Electric vehicle driver banned from parking at hospital over fears his car 'might catch fire or explode'

Electric vehicle driver banned from parking at hospital over fears his car 'might catch fire or explode'

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Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 04/05/2024

- 12:19

The driver claimed the security guard was fearful that the battery would 'react' with the metal car park

Experts have slammed a hospital in Liverpool after a father was turned away because a sign on the car park banned electric vehicles from entering.

Pictures circulating on social media showed a large blue sign detailing the opening times for the visitor car park.

Many criticised the hospital for banning electric vehicles from the car park, with some speculating that it could be as a result of a fire risk.

Paul Freeman-Powell claimed he was told to park outside of the parking structure over fears that "the battery will react with the metal car park and it might catch fire/explode".

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Electric car charging and a parking sign

The EV owner was told to park elsewhere at the hospital


The father said he tried to tell the security guard that the hospital's policy did not make sense, the BBC reported.

However, he stated that he agreed to park elsewhere so his son had enough time to get to his appointment that he had been waiting almost five years for.

FairCharge, a leading campaign group for electric vehicles, took to social media to criticise the parking rules, saying: "Misinformation erroneously shaping public policy again."

According to data from the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, there have been only 23 EV fire incidents, representing just 0.004 per cent of Sweden’s total fleet of 611,000 electric cars.

In comparison, there have been 34,000 fires from the 4.4 million petrol and diesel cars – or 0.08 per cent – making electric cars 20 times less likely to result in fires.

Further research from the RAC Foundation found that the fire service estimates that there are around 100,000 vehicle fires every year in the UK.

Despite this, data from 2022 to 2023 showed that only 239 fires - or 0.24 per cent - involved electric vehicles.

A spokesperson for the hospital told the BBC that it had taken advice from Merseyside Fire and Rescue.

It added that it had "temporarily restricted the parking of electric vehicles in one of our smaller car parks while we upgrade its fire sprinkler system.

"Electric vehicles are still able to park in our main Hospital car park."

Quentin Willson, founder of the FairCharge campaign, said the decision to restrict EVs "dramatically conflicts" with clean air benefits and net zero targets.

The latest data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) found that uptake of hybrid electric vehicles reached record levels, rising to almost 20 per cent in March.

Electric car charging

Electric vehicles registrations continue to grow


While registrations of battery electric vehicles reached its highest ever levels, its market share dropped down to 15.2 per cent.

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