Electric Vehicle Parking Law Coming Under Fire for Not Being Enforced in Hawaii


In Hawaii, a law recently put in place to ensure that owner of plug-in vehicles would be the only ones allowed to park at EV-only spots or charging spots.

This law was the result of countless plug-in vehicles owners being ICE’d.

Don't ICE an Electric Vehicle...Just Don't Do It

Don’t ICE an Electric Vehicle…Just Don’t Do It

The overwhelming majority of plug-in owners in Hawaii celebrated the law and considered it a win for electrics.

Now, that same law is coming under heavy fire.

What’s a law without enforcement?  Useless.

In Hawaii, electric vehicle owners continue to complain of being ICE’d.  Why’s this still happening when the law says it’s illegal?  The obvious answer is lack of enforcement.

Officials in Hawaii are now moving to get an eforcement code on the books.

Robert Harris, Director of the Sierra Club of Hawaii, stated:

“We really need to look statewide and give a fairly high degree of certainty that no matter where you drive you’re going to be able to charge up and that you’re really going to be able to use these cars comfortably in Hawai’i.”

Back in 2012, when the parking law was enacted, only 600 plug-in were registered in Hawaii.  That figure is now closing in on 2,000 and the problem is becoming even more intense, especially when you consider that Hawaii has more charging stations per capita than any other state in the US.

The chargers are useless though if they’re constantly being ICE’d.  Hawaii’s State Energy Office ignores this issue and instead direct inquiries to Senator Gabbard.

Gabbard is an electric vehicle owner, so action is sure to come.  As Gabbard told Hawaii News Now:

“When we start back in January, I’m on the transportation committee, I’m going to talk with my colleagues about putting some teeth into the law.”

That’s code talk for…we’ll fix this problem.

Source: Hawaii News Now

Categories: Charging, General


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8 Comments on "Electric Vehicle Parking Law Coming Under Fire for Not Being Enforced in Hawaii"

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I have no mercy for ICE’ers. In my opinion they are WORSE than somebody who misuses a handicapped spot. After all, if you park in a handicapped spot, the handicapped person is probably going to be inconvenienced, but they’ll still most likely make it into whatever establishment they are visiting. The EV driver, on the other hand, is totally screwed if they were depending on that spot.

A few days ago, while charging, I returned to my vehicle only to find a Land Rover SUV in the other EV parking spot. A free, non-EV parking spot was available across the aisle! Are you kidding me?

Fortunately I had my “don’t ICE me” flyers in my car and put one on the Land Rover. Maybe they’ll learn. Probably not though.

A bigger problem for Hawaii EV owners is that almost all public charging stations cost nothing to use, so many EV owners, including me, take advantage of this free electricity whenever possible. With so many registered EV’s, many public charging stations are occupied almost continuously by EV’s charging, so the odds of being able to use a particular public charging station when needed can be low. If these public charging stations would charge for the electricity used ($1/hr for a 3.3 kW charger, $2/hr. for a 6.6 kW charger, etc.), there would be no cost advantage to using a public charging station compared with charging at home, so more public charging stations would be available when needed.

Location of charging stations is a significant part of the ICE’ng problem. Why do charge stations need to be located close to business main entrance as if they were accessability parking? It doesn’t increase positive visibility for EV drivers as they likely know where to find station in advance to visiting charger. For non-EV visitors, the space & signage is just unwanted advertising to pass by on their daily routine. Placing chargers part-way out in parking lot, or off to side provides same service.

Adding a senser to the charging spot to detect when occupied, but not plugged in woud help. The sensor could trigger flashing light (or verbal warning) to would draw visibility to problem when any vehicle parks, but don’t plug-in.

I agree with all of your points! I like the idea of the ev charging locations being non-premium spots, and I like the cones to keep the lazy people out of them! 🙂

Its a good point. An EV spot is not a handicapped spot, where the idea is to give wheelchairs easy access to the front doors. Virtually all of the EV charge spots I see in this city are in the “prime” locations by the door, and certainly that increases the likelihood you’ll get ICEed.

It’s due to the power… Closest to the mains is usually closest to the store (closer = cheaper). Despite being free, they are still likely on their own meter, just in case.

Let us not forget that Hawaii also has a law on the books that says that every parking lot with > 100 parking spaces shall have an EV charging station per every hundred spaces. That law is also not being enforced. Mike Gabbard spoke about that law last month as well. There is a total of about 12 charging locations within 100 miles of my location and the only free spots are 3 Better place chargers that are being phased out and replaced with pay per use Opt Connect chargers. In most cases the lot owner sets the price… and our local utility charges $.42/kwh so I can’t blame property mgt companies wanting to charge a significant price to keep from getting a hefty bill every month.
Getting ICE’d on my island out isn’t a problem because most of the chargers are prohibitively expensive so no one even wants to charge. Would you pay $3.25/hour to charge (@240v) your car? I don’t think so. For now, we’ll just operate our Volt as it was designed, with our onboard generator back up. 🙂