The abusive use of electric charging points forces municipalities to set limits

In recent years they have become a common element in our cities and their presence is going to be more and more widespread in the urban space, to the detriment of traditional gas stations. Charging stations for electric vehicles are a service that more and more municipalities offer. In the triangle made up of Cambrils, Salou and Vila-seca there are twenty of these municipally owned chargers. It is a service that is offered free of charge to the owners of these plug-in cars. However, in recent times it has been detected that many of these spaces are being used abusively by some drivers who occupy the space for much longer than is strictly necessary to fully charge the vehicle.

To try to put a stop to this type of practice and encourage a real rotation of cars at these points, the town councils have begun to put order and regulate the use of these devices by introducing payment mechanisms. Thus, in Salou they have initially approved a new ordinance that puts a price on the energy consumed at charging stations, while in Cambrils, these squares will become a blue zone and you will have to pay for the time you are parked while charging. Car.

Some drivers occupy the space much longer than is necessary for the load

The City Council of Salou approved in the last plenary session the imposition of an ordinance that regulates the public prices of electric recharging at municipal charging points, a service that until now has been offered free of charge. This ordinance establishes that each car may be parked for a maximum of two hours a day in one of these spaces and, if once this time has elapsed, it still needs more charging time, it could be moved to another of the municipal stations. In case of not doing so, they explain from the consistory, the driver may be fined.

“This is a claim by the users themselves, who see that these parking lots are being used fraudulently when it is not the root of the matter. There must be a rotation of vehicles so that they can all load, "explained the Councilor for the Treasury of Salou, Yeray Moreno. Another objective of the ordinance, he detailed, is "to be able to guarantee and improve the quality of the service as soon as we believe it is necessary." In this sense, the Salou City Council is already working on expanding the network of recharging points in the municipality, which currently has eight chargers in three different locations.

From the opposition they criticized that this proposal was not accompanied by the necessary regulations to sanction this type of abuse. “A public price is approved, but we will continue to have the same problem,” warned the PP spokesman, Mario García, “there is no legal mechanism that regulates the possible sanction for making fraudulent use of that public space.” Along the same lines, the ERC spokesman, Marçal Curto, lamented that "we reached a consensus to charge for the kWh consumed by these vehicles, but it is not processed in parallel how to sanction them in case they exceed the time".

40 cents per kWh

As for the cost, the ordinance establishes that from 2023, users will have to pay 0.40 euros per kWh. Taking into account that the most common capacity of electric car batteries ranges between 40 and 80 kWh, the price for fully charging one of these vehicles could cost between 16 and 32 euros.

For its part, Cambrils approved in September the fiscal ordinances for 2023, where it is established that the charging areas for electric vehicles become a blue zone. “It is a measure to avoid comparative grievances. Users of this type of vehicle charge the car for free and can park for hours, also for free”, explains the Councilor for the Treasury, David Chatelain.

For the mayor, that from January the electric charging places work the same as the blue zone will help educate users of electric cars and stop abusing this free service. “People have to be careful with these parking lots because the minimum stay is 45 minutes to charge the vehicle and there are many that leave them for hours. What we cannot do is fill the streets with charging zones because it is not feasible. For this reason, we ask that the service be used appropriately, ”says Chatelain.

The councilor advances that, in addition to charging for parking, in the future the payment for the electricity consumed will also be analyzed. He also adds that the majority of users are tourists who visit the town. “Cambrilenses who own these cars already have their chargers at home,” he points out.

Mont-roig has just approved an ordinance, while in Vila-seca they do not have regulations

In this sense, the problems of abuse in these places are aggravated as they are tourist towns, where parking is already a problem, especially in the summer months. However, from the City Council of Vila-seca they explain that there is no regulation in this regard and that they are not working on it. It should be remembered that Vila-seca currently has two charging points. One of them is located in the underground car park of the CAR and another in the blue zone of Pau Casals Avenue, in La Pineda.

Advances in other locations

Other municipalities on the Costa Daurada, such as Mont-roig del Camp or Torredembarra, have already taken steps to regulate the use of these public facilities. In the case of Mont-roig, the municipal government approved in the last plenary session a new ordinance that will regulate public prices for the use of municipally owned recharging points in the town.

Meanwhile, from the City Council of Torredembarra they explain that a report has already been commissioned from the Local Police that serves to draft an ordinance that establishes for the first time a payment system for these points.

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