EV drivers hit with £73k in fines for overstaying at charging bays

Fines have been issued almost 2,000 times as drivers exceed the maximum limit vehicles can be plugged in.

Electric car drivers hit with £73,000 in fines after overstaying at Glasgow council charging bays Getty Images

Electric car drivers in Glasgow have been hit with up to £73,400 in fines for overstaying at council charging bays nearly 2,000 times since charges were introduced.

The council has installed more than 300 electric vehicle charge points and started requiring motorists to pay on April 11.

Between April 11 and May 31 it is estimated about 1,835 charging sessions undertaken by motorists exceeded the maximum time allowed for vehicles to be plugged in.

The information came to light as Labour councillor Jill Brown asked how many overstay fines were issued to people using council-owned electric vehicle charging points, since a new tariff came into place.

Drivers are allowed to remain for one hour at a rapid charger without facing the overstay fee.

They can remain plugged in for two hours at a standard charger on streets in the city centre and three hours in the rest of Glasgow before getting the fine for exceeding the allowed time.

Replying to councillor Brown’s question at a recent full council meeting, councillor Angus Millar said: “As the member is aware, tariff arrangements were introduced on April 11 2023, with maximum charging durations and an associated overstay fee of £40 being applied at each charging unit to discourage ‘bay blocking’ and allow as many drivers as possible to make use of the resource.”

He added: “ChargePlace Scotland (CPS), who manage the electric vehicle charging network, apply an overstay fee to their customer accounts where vehicles have overstayed a published maximum duration.”

SNP councillor Millar added: “However, with the caveat that this data is unvalidated and therefore subject to change, data until the end of May 2023 suggests that 1,835 charging sessions (or 13.7% of the total) exceeded the maximum duration for connection to the charge point and the user account incurred an automatic overstay fee. It must be reiterated that this data is ‘raw’ and following reconciliation and validation, some instances may be revoked and not applied to user accounts.”

The tariff is due to be reviewed later this year.

Councillor Brown said: “As you know a typical electric car takes just under eight hours to fully charge at the 7KW charging points, which is what the vast majority outside the city centre are.

“That means an electric car owner would need to move their car three times in order to fully charge their car.”

She asked how the system provides and incentive for people to move to a clean energy source for cars. She also questioned how is it fair to disadvantage the many residents living in tenement blocks who are wholly reliant on the charging points.

Councillor Millar said guiding criteria in setting maximum durations for electric vehicle charging is in alignment with traffic regulation orders for parking bays that double as electric vehicle charging spaces.

He said: “For example in the city centre that is two hours, outwith is three hours. It is very important that we don’t have an electric vehicle charging system with overstay fees that could potentially be at risk of giving individuals false security around parking rules that are also in place for that particular bay.”

He said there is an intention to apply an electric vehicle specific traffic regulation order to “decouple” some of the parking rules from the electric charging scheme in the city.

Proposals are to be considered as part of the tariff review, including issues tenement residents may face with charging.

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