EV Cash Cow: One Charging Spot Generates $27,000 In Fines


So you are worried about electric cars not paying their fair share of tax revenue via the pump?  Doesn’t seem to be an issue for Raleigh, North Carolina, who come well equipped with an able meter-maid contingent.

North Carolina Charges Pure EV Owners $100 Annually To Driver Their Vehicle

North Carolina Charges Pure EV Owners $100 Annually To Driver Their Vehicle

Despite only around 3,000 pure electric vehicles in the state (which are also now required to pay a $100 annual registration fee), some North Carolina cities are finding out what a cash boon EVs can be.

In Raleigh, one space alone (#378 on Fayetteville street to be specific) has netted $27,000 in fines thanks to being “ICEd” over the past 12 month; North Carolina EV parking fines account for as much revenue as the entire state has brought in for registration fees.

Why so much?  It’s a premium downtown spot and if you happen to park your non plug-in car in it, you get a $50 fine, considerably more than the $20 fee for an expired meter.

For the year about 540 tickets have been given out according to the NewsObserver, that is around 1.5 every day and 7 times as many tickets as other curbside spots on the block.

The reason for the high ticket frequency?  Mostly due to the ease of which the infraction can be spotted by authorities – last we checked a Ford F150 didn’t plug in.

Category: ChargingGeneral

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62 responses to "EV Cash Cow: One Charging Spot Generates $27,000 In Fines"
  1. kdawg says:

    They should use that money to install more public chargers.

    1. sven says:

      And rake in $27,000 per year in fines for each new charger. Brilliant!

      1. Surya says:

        Exactly, the chargers pay for themselves, even if they go unused 🙂

        1. Steven says:

          Everybody wins.

          1. J says:

            That has to be the most truthful conversation I read in an article post.

    2. MTN Ranger says:

      Raleigh gas a nice setup, almost all parking garages downtown have at least one and some up to ten charging stations.

    3. jstack6 says:

      in Arizona we have a $350 fine for an ICE car parking in a charging spot. That can add up to lots of fast cash for an area.=D———–,

  2. Kent says:

    I wish the fine was higher. I also wish CA would do this.

    1. Kosh says:


      This weekend we pulled into the Home Depot chargers to top off while shopping at Costco next door. It is one of the rare trips where we’re really pushing the range of the Leaf.

      When I pulled into one of the two spots, there was an a****** in a Honda Accord parked in the other, he and his wife were just getting in to leave.

      Unfortunately, they had the windows rolled up as I got out, otherwise I was going to play dumb and start asking about his Honda Accord EV conversion……

      1. davidw says:

        Are you sure it wasn’t an Accord PHEV?


        1. Kosh says:

          No, it was old… and the engine was running. 😉

      2. JFS says:

        Two of four spots at the Robinson mall (Pittburgh area) were taken by gassers, when I was there last. Security didn’t seem much interested. Moral of the story may be that public streets and garages are our best friends; malls may prefer the green benefits of claiming to have spaces, but care more about keeping the (larger) gasser contingent happy.

    2. Omar Sultan says:

      Also agree, but at the same time, I do not want EV slots to be in “prime” locations like handicapped and maternity spots are. I think that only contributes to ICE-ing and the perception of EV-elitism–yes, I know sometimes the location of EV spots is driven by the practicalities of running power.

      1. ElectricRocketShip says:


      2. Joshua Burstyn says:

        Exactly my thoughts

      3. MDEV says:

        Agree Tesla Super Charger is located in a prime spaces at Bethesda mall and is a problem with people parking there, not only ICEs also Teslas that does not need to be supercharged. If the charger location is faraway for the entrance will be easier for users.

      4. Vinny says:

        The reason that many EV Chargers are in prime spots is that it is a lot cheaper to install them there. It isn’t real hard to dig a trench through the dirt from the building to the curb for the power cable. But if you have to dig up the pavement to run the power lines and put the charger on the other side of the parking lot it is going to cost considerably more.

        1. Patrick Sparks says:

          Actually trenching is yesterday, directional boring is fast, cheap, and doesn’t disturb the pavement.

      5. JFS says:

        Good point. The malls want them there for brownie points–but they’d be more practical if they were not front and center.

        As for the “running power” issue, I’m guessing there’s power close to the high intensity lights in the lot, and also around the back and sides of most malls. From freezers to loading dock equipment, there are a lot of things in a mall that draw some hefty power. They don’t need to be lined up at the front door, drawing ire when empty, and tempting the harried and foolish to park there.

    3. David Murray says:

      I think $50 is plenty. I suspect the amount of the fine isn’t the problem. If people are parking there it is because they believe they won’t get caught. Either that or they are just ignorant.

      I have always been in favor of enforcing of towing. However, the fine is good if it generates money for the government because they could (in theory) use that money to install more stations.

