Public electric car charging giant Chargefox will trial “idle fees” for drivers who block chargers with their fully-charged vehicles.
The trial will kick off in July at select Western Australian charge stations, and will include new signage and stickers at the trial locations, along with new push notifications within the Chargefox app for owners to warn them when the fees will kick in.
There will be a “grace period” allowing owners to return to their fully-charged cars before the pre-minute idle fee kicks in.
“We will continue to measure the effectiveness of interventions in terms of how they change driver behaviour and benefit the the EV driving community more broadly,” Chargefox says on its website.
The company says the fees are designed to encourage “owners to free up charging stations once their vehicles are fully charged”, in a bid to increase the “the turnover rate at charging stations”.
“By reducing idle time, idle fees create a smoother charging experience and lower the chances of frustration or inconvenience due to occupied charging stations,” Chargefox says.
Funds collected from idle fees can also be “reinvested in expanding charging infrastructure, installing new stations, and improving the overall charging system”.
New fees for idle vehicles, combined with multiple price rises on some fast chargers in New South Wales and Victoria, are making it more expensive for Australian electric car owners to charge using the Chargefox network.
Pricing for 50kW DC charging at 20 Chargefox stations in Victoria and New South Wales jumped from $0.40 per kWh to $0.45 per kWh in March this year.
Based on the updated price, the cost of charging a Tesla Model S with its 95kWh (usable) lithium-ion battery pack from 0 to 100 per cent using one of the more expensive Chargefox stations has risen from $38 to $42.75.
This price rise sees these Chargefox 50kW DC chargers match certain Evie chargers in urban areas, with the rival network also charging $0.45 per kWh for 50kW charging.
Pricing for all 350kW ultra-rapid charging stations remains unchanged at $0.60 per kWh for now, and members of Australian motor clubs (which now wholly own Chargefox) still receive discounts starting at 20 per cent.