HIGH overstay charges at electric vehicle charging points in the Wee County are putting people off using them, residents have warned.

The overstay charges, in place for drivers who use the chargers beyond the allocated time, have come under fire after several drivers were slapped with high fines.

Gerard Friel used an electric vehicle charger in Sauchie and found that the rapid charger was out of order, so he used the slow charger instead.

For an electric vehicle to receive a full charge on a slow charger, the car must be plugged in for around five and a half hours.

However, when Gerard returned early in the morning to get his car back, he found he had been hit with a £182 fine for overstay charges.

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser: There has been criticism over the lack of information on display about overstay penalties.There has been criticism over the lack of information on display about overstay penalties. (Image: Contributed)

He said: “There was no malice on my part, there was no intent to stop anybody else from using the charger.

“There’s an information sticker at waist level that tells me that there is a tariff in place for the charger, but nowhere does it say that there is an overstay fine or that there is a one-hour maximum stay.

“You’ll only get about 10 miles for an hour in the slow charger, which isn’t very helpful.”

Clackmannanshire Council confirmed a couple weeks ago that during their consultation, members of the public asked for overstay charges to be introduced to prevent people from hoarding the chargers.

Michael Paton, from Kincardine, added that he complained about a £180 fine he received and was told from the council that the overstay information was available from a QR code on the charger.

His vehicle was towed by the AA to the charger in the car park on King Street, Alloa, where he left it from 12.30am to 8am on a 22kw slow charger.

He said: “I complained stating that there was no signage stating what this charge was nor anything stating what the maximum stay was.

“In response, I was informed that there were multiple website addresses and QR codes displayed. As it was my responsibility to check these sites, then no refund would be issued.

“I had no access to any device at the time of use so it was impossible for me to have known what charges were in effect.

“I am disgusted that a local authority would, in my point of view, deliberately mislead EV users in order to covertly raise funds.

“I am also concerned that many others have and will be left with substantial charges for using these machines, especially the elderly or those with no access to a mobile device.

A spokesperson for Clacks Council said: “Before introducing electric vehicle tariffs in Clackmannanshire, notices were put on all our charges well in advance, with detailed user information posted on our website and social media channels.

“We confirmed in all our public communications that drivers should only use rapid chargers for a maximum of one hour to ensure all get fair access to chargers and to discourage bays being blocked by charged vehicles.

“Accessing charging information by QR code ensures drivers can get up to date information. Those who do not have a smart phone can call the CPS helpline number on each unit.

“The council and CPS always advise drivers to check tariffs and overstay information before charging.

“We continually look to improve our messaging about EV, but with different types of charger unit, different cable types and with various tariffs applying, this is not a simple message which can easily be printed on signage and kept up to date.

“We try to make sure all relevant information that needs to be on our chargers remains in place but unfortunately we cannot guarantee this.”