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It takes eight hours to fully charge an electric car in Limavady ... but park in this recharging space for more than an hour and you'll get a nasty shock



Electric car owners face getting zapped with a parking fine if they try to juice-up their batteries at a dedicated recharging point installed by the Roads Service.

There are now a number of different types of e-chargers across Northern Ireland, which take from 20 minutes and up to eight hours to fully charge an electric vehicle.

The device on Catherine Street in Limavady is not a rapid charger and takes up to eight hours to fully charge a car.

However, right beside it is a sign warning drivers they face a fine if they stay over one hour.

The anomaly was noticed by an eagle-eyed council officer and discussed at this week's technical services meeting where it was met with incredulity.

Environmental Services officer Noel Crawford said: "Members will recall that, as part of an e-car project intended to roll out the installation of charging points for electric vehicles across the province, a number of such points have been installed throughout the Limavady borough.

"Two on-street charging points are located at Catherine Street, Limavady, and at Chapel Road, Dungiven. It is noted that there will be no time limit on parking in the bay in Dungiven, however at Catherine Street, Limavady, there will be a one-hour limit on parking in the charging bay.

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"It is worth noting that the chargers installed at these locations are not rapid chargers and as such it would normally take several hours to obtain a full charge.

"Limiting the parking restriction to one hour may therefore compromise the effectiveness of the charging point and council may wish to bring this to the attention of Roads Service."

However, Roads Service told the Belfast Telegraph it had no plans to move the charge point.

A Department for Regional Development spokeswoman said: "DRD is aware of this situation and this charge point will not be moved. There are different types of electric vehicles on the market with various charging times.

"For example, the Renault Zoe electric vehicle can charge 100% at this charge point in one hour.

"Public charge points are used as 'opportunity' charge points, whereby people can top up whenever they are out and about. The majority, 80-90%, of charging is carried out at home overnight."

Limavady councillor Edwin Stevenson said there was no logic to having the time limit.

"I think a finger of blame could be pointed at the council as well because they would have known where Roads Service intended to install this device," he said.

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