‘I’m an electric car expert – Drivers may face fees to park under new rules

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Electric car owners will be slapped with hefty parking fees under a series of new driving laws, according to experts.

Specialists claim drivers of EV cars will likely pay more for parking permits as councils are desperate to secure more cash.

Councils across the UK have dished out free parking permits for zero-emissions vehicles in a bid to encourage the take-up of new vehicles.

However, this could be about to change with some areas now bringing in changes to secure permits.

London boroughs such as Richmond and Newham have already ditched free resident parking permits for electric and hybrid vehicles.

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Meanwhile. Kirklees Council will change its rules this September with EV owners stung.

Tim Alcock, spokesperson for LeaseElectricCar said: “With councils across the UK under immense financial pressure, they are desperately looking to make cuts and find ways to bring in more funds.

“Kirklees Council predicts they will save around £600,000 a year by charging EV owners for permits, and other councils will be eagerly watching on to see where they can make similar changes.

“Incentives like free parking and charging grants have really helped with the uptake in EV’s in the UK, and we are concerned that getting rid of these will have a severe impact on new electric car registrants.

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“The use of incentives and policies have worked incredibly well overseas, especially in Norway, to help them meet EV targets and the reduction of incentives here would without a doubt hinder government targets.

“Without compelling incentives, the government’s target to end the sale of all new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 seems unrealistic, so they must support councils before more are forced to make desperate cuts.”

According to the Local Government Association (LGA), without an increase in funding even well-run councils could struggle to balance the books.

However, lawmakers have defended the plans to charge EV owners with officials deflecting the blame.

Councillor Graham Turner, Cabinet Member for Finance and Regeneration backed the new EV parking permit fees at Kirklees.

He stressed the new fees were being introduced due to the “current financial situation”.

Mr Turner told The Yorkshire Post: “The introduction of a fee for Electric Vehicle and Hybrid permit holders still presents a big saving on standard parking fees across the year at Council owned car parks so should not deter people from switching to an electric vehicle.

“Review of the parking permit schemes forms part of the wider council considerations in light of the current financial situation.”

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