Few things are more frustrating for the driver of an electric car than after looking for a charging station, finding it occupied by a car with a combustion engine, or by an electric one that does not charge. Something that is leading the authorities to take action on the matter. But the situation is much more complex than it seems and requires very concrete measures.
On the one hand, there is the clearest and easiest part to address. The occupation of spaces reserved for charging electric cars by models with combustion engines. In this case, the authorities agree that, in addition to the incorrect use of reserved spaces, should be punished with a fineand even with the removal of the vehicle by a crane.
In this section, the main problem is that each municipality applies its own rules and policies, from those that impose heavy fines, to those that completely ignore the issue and are completely unaware of the issue.
The difficulties begin when the misuse of space is carried out by the owners of electric vehicles.
In this section, remember that we are talking about spaces that must be marked with a badge as “reserved for recharging electric cars”. Therefore, they are not parking spaces. Only must be used for cargo and remove the vehicle once the session is over.
The problem is that this is not always easy to achieve. Some municipalities have set a time limit to improve rotation and prevent some users from literally camping their vehicles for hours. For example, a limit of one hour.
The point is that an hour can be a long time in a fast charging point, or little in the case of a slow charging point.
This is where many users complain that 60 minutes in a slow station can be a problem that discourage some interested in making the leap to the electric car. Time where in a typical AC outlet, 11 kW, we can recover between 60 or 70 kilometers of autonomy.
This indicates that the authorities must design a control system for cargo spaces adapted to their characteristics, as is done with spaces reserved for residents, non-residents, loading and unloading, etc.
Something that should also be done with some standardized norms that prevent the driver from having to study the regulations of each town hall to which he has to travel. Similar measures in all spaces that also have a range of similar and agreed sanctions.
But the thing does not end there, since then we find another variable. Sanctions to operators for occupying their space without recharging. The “occupancy rate” that each company starts up or not according to its criteria, as well as its cost.
For example, Tesla has a fee of 1 euro for every minute that the customer leaves his car connected once the recharging session is over. An amount that for some may be a lot, for others a little, but it is quite a reasonable figure.
Here the problem is that each operator can put the amount they want, and it is a figure that is never seen on the station signage. An aspect that can lead to abuses with high numbers.
And it is precisely signaling of the most improvable part for public charging stations, mainly those located in places such as car parks, where the customer must pay for both charging and parking. Two rates for which you normally only receive information on the cost of the first, the second often being an unpleasant surprise.