still too many loopholes in the rules


(image: Mohamedramadanabdalstar – Wikimedia Creative Commons)

The legislature should seriously investigate certain gaps in the racket that undermine confidence in electricity.

Even though it is now on track and in strong progress, the electric car sector is still new. This means that it is still in its learning curve, as much on the part of manufacturers as of customers, but also with the legislator. With all that entails of approximations, ignorance, holes in the racket … and sometimes misunderstandings.

There are still (too) many areas where the electric motorist sometimes has the impression of evolving as a pioneer in a caravan in a kind of wild west, where the enemy can arise at any time, ready to shoot him in the slightest second of inattention .

Cartoon? Not really. There are many examples and situations where a little scrutiny and control by the trade and competition authorities would not hurt, for the benefit of all. So, of course, not all the shortcomings that we are going to see in detail are equally prohibitive, and some are even quite harmless, but they are all part of a system that tends not to promote the general public to the car. . electricity, and may delay some potential buyers’ decision to take the step to switch to zero emissions.

This is not about requiring even more administration, especially not! But only to remember that what some electric motorists sometimes experience would be unthinkable and probably strongly suppressed in other areas of consumption and trade. While in the current state it is pretty open bar. And that therefore it might not be useless to remedy it without too much delay, especially on the following points.

Non-existent price display

There are charging stations and there are service areas with filling stations with one or two electric charging stations. If petrol prices are displayed in accordance with the statutory obligation, the same does not apply to the kWh tariff. Why not take inspiration from the initiative of this station and impose a clear and visible display on all charging points? Of course, it generally appears on terminals and – sometimes – in applications, but if the legislature found it useful to impose it for the price per. liters of fuel, why would it not do so for the price per. kWh?

A price that depends on uncontrollable elements

The efficiency of electric charging depends on many external elements over which the customer has no control. These include the temperature (or more generally the weather), but also the charging power and the availability of the network at a given time. Not to mention the accepted power, which varies greatly depending on the vehicle. This can lead to huge price variations – sometimes doubled – for the same load if billed on time and not on the amount of energy delivered. You can, of course, see who I’m thinking of. Ionity is to my knowledge the only operator that invoices its service per. minute and not per. kWh, which creates injustice and really unfortunate situations in relation to the prices “at the pump”. Of course, those who own cars that accept high-power charging are happy about this, but it’s a real problem, especially since it’s generally the most expensive electric cars that charge the fastest. The less affluent part of electric motorists is therefore punished twice. By imposing kWh billing everywhere and for everyone, we would solve all problems related to the versatility of charging conditions.

Very optimistic consumption figures from manufacturers

We have already known this for decades with the fuel consumption that the manufacturers have announced, always very optimistic. Despite the drastic standards that are in place (WLTP or EPA), it seems that this continues in the electrical era. Manufacturers are not fully responsible for this situation, which was first created by those who create these standards, but their systematic enthusiasm for advertising consumption, which is totally unrealistic in most real-world applications, should end up challenging the legislator because we do not is sometimes not very far. from a sheer scam. But if at the time of the petrol, the delta between marketing announcements and reality was just annoying, but had no other consequences than on the wallet, it is not the same with the electric, where the difference can have serious concrete and practical consequences for the electric motorist’s everyday life.

Places “dedicated” to non-sanctified charging

All electric motorists have had at least once in their lives to face this situation with obvious discomfort where they could not recharge because the reserved seats in front of the terminals were occupied by thermobiles. If the owners of the latter are clearly to blame for their disrespect, they are not the only ones, because the responsibility for a clear and dissuasive marking rests with the operators, who seem to care about it as their first refill. The problem is so much the more troublesome that it often involves spaces installed in private parking lots where intervention by the police officer seems difficult, all the more so the pound. Here, too, the absence of clear rules causes undeniable damage.

Power-boosting updates

If you know a little about the subject, you can see who and what I am referring to. If a simple free update makes it possible to suddenly get 5% more power and that it is renewed, it is very nice for the owners of that model, but it does not pose a compliance issue compared to that model. in relation to in particular the insurance policy and the service of the mines, which is responsible for the approval of the cars? In other words, whether it is power or another function, is the law provided for adaptations with variable geometry of characteristics of a car that can change its behavior and its performance significantly during updates? We are not talking here about tweaks or “inflationes” carried out by individuals on their own initiative by changing the mapping of the car, but about official updates pushed by the manufacturers.

We could mention many more examples (and I’m sure I’ll forget some), such as the late arrival of AVAS, which means that many electric cars marketed before July 2019 do not emit any sound, which makes a difference in usage, or lanes dedicated to carpooling and electric and hybrid vehicles or with at least two passengers massively used by other ineligible cars, currently most of the time completely unpunished.

So many issues that the legislature should take seriously by addressing this regulatory inconsistency and these legal loopholes to create a favorable context for the electrical transition, to finally get out of the endless discussions and controversies that it still arouses.

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