      1. Waiting says:

        TOW IT!! A fine isn’t going to move the car out of the way so that an EV can charge their car. Besides, $50 bucks to some people is worth getting caught occasionally just to have a good parking spot. TOW IT!!

        1. Waiting says:

          Just an FYI to those in the know…I don’t appreciate an advertisement being linked into my message!!!!

          1. Narg says:

            The web site doesn’t do that. You have something installed on your computer doing that… Probably malicious.

        2. Spec9 says:

          I don’t know . . . If they generate that much money in fines, that money can be used to create more charging spots. It might be better to fine and build more charging spots . . . which will provide more charging opportunity and more fine opportunity.

          1. ffbj says:

            Yep. Towing it is the last straw. though if you think about people being so irate about gas prices, but then they so stupid as to park where the fine would pay for a full tank of gas. So cry me a river:

            1. Jeff says:

              Fines and towing aren’t mutually exclusive, you know. Fine AND tow. As long as the signage is clear, f*ck ’em.

        3. Kubel says:

          This is about revenue generation, not freeing up the spot for EVs.

          1. Waiting says:

            Ok. But it’s not about revenue generation for the guy who NEEDS to charge his car and can’t. One phone call is all that should be needed to to tow and fine the owner of the inconsiderate ICE vehicle.

        4. tedfredrick says:

          +1, if the EV doesn’t get power it will have to be towed.

    4. Anonymous says:

      California does do this and has an “ICE’d” law. Unfortunately, there’s a “loophole” that states the sign must specifically saying “for charging”. Otherwise you can’t fine or tow. At least that’s what I thought. SOmeone correct me if I’m wrong.

      1. Lance Pickup says:

        The Raleigh ordinance basically says the vehicle must be connected to the charger. Unfortunately this eliminates any kind of “plug sharing” in the city (although very few of the spots are laid out to enable this anyway) and allows EV owners to remain “indefinitely” as long as their car is plugged in (not necessarily charging). When the law was being written, I spoke with the city manager responsible for parking enforcement, and while they were aware of this limitation, the practicalities of enforcing a law written in such a way as to remove these loopholes would be extremely difficult. Enforcement officers could not be expected to recognize all the different types of EVs (including conversions) and be able to recognize when the cars are actively charging (many charging stations in Raleigh have little indication of when they are actively charging). Still, these spots are governed by the same time limits that gas vehicles in adjacent spots must honor (typically 2 or 4 hours during peak times) so that helps a bit.

        1. Robert says:

          So all I’d need to do is to fit a dummy socket to the back of my car, plug in, and the traffic warden would be none the wiser?

  3. Ontario Leaf says:

    “or as much as the entire state has brought in for registration fees.”
    Is this correct?
    The 3000EV at 100 would bring in 300k/year. So the fees would be approx 10% for that one spot.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Apologies that reads weird, should be “fines (plural) account for as much revenue as the entire state has brought in for registration fees”

      1. Mart says:

        Likely the fines go to the city of Raleigh, while the $100 registration fee goes to the state to offset loss of gasoline tax.

  4. kdawg says:

    It could be a lot worse than $50. I couldn’t find the YouTube video, but there was one of somewhere in Europe where cars were constantly getting towed all day for parking in an EV spot. I can’t imaging how much $ that spot brought in.

    1. sven says:

      In NYC, our mayor and police chief have decided to crack down on jaywalking by issuing $250 dollar tickets!!! Our mayor talks the talk, but doesn’t walk the walk. Here is a video of the mayor, followed by his police officer security detail, jaywalking. Yet no jaywalking ticket was issued to the mayor. Hmmmm. . .


      NYC cops tried to give this 84-year-old man a jaywalking ticket, but he tried to walk away. Several cops descended on the elderly man and one officer allegedly “body-slammed him into the sidewalk, causing [bloody] injuries to his head.” The elderly man is still facing charges “for jaywalking, resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct.”



      1. tedfredrick says:

        The whole idea about the jaywalking ticket is so the people getting the ticket don’t get hurt. I think that the cop disn’t understand that. Kinda like red light traffic cams that have been proven to cause more accidents due to people flooring it at the interwsection to avoid being caught in the intersection when the light changes.

  5. David_Cary says:

    Despite “only” 3000 pure EVs…

    NC has about 10 million people or 3% of national total

    So that would be average if 100,000 pure EVs have been sold in the US. I can’t find the right number but 100,000 sounds about right.

    This despite no state incentive including HOV lanes. Which probably makes the EV uptake number 1 in the country for non incentivized states (maybe not but certainly not deserving of “only”)

    I also suspect that the vast majority of those 3000 are in the Raleigh area.

