Clear rules for charging station users needed
Charging electric vehicles will be a major challenge in the coming years as fiscal policy measures in particular will increase the sales and thus the use of 100% electric vehicles.
Intelligent use of the limited charging infrastructure, but above all a clear understanding of the costs that a charging session will generate, is imperative.
Charging card systems continue to cause annoyance
In the Netherlands, there is now an obligation for charging station providers to announce the applicable charging rates per unit of electricity (expressed in kWh) via an app, but sometimes there is still too little transparency about the associated transaction costs.
The Dutch ACM (Authority Consumer & Market) is now threatening to impose fines on providers that do not comply. The fact is that the entire charging card system is outdated and charging infrastructure should – by analogy with regular fuelling – provide a (digital) counter system on the charging unit with price indication and payment method via a classic payment card (or app) that everyone has in its pocket.
Extra parking fee while charging?
In Belgium, there is a plan to charge electric vehicles for using the parking space while they are charging. Federal Minister of Mobility Georges Gilkinet (Green) does not consider a vehicle that is being charged as a ‘stationary vehicle’ but as a ‘parked vehicle’.
Wake up at night to charge?
This measure is a rather desperate attempt to make more efficient use of the too-limited charging infrastructure. There are indeed abuses of electric vehicles that continue to occupy the car park even when the battery is fully charged, thus depriving other EV drivers of the opportunity to charge.
On the other hand, it shows that the politician in question has little practical experience with electric vehicles. After all, an electric vehicle usually needs to charge for hours in order to ‘fill up’ with sufficient autonomy, and few people feel inclined to set their alarm clock to wake up at night in order to subsequently disconnect their vehicle and park it elsewhere. Moreover, it is not certain that other EV users will come to the free charging station afterward (at night).
ICE cars take up charging space
Practical experience shows that today many more EV charging places are taken by vehicles with a conventional combustion engine (ICE). This anti-social parking behavior makes mobility for early EV adopters very complex.
There is no control or enforcement whatsoever. We personally noticed in the commune of Heist-Op-Den Berg that the municipal green services use the EV car parks as temporary dumping grounds for green waste.
Perhaps Minister Gilkinet should start by tackling such anti-social practices, which are crippling the transition to green driving, instead of making electric driving more expensive than it already is.