There are plenty of perks to electric vehicles, including your very own designated parking spaces.
In big cities, where parking is at a premium, it’s a good enough reason to make the switch. That is, until you roll up to an electric charging bay and find a regular old petrol car sat there instead.
Okay, it’s a bit of a first-world problem, but if you’re running low on juice, it can be a serious issue. And there’s not much EV drivers have been able to do other than write an angry note on the windscreen and hope a traffic warden stops by.
Now, a new start-up has given local authorities the power to automatically detect when petrol and diesel cars are parking in electric-only spaces, in a move that could see drivers blocking charging bays whacked with £70 fines. Appyway has created smart sensors that can detect when a vehicle is parked in a bay, cross-reference to check whether that vehicle is using the charging port, and then alert traffic wardens to check potential violations.
At the moment, the tech is being used as part of an app called ‘AppyParking’ to help electric vehicle owners find free charging bays, but according to The Times, at least one local council is considering using the sensors to stop petrol cars blocking the spaces.
A spokesperson for Coventry Council said:
We are not using them for enforcement currently, but the potential is there for the sensors to inform enforcement officers of bay misuse in the future.
AppyParking is already widely used across the UK, with the app providing parking space information – not just for electric vehicles – in around 400 towns and cities. The Daily Mail reports that the company has already installed its sensor system in electric charging bays in Harrogate and Halifax in Yorkshire, and plans to introduce the system in Portsmouth in 2021. The sensors are also currently in place to monitor disabled parking in the City of London.
Electric vehicles are soaring in popularity all over the world, with sales in the UK doubling since last year. In the past, one of the biggest barriers for consumers when it comes to switching to electric or hybrid models has been the lack of charging availability, so it’s no surprise that councils are keen to make sure that the ports they have are kept free for people who actually need them.
And with the government set to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, our road are only set to get a whole lot greener.