Driver handed fine for charging his EV while shopping at Lidl – ‘illogical’

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The man, who is a councillor in his home town of Cheltenham, had parked his Mini Countryman plug-in hybrid car at the supermarket while doing a weekly shop. He charged it while inside the store as he lives in a street with no EV charging possible.

Max Wilkinson then took his groceries home and returned a couple of hours later to collect the car.

By that point the car was approximately half-charged and Mr Wilkinson drove home.

However, around a week later he was dismayed to get a fine through the post demanding £90.

He then realised that the car park only allowed drivers to stay for a maximum of 90 minutes.

He admits that signs are present at the Lidl store informing customers of the time limit, and that they’re present at the EV charge points.

Mr Wilkinson said: “I’ve paid the fine and it’s a fair cop. However, it seems illogical that quite a lot of EV and hybrid owners won’t be allowed to spend enough time in the car park to get a full charge.

“The company probably should make that clear on the app or the charger itself.

“For me, this further highlights the need for Gloucestershire County Council to finally deliver its on-street electric vehicle charging infrastructure.”

He added: “People want to do their bit by switching away from dirty petrol and diesel vehicles.

“At the moment that change isn’t being made easy enough.” reached out to Gloucestershire County Council for comment.

It comes after a week in which the Government announced plans for massive investment in EV charging around the country.

The Government revealed it plans to support the UK market to reach 300,000 public electric vehicle charge points by 2030, equivalent to almost five times the number of fuel pumps on UK roads today.

The Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy is backed by £1.6billion in investment which will make charging easier and cheaper than refuelling a petrol and diesel car.

New legal requirements on operators will see EV drivers pay by contactless, compare charging prices and find nearby charge points via apps.

Around £500million will be invested to bring high quality, competitively priced public charge points to communities across the UK.

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