The public electric car charging giant Chargefox will try an “idle fee” for drivers who block chargers with their fully charged vehicles.
The trial will begin in July at selected Western Australian charge stations, and will include new signage and stickers at trial locations, along with a new push notification in the Chargefox app for owners to alert them when charges are about to start.
There will be a “grace period” that allows owners to return to their fully charged cars before pre-minute idle fees begin.
“We will continue to measure the effectiveness of the intervention in terms of how it changes driver behavior and benefits the wider EV driving community,” Chargefox said on its website.
The company said the payment was designed to encourage “owners to leave charging stations once their vehicles are fully charged”, in an effort to increase “turnover rates at charging stations”.
“By reducing idle time, idle fees create a smoother charging experience and reduce the potential for frustration or inconvenience due to occupied charging stations,” Chargefox said.
Funds collected from idle fees can also be “reinvested in expanding the charging infrastructure, installing new stations and improving the overall charging system”.
New fees for idle vehicles, combined with several price increases at some fast chargers in New South Wales and Victoria, make it more expensive for Australian electric car owners to charge using the Chargefox network.
The price 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 pricing, the cost of charging a Tesla Model S with a 95kWh lithium-ion battery pack (consumable) from 0 to 100 percent using one of the more expensive Chargefox stations has increased from $38 to $42.75.
This price increase sees the Chargefox 50kW DC charger match certain Evie chargers in urban areas, with rival networks also charging $0.45 per kWh for 50kW charging.
Prices for all 350kW ultra-fast charging stations remain unchanged at $0.60 per kWh for now, and Australian motorcycle club members (who now fully own Chargefox) still receive discounts starting at 20 percent.