A new law in NSW will slug petrol and diesel car owners with fines of up to a $2,200 if they park in dedicated EV charging bays.
The new law, which appears to have been introduced to the NSW Road Rules in November, states that “A driver of a vehicle that is not an electric-powered vehicle must not stop in a parking area for electric-powered vehicles.”
The maximum penalty for the infringement is 20 penalty units which equates to $2,200 (in NSW one penalty unit is worth $110).
“ICEing” is when a petrol or diesel car blocks an electric vehicle charging station and is something that many EV owners have experienced.
Sometimes it can take hours for ICE car owners to return, leaving EV owners stranded and unable to charge. With Australia’s public charging network already experiencing reliability issues, ICEing compounds the frustrations of many Australian EV owners.
But it’s not always just ICE car owners who are the culprits, sometimes it’s EV owners themselves who show complete disregard for the electric vehicle community.
The Driven recently covered a story of an EV owner who went ballooning while his car was parked in a charging bay. On returning after many hours of taking up the precious charging space, the owner said “Sorry, I went ballooning. It took longer than I thought,”.
Thankfully the new NSW ICEing laws also seem to cover this saying “A driver must not stop in a parking area for the charging of electric-powered vehicles unless the electric-powered vehicle is plugged into an external source of electricity.”
It’s not clear whether the EV must actually be charging from the external source and perhaps this is yet to be tested. It is, however, a step in the right direction.
The new legislation also gives examples of the signage which must be displayed for the laws to apply.
Permissive parking signs (see below) which include the words “while charging” as well as electric-powered vehicle charging parking signs and road markings including the electric-powered vehicle symbol and the words “while charging” are required for the laws to apply.
The new laws will no doubt be strongly welcomed by the NSW electric vehicle community, many of whom have been advocating for these types of law changes for some time.
At The Driven we think it’s great that the NSW government has introduced these laws. Now we just need the federal government to introduce strong EV public charging standards like the US government did this week.
Daniel Bleakley is a clean technology researcher and advocate with a background in engineering and business. He has a strong interest in electric vehicles, renewable energy, manufacturing and public policy.