A man’s been fined after using a local council power box to charge his electric car.
It happened about noon on Sunday in the West Australian Great Southern town of Mt Barker, about 363km southeast of Perth.
Hidden CCTV images captured the 78-year-old Cranbrook man using the power box to top up his e-vehicle.
Police subsequently charged the man with stealing and fined him $500.
It’s illegal in WA to charge an e-vehicle in public anywhere but an approved service point.
Mt Barker police used their Twitter account on Tuesday evening to make an example of the man.
“To clarify. If you want to recharge your e-vehicle, DON’T steal the electricity to do so,” they posted, along with a photo of the man’s car plugged into the power box.
“Police will prosecute in EVERY instance. This recharge cost the vehicle owner a $500 fine, for stealing from the Shire. Be better.”
The Electric Vehicle Council’s Australian EV Charger Map on their website shows a Shire of Plantagenet charging station in Mt Barker, another in Cranbrook, and two more in Kendenup, which is between the two towns.
The Twitter post was shared by the main WA Police Force Facebook account, with the resulting comments a mixed bag.
Some said the incident showed why e-vehicles weren’t a viable option in regional areas, while others said it showed more country charging stations needed to be installed.