One of New Zealand’s biggest plug-in vehicle charger firms, ChargeNet, is set to introduce a ‘fee’ for electric vehicle owners guilty of leaving their cars plugged into their public chargers for too long.
From today, ChargeNet will be handing out fines to those who plug their cars into the public high-powered 175kW DC fast charger at Giltrap Audi in Grey Lynn, Auckland.
When your EV is plugged into a ChargeNet unit, owners can monitor charging progress via an app. ChargeNet can also monitor this progress, meaning it can therefore see whether a car that’s already fully charged has been plugged into a unit for an excessive length of time.
After a five-minute amnesty period — plenty of time for an EV owner to unplug their vehicle and sort themselves out — the firm will charge guilty charging ‘hoggers’ $1.00 per minute. It calls this charge an ‘idle fee’.
“If you’ve recently used the EV chargers at Giltrap Audi in Auckland which are accessible on the ChargeNet network, you may have noticed the sign mentioning idle fees. From Monday, 9 August we’re introducing a fee for idle charging at this site to ensure that more people have a chance to charge,” said the firm in a statement published to social media.
“What this means for drivers is that if your vehicle is not moved within five minutes of the completion of your charge, an idle fee of $1.00 per minute is applied if the vehicle remains connected to the charger for 5 minutes or more after a session has ended.
“Idle fees are new for ChargeNet, but we recognise that this fee will heavily encourage drivers to move on as quickly as possible, thus reducing queueing and creating a better experience for all drivers. We recommend using the ChargeNet app, so you can monitor your session remotely.”
The move appears to have been well received across the board. While ChargeNet hasn’t confirmed whether the move will become standardised across the rest of its charging network, early signs to a wider roll-out being likely.
Responding to numerous questions about whether other chargers could see similar idle fees, ChargeNet seemingly didn’t rule out the idea. “We don’t have an expected implementation date for this enhancement, but will be sure to keep our customers updated,” it told one person.
Elsewhere though, the firm seemed more concrete. Quizzed on another social media page about whether a wider trial was imminent, it answered; “we’re working on this”.