Electric car drivers urged to use charging points properly if they want to avoid fines

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EV owners have been told by an expert to use charging points in the right way to avoid unnecessary fines, especially at motorway services. The warning comes after several EV owners received punishments for charging their vehicles.

There have been several incidents across the UK where drivers unknowingly stayed beyond the allowed limit or entered a car park that they should not have.

Earlier this year, Express.co.uk reported about one unlucky driver who was fined £100, even though he was only charging his electric vehicle for five minutes.

Richard Leyland spotted that an EV charging station that he had found was actually in a paid car park, but didn’t realise it had particular rules.

Speaking on BBC One’s Morning Live, he said: “I parked my car, stayed about five minutes and paid about £2.70 to charge my car and left.

“Then two weeks later I got a £100 fine. I wrote to them [parking company] and told them I’m not intending on paying it.

“I found out that you have to go into the hotel and register that you are in that car park.

“It turns out dozens of people have fallen foul of that.

“They’ve taped a bit of A4 paper to the charger which blows in the wind.

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“And I was supposed to have noted that.”

He claims the parking company sent him a letter threatening to send bailiffs to him, prompting him to pay a fine which he believes is unfair.

He added: “So this isn’t enough to put me off from being an EV driver.

“The truth is, it’s actually much more convenient to drive these cars. Once you’ve got it, it’s convenient and it’s cheap to run.”

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And now, Olly Jones, co-founder at elmo, has claimed that knowing the rules “comes down to education”.

Mr Jones exclusively told Express.co.uk: “This is an annoyance for some drivers, but ultimately comes down to education – you won’t be fined if you follow the rules – and if that means you have to go into a hotel car park reception to give your reg number then you should do it!

“The bright side of this is that there are some locations where you can park and charge for free in your EV.

“In general, drivers should not be using the types of public charging stations in car parks and motorways for more than two hours anyway.

“Chargers in these locations are designed to be used as convenient top-up points rather than ‘fill the tank’ facilities.”

The expert continued: “If everyone used them appropriately as top-ups, it would help avoid queues and congestion as people hunt around for an accessible charger.

“In line with this point on charging etiquette, drivers should unplug and vacate as soon as they have enough charge to complete their trip, especially when above 80 percent – as the battery fills up more slowly anyway from there.

“To avoid waiting for a charger, apps like ZapMap can be really useful as they give users live availability of a charger so drivers can plan their stop accordingly.”

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