic of a car with an electrical cord. "Only while charging," it says underneath.
Failing to realise these new signs indicate EV-only parking can prove costly in Australia, with fines as high as $3,200 in the ACT.
Increase in fuel cars parking in EV-only spots
The act of parking in an EV-only spot has been coined as ICEing, where fuel cars, which run on a combustion engine (ICE), park in EV designated spots. The man slammed the two drivers as "ICEholes".
It's not known if the two drivers in the spaces parked their intentionally, or were unaware of the signage.
His issue is not an isolated incident, with many EV drivers struggling with a lack of public charging ports that aren't keeping up with EV sales in Australia.
In the Inner West, the number of EV's registered in the LGA has increased by 300 per cent from between 2019 and 2021. While the number of public charging ports have increased by only 125 per cent from 17 to 38, according to council data.
Hefty fines introduced to tackle lack of charging ports
As a deterrent, the NSW government introduced a hefty fine this year, which can cost NSW driver's up to $2200, and can apply to EV drivers that aren't charging their car as well. In comparison the fine for parking in a standard no parking zone in the state is $117, and $275 for stopping in a no stopping zone.
NSW Metropolitan Roads Minister Natalie Ward said the government added the offence to "support the transition to electric vehicles on our roads".
"To make sure we keep the community moving forward, we want electric vehicle drivers to have access to charging stations when they are on offer," she said.
The ACT and Queensland and NSW have also introduced steep fines for blocking access to charging stations, which range according to different unit prices.
In the ACT it could cost drivers up to a whopping $3200, and in Queensland it could be up to $2875.
While in Victorian, the fine for misusing an electric vehicle charging space is only $369.
In Australia, the sales of EV's have increased rapidly, with the total in the first half of 2023 — 46,624 as of the end of June — so far beating the whole total for 2022, according to the Electric Vehicle Council.
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