Electric car drivers should enjoy free parking before councils introduce higher charges.
That’s the advice from Neil Swanson, director of the Electric Vehicle Association Scotland.
He has said the days of free parking for electric car drivers are numbered as local authorities adapt to growing numbers of EVs on the road.
Neil has also called for “enhanced” training for parking wardens as councils adapt to new electric vehicle charging technology.
He said: “There are places, such as Dundee, offering free parking for EVs, but that can not last forever.
“As more drivers switch to EVs over the next decade with petrol and diesel cars phased out, councils will still need the revenue they currently get from drivers using their car parks to continue maintaining and developing the infrastructure.”
Electric car parking rules still ‘inconsistent’
His comments come after independent Carnoustie councillor Brian Boyd received a parking fine while charging in Perth city centre.
Electric cars do not require a ticket in Dundee, Fife and Angus while they are charging.
While several Scottish local authorities offer free parking while an EV is plugged in, rules over how long they can stay parked vary.
Neil cautioned anyone driving in unfamiliar council areas to read the signage at car parks thoroughly.
He also urges electric car drivers not to assume special privileges.
But he said more should be done to ensure parking rules support electric vehicle (EV) uptake.
“Going forward, it would be helpful for drivers if they knew they wouldn’t get a ticket while charging, or if the charge goes wobbly,” he said.
“Drivers need clear signage to warn they risk a ticket if they exceed time limits or fail to plug in.
“It [a charge] can cut off unexpectedly at times for various reasons that are not the fault of the driver, so the attendants need to be able to identify occasions where this has happened and act accordingly.
“It would be good to know you’re not going to have to pay for something that’s not your fault.”
Neil said parking attendants could benefit from enhanced training regarding EV parking.
Many are unfamiliar with the relatively new technology, Neil added.
Councillor’s electric car parking fine upheld
Mr Boyd called for more consistency across Scotland over parking and charging rules after his own misfortune.
Perth & Kinross Council refused his appeal.
The local authority insists the traffic warden made the correct decision as there is nothing at the car park signage to indicate parking is free for an electric car.
He suggested the confusing set-up may put people off going electric.
“If you’re buying an EV with great excitement only to face different rules then that will be off-putting.”
A Transport Scotland spokesman said the Scottish Government agency wants more drivers to choose electric vehicles.
He said they “would look to all relevant sectors to play their part” in achieving that.
He said local authorities were “best placed” to set parking charges.
A recent report recognised tariffs for EVs should reflect “local needs”, he added.