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Meter maids in the UK have come under fire after ticketing an electric car while it was juicing up at a public charger in Conventry. A parking warden spotted an electric Tata that overstayed the three-hour time limit and ticketed the vehicle on the spot.

A passerby – actually, a city worker who wishes to remain anonymous – snapped pictures of the ordeal and told the local newspaper that:
I took the picture because it made me think that we've got all these new charging points and we're pushing this big green agenda, but when people start taking it up the first thing that happens is that they're hit with a fine. I presume it got the ticket because the driver had left it there for more than three hours. Yes, there are restrictions there but I think it comes back to the point that if you want people to adopt new technology don't penalize people for using it.
The whistle blower recommended that the city council reconsiders its parking policies, stating:
If there has to be a limit it should at least be extended to as long as it takes to get the car charged. If people don't think they can use that space because they're scared of getting a ticket it's defeating the whole point.
How did Coventry's city council respond? By releasing this non-apologetic statement:
The ticket was issued as it was observed the vehicle had been parked for more than three hours. There is a sign indicating there is a three hour limit. The driver has the right to appeal if it was felt it had been issued incorrectly
In response to that, the anonymous city worker had this say:
It would be brilliantly ironic if it turned out to be a car belonging to a member of the council.
[Source: Coventry Telegraph via All Cars Electric | Image: Charleston's The Digitel – C.C. License 2.0]


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  • 14 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      I still trying to figure out what part of the "3 hour parking LIMIT" law this guy didn't get.
      • 3 Years Ago
      If the limit is 3 hours and it's clearly stated then that's the time limit. You can get quite a lot of charge in 3 hours even from 230 volt charging.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I agree with Richard. I don't know about this Tata, but 3 hours is almost enough time to half-fill a LEAF with 3.3kW charging and almost enough time to fill an EV with a battery of similar size to that of the LEAF but with faster 6.6kW charging. If you need more charging time than that, then you really need to be doing it elsewhere....like your home or place of business.
      • 3 Years Ago
      According to Michael Boxwell over at http://www.allcarselectric.com/blog/1057342_fail-u-k-meter-maid-tickets-electric-car-while-it-charged , Coventry has two types of parking for EVs. One has free parking and charging with a 3 hour time limit and the other is paid parking with free charging and no time limit. Funny how that fact didn't make it into the original article.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Charging for free but you might end with a ticket? Interesting gamble ;)
      harlanx6
      • 3 Years Ago
      I guess not everyone thinks you are a hero if you drive an overpriced, glorified golf cart, and some even expect you to obey the law! Unreasonable!~
      • 3 Years Ago
      Parking spaces aren't free for two reasons - they're limited in number, and they're desirable. Charging for time in the space (and ticketing when someone goes over time) helps make them more evenly shared - giving 3 people 3 hours each rather than 1 person all day.

      The existence of the charger makes this particular space *more* limited, and *more* desirable. Sharing it equitably is *more* critical, not less, so why wouldn't a car parked there get a ticket?
        BipDBo
        • 3 Years Ago
        Good point. This will probably be an issue as EVs get more popular. You still get a lot of juice from a 3 hour charge even if you don't top it off. I think that you get the best charging rate right after you plug in and it goes down as you get closer to being topped off. Why should you be allowed to sit there trickle charging all day when there may be another EV owner who really needs some juice? At the present time, though, that spot is probably almost never occupied. Even though this is a good policy to have on the books, I think that they should cut this guy some slack and give him a "warning" this time.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mylexicon

        So the commercial activity in the urban centres don't pay taxes, and create wealth for the City and 'public' revenue?

        Without those businesses and investors in real estate, there would be no value in the 'public assets'. Ask any city with a decayed urban zone, how much income is lost and how valuable its 'asset'
        • 3 Years Ago
        Why wouldn't a car parked there get a ticket? B/c we discovered market economics 4 centuries ago. Prior to that we had no comprehensive understanding of how human beings allocate time, resources, and labor.

        If something is valuable, you ration it with price. You don't introduce a floor or a ceiling to appease voters and local businesses.

        By rationing parking arbitrarily with time, you are actually playing into the hands of local businesses and real estate owners who want to create the expectation of available parking to raise the value of their assets. All off this sappy blah blah about sharing and fairness is actually just redistributing the value of public assets from city councils and city residents to local businesses and real estate tycoons.

        By the time you realize the need for rationing parking by time, you should already be using satellite parking and some form of mass transit whether it is privately or publicly operated. It is perfectly predictable that government would try to patch the situation with time rationing, but when electric vehicles start getting ticketed at public charging facilities, it is time to face the music.
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's a City of Charleston (South Carolina) Parking Citation in the photo!

      LOL.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "What kind of Bug is that?"
        "Why, that's a Lady Bug!"
        "You've got better eyes than me!"
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have no problem with ticketing a car staying at a charger over a time limit.
      I do think that there is an issue that in Burlington VT the public charging station always has an IC car parked at it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Having to pay for parking isn't penalizing electric cars, it's the same as any other car.
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