Chargefox will start charging idle fees for EVs that stay too long

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Chargefox has announced it’s going to trial idle fees for EVs that overstay their welcome at chargers. What took it so long?

Australian EV charging network Chargefox has announced that it will trial charging an idle fee for EV drivers who stay plugged in past the point where their cars have 100% charge from July.

According to Chargefox, the trial will commence in Western Australia from July, with selected sites having changes made to their signage, as well as push notifications from the Chargefox app and a grace period for drivers to return to their cars in play.

There’s no word as yet to what Chargefox will charge as its idle fee, but it will be paid per minute.

Alex’s Take

About time. I’m an EV driver and it’s amazed me for the longest time that this wasn’t baked into EV charger network design from day one.

Right now, Tesla does charge idle fees if you stay plugged in there, but competitors such as Evie and Chargefox do not.

It’s a pretty simple move that feels like a win-win to me on many scores. Yes, it does provide an idle income stream for Chargefox, because a plugged-in fully charged car isn’t using any real power, but it actively encourages considerate behaviour for other EV drivers in real time with real consequences. Just as in the world of combustion vehicles, some drivers are just jerks that way.

Chargefox’s announcement notes that “In a recent survey amongst WA EV drivers, just over 9 in 10 feel positively about idle fees being charged.”

I’m not surprised, though I guess the other way to look at this is that 1 in 10 EV drivers don’t like being reminded that they’re being inconsiderate.

WA is an interesting choice; population balance might suggest the eastern states might yield more data, but then maybe the point here is to trial on smaller, lesser used sites — or maybe ones where Chargefox can already identify that people idling on chargers is more prevalent.

Then again, quite weirdly, the last time I used a Chargefox charger, it actively forgot to actually charge me money for the service. I’m still scratching my head about that one.

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