    1. MTN Ranger says:

      Less than a 1000 in the Raleigh/Durham area. See page 9 in the following link. http://www.advancedenergy.org/portal/ncpev/resources/DCFC%20Project_Final_Report_December2014.pdf

  6. Stimpacker says:

    How pissed off would any of you readers be if the spot wasn’t 100% ICE-ed but hogged by a Plug-In Prius?

    1. David Murray says:

      Wouldn’t bother me at all. If the car has a J1772 plug on it, it has every right to use the charger.

      1. kdawg says:

        I’d only be pissed if a plug-in car was parked there but not plugged in.

      2. Spec9 says:

        It bothers me. Especially if they hog the spot for a long time. It has a tiny battery that charges up pretty fast. So as long as they move it when done charging, I’m fine . . but they often don’t.

        This is a reason why chargers should charge by the hour and not by the KWH. Hogging a charger should cost you.

        1. PriusPlugInDriver says:

          It doesn’t matter what plug-in vehicle you have, if you are parked in a charging spot you need to be CHARGING (BEV or PHEV). It doesn’t take that long to get a good idea of how long it will take for your car to finish charging based on how much range you have left. Either move your car or don’t park in the charging spot in the first place.

          1. Lance Pickup says:

            Agree 100%. But once they get their full charge, they need to move their car. Unfortunately I’ve run into hybrid owners (mostly Volts) that take a spot all day at work. Even my LEAF after a 25 mile winter commute is done by 1-2pm (these are 120V outlets), and one Volt owner told me that it takes her car all day to charge so she would not be moving it.

            1. Justin W. says:

              An empty Volt battery takes 10-10.5 hours to charge on a 110v outlet. So it takes all day and then some.

        2. JFS says:

          Lead by example. Use a sign visible from the street that says, “if you need this spot to charge, call me [phone number] after [time of adequate charge shown on clock face].” Or I sometimes park next to the designated spot (if the cable will reach) and leave a note that says, “OK to unplug me after [whatever time I’ll be charged] if you need to charge.”

      3. M Hovis says:

        I agree with David but I have actually driven from Charlotte to Raleigh and parked right beside a charger in my Volt. The garage attendant could not believe I would do that. I told him I would just absorb the $2 and save it for my BEV brethren.

    2. Justin W. says:

      A Prius PHEV has every right to be there. Don’t be mad. Buy a BEV with enough range that you don’t need to rely on non-home charging or buy a PHEV. As EVs become more common the days of early adopters playing nice will end and it’s every man for himself. Plan/buy accordingly.

  7. Spec9 says:

    Oooh, I don’t know about this. I’m glad to see people that have ICEd charging spots ticketed. But this may create a backlash. Well, perhaps because the fine is so cheap, the people just take the risk . . . and get busted.

    Well, sounds like a good incentive for cities to add more chargers . . . that charger has clearly been quite profitable. 🙂

    1. Tim says:

      Like the backlash against handicapped people? Only jerks park in restricted spots that they aren’t eligible to use. I don’t think we should cater to or worry about their views. Just cite them.

      1. JFS says:

        Wow, tone deaf. Ask someone if she’d trade her handicapped parking, if she could ditch the handicap. In a heartbeat, right? An electric car is something that we’re driving BY CHOICE. Kind of important to remember the distinction.

  8. MTN Ranger says:

    I pass that spot frequently and it is almost always ICEd. They patrol the parking garages well now.

    1. Vinny says:

      They patrol North Hills Mall pretty well to. There are two chargers near the REI and they are frequently in use. Actually had a security officer come up to me once when I was getting ready to plug in my Zero SR. He had never seen an electric motorcycle before and thought I was illegally parked.

      1. MTN Ranger says:

        I used the REI location almost daily for three years. They have since added two more by Target and another two across the street next to the Mexican restaurant. North Hills is impressive.

  9. Jouni Valkonen says:

    Finally the problem of financing global EV charging network has been solved!

  10. Assaf says:

    Haha, in our neighborhood there’s an F150 (or a similar huge pickup) that’s been converted to BEV. It has a plug coming out from under the hood 🙂

  11. Murrysville EV says:

    At the only Chademo spot I’ve seen (here in the EV wilderness of western PA), the “EV Charger” sign was positioned maybe 8 feet off the ground (no kidding), so most drivers would miss it.

    The sign didn’t say ‘EV parking only’, but rather identified the charger like it was a museum display.

    As a result of these mis-steps, there was a minivan parked in front of the charger when I arrived in the Leaf. So I pulled in next to them (two elderly ladies), waited until they left, and then took the spot.

    I rarely use public chargers, but I’ve never seen another plug-in squatting when I’ve pulled up. This isn’t California.

  12. John Hollenberg says:

    Sounds like a new twist on multi-level marketing: install EVSE, use the money generated from fines to install more EVSE.

  13. John EV says:

    Ahhhh, but I am guessing there will be a plug-in F-150 in the coming years!