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Supercharger PCNs

Hello everyone.

Since buying my Tesla this summer I have received four 'fines' (invoices) for parking charges while using Superchargers.

I haven't been taken to court for any of them. And I'm just learning about POPLA now and haven't used that process. But I've found one relevant instance on your forum. A poster made a POPLA appeal regarding the same issue, and was successful.

Assessor summary of your case
The appellant advises that they were on site to charge their vehicle as they had been doing since 2018. They explain that they had a vulnerable passenger in their vehicle. They question if the operator has a valid contract with the landowner. They advise that the entrance sign is not clear and there is insufficient signage within the site. The appellant explain that the use of the charging bay is managed by Tesla. They believe that the PCN is putative. They advise that they were only in the charging bay and were not parked within the site. The appellant has provided a document detailing their appeal. Within their comments the appellant has repeated their grounds of appeal and advises that they cannot read the terms and conditions provided on the examples of the signage.

Assessor supporting rational for decision
When assessing an appeal POPLA considers if the operator has issued the Parking Charge Notice (PCN) correctly and if the driver has complied with the terms and conditions for the use of the car park. The operator has issued a Parking Charge Notice (PCN) as the driver either failed to purchase a valid pay and display ticket, remained parked for longer than was permitted or failed to register their vehicle using the terminal provided. The appellant has disputed that the operator holds a valid contract with the landowner. I would therefore have expected the operator to have provided a witness statement or copy of a contract to show that there is a valid contract in place. The operator has not provided any evidence of this nature. As i am allowing the appeal on this basis i do not need to consider any other grounds of appeal.

In my replies/appeals to the parking companies, I've written this:

XXX is the site of a Tesla Supercharger. As a car which is charging is in-use and not parked, no fees for parking at this location can be due. If you believe separate charges are due, please provide your full contract and communications with Tesla Motors indicating that this is the case. Providing such evidence is a requirement of the pre-action protocols for civil claims. In the event that you wish to pursue this matter through the courts I would expect these protocols to be followed as otherwise you would be liable for costs due to unreasonably litigious behaviour.

I would love to go to court to set a precedent that car charging is not parking because as far as I know no such precedent has been set. This would make life much easier for electric car drivers... and in the future that will mean all drivers. I'm not a lawyer, but it doesn't seem too hard.

So, I'm just wondering if you all have some advice or guidance, or thoughts about this?


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Comments

  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,189
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    Just how long are you staying on super chargers? I thought Tesla had overstay charges on those to prevent people hogging them. Charging from 10-80% should not take longer than 30 mins.
  • Davidf27
    Davidf27 Posts: 2
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    Just how long are you staying on super chargers? I thought Tesla had overstay charges on those to prevent people hogging them. Charging from 10-80% should not take longer than 30 mins.
    Unfortunately most superchargers are in private car parks (typically hotels), and it is well signposted that you need to register your number plate at reception to avoid PCN's. Appeal and try to get some written off for goodwill, but always check for signage. Sorry.
  • My Telsa usually takes 45+ minutes to charge (it's a 2017 Model X 90D: slower charger, bigger battery), and often I have to wait for a Supercharger to open up. I have one ticket for staying over 2 hours.

    I've received two tickets from the Heathrow Hilton Supercharger in December for staying for 65 and 55 minutes. I would like to keep using that Supercharger as I normally do. I don't intend to pay any parking fees or PCNs even if they send me a hundred tickets. I pay enough for the charging.
  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,189
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    My Telsa usually takes 45+ minutes to charge (it's a 2017 Model X 90D: slower charger, bigger battery), and often I have to wait for a Supercharger to open up. I have one ticket for staying over 2 hours.

    I've received two tickets from the Heathrow Hilton Supercharger in December for staying for 65 and 55 minutes. I would like to keep using that Supercharger as I normally do. I don't intend to pay any parking fees or PCNs even if they send me a hundred tickets. I pay enough for the charging.
    Then you really need to charge more often for shorter periods. You should never need to charge beyond 80% on rapid chargers because a) it is not good for for your battery, b) charging rate slows down significantly after you reach 80% c) you will p off other EV drivers waiting for a charge station to become free.
  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,213
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    Complain to Heathrow Hilton.  Otherwise you will be sued for these (it's defendable but you won't set a precedent).
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
    CLICK at the top of this/any page where it says:
    Forum Home»Motoring»Parking Tickets Fines & Parking - read the NEWBIES THREAD
  • Why would I not set a precedent? There's no court case I can find that matches these details. They would take me to County Court, which as far as I know can set a common law precedent. And as far as they appeal I'm sure I'd win. There's a multitude of legal angles I can think of to defend this (not counting the lack of signage and so on, just on the electric charging bit.)

    Energy Act 2023/Climate-conscious Courts
    Net Zero is now an official policy-goal of our government. Courts are letting off protestors who smash up buildings in the name of climate change. I'm sure there's enough mumbo-jumbo in the law to allow courts to treat charging stations like petrol stations (i.e. no parking charges). The "zero emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate" just came into force.

    Contract with Landowner
    If Tesla is renting the space a third-party cannot charge me for using that space. Tesla control the land. My contract is with Tesla. I highly doubt Tesla has signed contracts with all the big parking firms to send their customers enormous 'fines' for using their chargers. The owners of the parking lots ceded the financial interest in that land when they signed the contract with Tesla.

    "Parking is leaving a car"
    Ashby vs Tolhurst defined parking in this country. It's defined as leaving a car. Most people who use Superchargers do not leave their car. And even if they do, the car is still "in use" while it is charging. Customers still supervise their car from their app while they nip off to the loo. The firms might legally be able to charge a toll while you drive a car through their property (like a toll-road) but I can guarantee none of them are set up to do this. They charge for parking.

    And if I mess it up. I only have to pay one charge. All the others can easily be defended by the lack of illuminated, clear signage. I only charge my car at night while the electricity is cheaper.

  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,189
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    Why would I not set a precedent? There's no court case I can find that matches these details. They would take me to County Court, which as far as I know can set a common law precedent. And as far as they appeal I'm sure I'd win. There's a multitude of legal angles I can think of to defend this (not counting the lack of signage and so on, just on the electric charging bit.)

    I don’t think so!

    https://www.lawteacher.net/lecture-notes/judicial-precedent-1.php#:~:text=The%20High%20Court%20is%20bound,binding%20on%20the%20county%20courts.
  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,213
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    County court decisions set no precedent.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
    CLICK at the top of this/any page where it says:
    Forum Home»Motoring»Parking Tickets Fines & Parking - read the NEWBIES THREAD
  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,189
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    Presumably this is the Hilton Terminal 5 super chargers. Looking at Zapmap that place has parking charges for anything over 15 mins (£6.20 an hour😡)  in future find an alternative place to charge such as the SCs at Heston Services or anywhere not on a hotel site. 
  • Half_way
    Half_way Posts: 7,012
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    As per coupon mad re precedents
    However there is a question about if the vehicle is parked while re fueling (all be it with electricity) or if the charging bays are even part of the car park ie owned/leased separately to the main car park so the car enters the car park, but leaves it to enter a charge bay/ area
    From the Plain Language Commission:

    "The BPA has surely become one of the most socially dangerous organisations in the UK"
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