Drivers risk $3k fine with 'infuriating' act at EV charging bay

An electric car driver was unable to recharge his vehicle in one of the allocated bays while visiting the shopping complex in Queensland, and it's an issue frustrating EV drivers across the country.

Four cars parked in EV parking bays which are painted red and have charger icons on them in a car park in Cairns.
The ordinary ICE cars were parked in EV charging bays at a Cairns car park over the weekend, stopping EV drivers from using them. Source: Facebook

A photo showing four cars parked side by side on electric vehicle (EV) parking bays has highlighted the "infuriating" reality EV drivers face, with some reminding offenders of the hefty fines they could face for behaving in such a way.

The four different coloured cars in question all have one thing in common — they aren't electric cars. And as an EV driver searched for a charging station, he snapped an image of the four culprits to call out the behaviour at the Cairns car park on Saturday.

"Only four spots, all taken by non-EVs," the frustrated man wrote on social media. "The venue said, 'Do you need to charge? I can call it out on the PA and see if they will move'." He instead suggested the cars should be towed and motorists fined.

Other EV drivers chimed in with the man's frustration online, questioning if the behaviour was a "joke" and blasting it for being "annoying".

An ICE car (one powered by petrol or diesel) parking in a charging bay and blocking an EV from using the space is often referred to as ICEing. ICE refers to cars with internal combustion engines (ICE).

In most cases, the simple act is a finable offence and can cost offenders as much as $3,096 in Queensland. According to a Transport and Main Roads spokesperson, "Drivers can [also] be issued an on-the-spot fine of $57" by local council, but the rules can also be enforced by the Queensland Police Service.

Queenslanders face the second highest fines for this behaviour in the country, second only to those in the ACT who can have fines of up to $3,200.

In NSW motorists can cop a fine of up to $2,200, with every other state and territory imposing fines for this behaviour except from Western Australia.

While the rule is enforceable for public spaces, including roadside parking, private car parks can be tricky and avoiding EV charging bays is more of a courtesy, much like the use of 'parents with prams' spaces. However, owners of private car parks can consult with council to help reinforce parking rules and issue fines, according to NRMA.

As more and more EVs pop up on Aussie roads, ICEing has become a nationwide issue and EV drivers across the country are regularly frustrated by motorists who don't keep the space free for them.

Last month a handwritten note which read, 'don’t park here unless you are charging your car', was taped onto the windscreen of a car in Sydney's west, while another motorist was called out for being "entitled" after doing the same thing in May.

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