This outrageous parking problem infuriates EV drivers and I agree with them

Do you know what an IceHOLE is? Lollie Barr explains why they're so annoying.

Public EV charging can be a real pain in the boot for the 198,000 EV drivers on Australia's roads.

With petrol prices unpredictably high and EVs becoming more affordable, a staggering two-thirds of all EV cars in Australia have been purchased since 2022, yet, so far, charging stations haven't kept pace.

Over the Easter holidays, Yahoo News Australia reported on a line of Teslas as massive as Elon Musk's ego lining up in the rural town of Keith in South Australia.

A long line of white electric vehicles queuing to use charging station in Keith, South Australia.
More than 10 electric vehicles were seen queued for a charging station in a concerning video online. Source: TikTok

Considering that each Tesla takes 20 minutes to charge, and EV owners only have access to 3,700 public chargers at just over 2,100 locations across Australia, according to an Electric Vehicle Council, it can be a bloody long wait.

EV drivers also must contend with IceHOLES who deliberately park in spots designated for EV charging in misguided allegiance to the oil industry that fuels their internal combustion engine (hence the ICE).

The Facebook group IceHOLES and EvHOLES Australia shames both combustion engine drivers who park in EV charging stations and prima donna EV Drivers who use charging stations as their personal parking spaces while they go off to the shops with no consideration of the other EV users wanting to fill up.

Two conventional cars parked in EV charging spots at a shopping centre.
Petrol cars which park in EV charging stations like this, have been branded IceHOLES online. Source: Facebook

According to a spokesperson for the group, there are two types of IceHOLE - the type that has inadvertently taken an EV charging spot and the kind that deliberately blocks an EV charger.

"The latter is the primary issue - and is no different to if somebody chose to deliberately block an LPG or diesel pump because they happened to have a petrol-powered car," they said.

Electric vehicle charging has also been creating tension on the busy streets of inner-city suburbs of major cities where parking spots are hard to come by.

Residents in Sydney were livid when dedicated EV charging stations started popping up in what were formerly rockstar parking spots open to everyone.

Now, only EVs can park in the two spots directly in front of the charging device between set hours from 8am to 8pm.

While only EV drivers can park overnight while charging. What gets residents upset is that sometimes the spots sit empty when no one is charging, with one petrol car driver moaning on Facebook.

"So even if the spots are sitting there empty, we can't use them because they're reserved for the privileged? Premium positions, too."

Parking in electric vehicle charging bays now an offence in more parts of the country. Source: Getty/Facebook
Parking in electric vehicle charging bays now an offence in more parts of the country. Source: Getty/Facebook

Surprisingly, though, Aussies are divided over whether designated EV charging spots should be open to all types of cars.

When Yahoo conducted a poll asking the question, 'Do you think the parking spots should be for electric vehicles only? ' — 61 per cent voted: 'No, why are they special?', while only 39 per cent of users (including me) agreed with the sentiment: 'Yes, that is a given’. You can vote in the poll yourself here.

But let's try to be a little bit pragmatic here: EV chargers exist to provide an opportunity to "refuel" an electric car and we better get used to it.

According to ENGIE (formerly Simply Energy) who are partnering with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to drive green mobility in Australia by building 100 electric vehicle charging stations across the country over the next 12 months, we'll start to see charging stations in any place you can park your car… office buildings, shopping centres, rest stops, service stations and in regional towns.

EV charging stations in a rural part of Australia.
EV charging stations can be hard to come by in Australia. Source: Getty

Ultimately, though, EV charging is not up for public debate. Whether you like it or not, the EV revolution is here, as are state laws prohibiting non-EV vehicles from using these designated charging spots.

Following in the footsteps of Queensland, NSW, Western Australia, Tasmania, and the ACT, South Australia introduced two new parking offences relating to electric vehicle (EV) parking and charging last month.

Drivers can now be fined for parking in electric vehicle bays and EV charging areas when the vehicle is not being charged.

Frankly, it can't come soon enough.

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