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Waiting for a fully charged car to vacate a charger can be frustrating.

Idle fees trial to commence in Western Australia

As more people switch to electric vehicles (EVs), it’s important to have efficient charging infrastructure. One way to make the most of charging stations is by implementing idle fees. Idle fees are charges for EV owners who keep their vehicles connected to charging stations even after they’re fully charged.

In July 2023 an idle fees trial will commence in some limited locations within Western Australia.

The trial will feature:

  • Changes to the station guidelines (signage and stickers) as well as mobile interface and push notifications to ensure appropriate education for drivers charging at stations with idle fees.
  • A ‘grace period’ to allow drivers to return to their car within a reasonable period of time before fees apply.
  • A fee per minute of overstay after completion of charging and expiration of ‘grace period’.

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.

In a recent survey amongst WA EV drivers, just over 9 in 10 feel positively about idle fees being charged.

Let’s explore why idle fees are a good idea for EV charging.

  • Better Use of Charging Stations
    Idle fees encourage EV owners to free up charging stations once their vehicles are fully charged. This means more EVs can access the charging infrastructure, reducing waiting times and congestion at popular charging spots. By discouraging unnecessary delays, idle fees promote efficient use of charging stations and make charging more convenient for everyone.

  • Improved Availability and Access
    Charging idle fees increases the turnover rate at charging stations. This means more availability and easier access for EV drivers who need to charge their vehicles. By reducing idle time, idle fees create a smoother charging experience and lower the chances of frustration or inconvenience due to occupied charging stations.
  • Encouraging Considerate Behavior
    Idle fees serve as a gentle reminder for EV owners to be considerate and free up charging stations promptly. They promote a sense of responsibility and encourage drivers to practice courteous charging habits. This not only enhances the overall EV community experience but also fosters a positive charging culture that considers the needs of all users.

  • Supporting Infrastructure Expansion:
    The funds collected from idle fees can be reinvested in expanding charging infrastructure, installing new stations, and improving the overall charging system. This ensures sustainable growth and meets the increasing demand for EV charging.

Charging idle fees for electric vehicle charging brings several advantages. It promotes efficient use of charging stations, improves availability and access, encourages considerate behavior, and supports revenue generation for infrastructure expansion. With the growing popularity of EVs, idle fees are a step forward in creating a robust and accessible charging network that meets the needs of the expanding electric vehicle community.

This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. cd

    These idle fees are long overdue, fee should be $1 per minute after a 5 minute grace period.

  2. Luci

    Love this! It’s so frustrating to when your waiting and need to get back on the highway.

  3. Brett C

    Awesome idea. I think the idle fee should start 10min after the charge finishes and cost more then parking in that area or of a significant amount to hit the hip pocket nerve.

  4. Rodney Peachey

    I support charging idle fees 100%. Maximum 10 minutes grace period, then $1 per minute idle fee.

  5. Terry Taplin

    If all charging stations have a coffee, machine and shelter, it will promote people staying by their fast charger

  6. Peter

    While supporting the idea of idle fees, I suggest that idle fees need to be sufficiently high/punitive to avoid creating a perverse incentive. If they are too low, some people might feel entitled to regard the charging space as a parking space and the idle fee as an acceptable price for parking. They might then feel less inclined to move on if they feel they are paying to remain in the space and therefore entitled to remain in the place.

  7. Chandra M

    Lets do the Idle fees here in NSW as well. I have spend hrs and countless trips to the charge station only to find the same car plugged-in the whole day.

  8. Kate

    Will this just be for DCFC or for AC Chargers too?

  9. Eddie L

    I totally agree with idle charging fee. Don’t be too light on the penalty. ICE cars are heavily penalised if they park in EV stations. I see no difference when EVs are idle on a charge station. Bring it on.

  10. Howard Snow

    I am definitely in favour of idle fees. Can I ask whether your App could include an “alarm” to indicate that the car is fully charged, and the “grace” period has started?

    By the way, I have always left a small card in the windscreen of my car when charging, to indicate when I started the charge, and a phone number to contact me if another user required the charger urgently.

    1. Rob Asselman

      We’ll be ensuring that drivers are 100% clear that idle fees will apply and when they will commence. This will include notifications through the app and clear signage where they are applicable.

  11. Peter Roberts

    .Great idea! To be fair to Chargefox as well as the mostly considerate network user, please charge the ‘overstayers’ the same rate as if charging. If not more. Keep up the great work.

  12. Trevor B

    Idle fees should have been in place from day one. This would have alleviated the current attitude some drivers have of using them as free carparks at the expense (time) of others. I think it should be implemented immediately in all stations as is the case with Tesla chargers.

  13. Dan

    Great idea. Long overdue. Just a couple of days ago a very inconsiderate Kona EV driver in Sydney sat on a 50KW for a few hours post charging to 100%, no where to be seen. Disrupted my day. The app literally tells you everything, which i watch closely if i’m away from my vehicle when charging. Some people need to learn the hard way – bring on the fees!

  14. Henri Maustrauser

    Bravo – Idle fees are essential as is having at least two bays per charging site.

  15. Steve

    Well done!
    Don’t mess about with a trial, just do it! All over Australia.
    Too many positives to ignore the idle fee.

  16. Paul H

    Will the idle fees kick in if the user is actively preventing their vehicle from reaching 100%, ie using vehicle features that draw power from the battery in park, or has a damaged battery that does not report full charge?

    Also, will idle fees apply where a user is charging at a rate significantly below the charger’s deliverable capacity? For example,a user is charging from a 350kW unit at 3.6kWh to 100%, which is their maximum rate, This would take several hours to reach 100% and ties up a unit for a long time. Live examples seen in The Farm, NSW on the 50kW units.

  17. Don Smith

    Great to see you a willing to trial but it should just be implemented with a media blitz it’s going to happen, being in Tesla world it’s just acceptable that you unplug asap, ICE cars are left a bowsers after they’re filled.

  18. Joe Earl

    Sounds like an inevitable progression. Maybe allow people to apply for a rebate in hardship cases etc?

  19. Ferenc Jakab

    Hi, I don’t oppose the idea of idle fees, especially if a car is fully charged. However I ask you to bear in mind rural travelers who must have a high degree of charge to get to their next destination or, indeed to their home.
    We regularly travel to Melbourne and Geelong from Nelson in Victoria. We fill at either RACV Torquay or Ballarat Central. Having had near misses with range in high winds, cold and rain we now fill to above 90%.
    My concern is that in some countries idle fees are charged after 90%. That would severely discriminate against Rural residents such as ourselves.

  20. Puano Lee

    I support idle fee charging!

Comments are closed.