I remember 24 months ago reading about the issues of ICEing and electric vehicle charging etiquette in the USA and Europe. Then, those sorts of articles stopped. Australia has now reached the EV density where we are having “electric vehicle charging etiquette” conversations Down Under. I should note that in Australia I have not come across any deliberate ICEing of a Tesla Supercharger.
Recently, there was a flare-up on Facebook. A member of the group had an altercation with a ute driver who parked in the EV charging spot. The ute driver proceeded to chase the Tesla owner and the car’s cameras have recorded pictures of him hanging out of his window cursing and swearing at the Tesla driver. This matter has been reported to the police as an issue of road rage and dangerous driving.
Early in my EV experience, I got a mouthful from a local yobbo when I made a comment about him parking in a charging spot at Springfield. Best to leave them alone. My thoughts are that these same people would also park in a handicapped spot (even though their behavior does merit that diagnosis) or in parking spots designated for parents with prams.
Suggestions from members of the Facebook group ranged from the illegal (spiking tyres) to the unlikely to achieve a result (informing the management of the shopping centre). You could just park in front and plug in, but then you are risking damage to your car. Things might change when the EV utes come out.
Then the conversation turned to EV drivers who do the wrong thing. That is, they use an EV charging spot as a personal parking spot — parking and not plugging in, or not moving the car when fully charged. Drivers of petrol or diesel vehicles who park in electric vehicle (EV) charging bays in Queensland can face a penalty of $55. EV drivers who aren’t charging can be fined as well.
One perceptive member of the Facebook group pointed out that this is less than you pay to park in a multistory car park in the city. Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the new penalty addressed a pain point for the rapidly increasing number of Queensland EV drivers.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to supporting a zero-emission transport future and it’s encouraging to see more and more Queenslanders than ever transition to electric vehicles,” Mr Bailey said.
What do we do?
Leave law enforcement to council parking officers and the police. If you want to do your bit, take a photo and send it to Crime Stoppers or Snap Send Solve. There are people who hate EVs enough as it is, and it is exacerbating a divide much like cyclists have with cars.
In time, chargers will become ubiquitous and EVs much more common. The public will be better educated. Just be aware there will always be yobbos — the same ones who tailgate, speed, go through red lights, and all kinds of other roadside misbehavior. In the meantime, as we develop electric vehicle charging etiquette Down Under, stay safe!
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