Washington State, An Equal Opportunity Finer, Soon To Ding Gas Cars In EV Spots $124

MAR 21 2013 BY JAY COLE 18

Soon A $124 Fine Will Deter Gas Vehicles From Occupying EV Charge Points In Washington State

Soon A $124 Fine Will Deter Gas Vehicles From Occupying EV Charge Points In Washington State

Washington State is quickly becoming known as a pioneer in the field of finding extra revenue from fees and fines in the plug-in industry.

Famous for being the first state in the nation to enact an annual fee ($100) to own a plug-in electric vehicle, which paved the way for other states to follow suit (think Virginia, Indiana), Washington state now looks to become the first to fine those who would infringe on the plug-in vehicle’s right to charge.

Move Along Gas Cars, Nothing To See Here

Move Along Gas Cars, Nothing To See Here

The motion would see a $124 ticket placed on those those gas cars who take up spaces intended for electric vehicles to re-charge, and/or block those locations.

Technically, and so as not to discriminate, the bill sponsored by Senators Tom, Keiser, Hatfield, Kline and Frockt would see the penalty enforced for any vehicles parked in front of an electric car charging station, but not plugged in.

That proposition went to the State Senate last week and passed almost unanimously by a 43-6 margin.   The measure will now go to the House for consideration, but is also expected to pass there as well without incident.

Having occasionally run into this situation ourselves here at InsideEVs, we find this is a fine we can really get behind.  Although, the consensus around the office is, the biggest offender of gas vehicles squatting in marked charging sports is generally on private property, and where you actually go to buy an EV…at the dealership.

When you are in a pinch for electricity, the largest and easiest to find charging station network from coast-to-coast, is available at your local seller of plug-in vehicles; however we find that the charging spots always seem to be located as close to the service (or front) doors as possible, and there is almost no chance that spot doesn’t already have a ICE vehicle sitting in it. 

Is there anyway we can legislate these spots to stay open as well Washington state?

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Categories: Charging


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18 Comments on "Washington State, An Equal Opportunity Finer, Soon To Ding Gas Cars In EV Spots $124"

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A fine is good.. Perhaps enforcement of towing would be even better.

Too bad most charging stations are on private businesses / parking garages property. Police don’t patrol those. No different when a car accident happens on a businesses parking lot…police won’t come out unless it’s an injury accident. I doubt this will change anything. The few charging stations on public streets may get patrolled. Now if they only thought of posting a 1-800 number people could call to report a violator. Another Washington bill that wasn’t thought out very well.

What about handicapped spots? Can’t police ticket people for parking in those, even if on private business property?

The police can do a lot of things…but will they? That’s another question. I doubt they will be patrolling for cars not plugged in at charging (EV) parking spots. Not saying I disagree with this action of ticketing but I think realistically we won’t notice anything different unless there is an action in place for you and I to report misuse of parking spots. The person wanting to use a charging spot will notice more often an offender…the police…I doubt it.

In Kansas, handicapped parking violations can be monitored by volunteers. http://www.kansas.com/2012/02/27/2233028/wichita-police-seek-volunteers.html I had investigated doing this, but there was a suggested minimum amount of time per week you should be “on patrol”. I didn’t want to make the time commitment, so I didn’t sign up. A similar setup could be implemented for people that ICE charging spots.

What if someone unplugs you? Do we have to start locking the J1772 plug to our cars?

Another dumb law.

An EV owner with a full battery doesn’t need these spots any more than a gasser does. Yet the former gets a pass and the latter gets a fine. Likewise an EV owner with a low battery needs them far more than a Volt owner. Here, the law fails again.

The solution…parking meters.

These spots should be metered (whether charging or not), with a price set high enough so that only the people who need them will use them. Like any metered spot, if your time runs out then you may get a ticket. Doesn’t matter what you’re driving.

Dumb law ? Not much of an “Open Mind”, are you ?

Experiments have been done here – if you hang a $250 fine placard in front of an EVSE, that spot remains De-ICed. All you need is a little bit of disincentive to make the people honor the reason a particular business or city invested in an EVSE.

Open minded? Yes. Without opinions? No.

Did you even read past my first sentence? if so…

What should be the fine for an EV owner pretending to charge their full battery?

To the guy who really needs a charge, it doesn’t matter which type of non-user is blocking his spot. That’s why the law is dumb… it only addresses part of the problem. Plus it does it in a way that creates an “us” versus “them” animosity that does not need to exist.

I read your post in full. Did you read the bill in full ?

You needs laws that can be easily enforced (so they only talk about cars that are being “charged” as in connected). Everything else is not easy to enforce. That doesn’t make the bill (btw, not the law), dumb.

Didn’t read the bill in full, but I will if you can provide a link. Thanks.

Although the law is well intentioned, IMO it is flawed (i.e. dumb) because it does not address the need for proper behavior by EV owners who would have no incentive to not hog these spots.

So what I was suggesting instead is a “parking meter”:


These popular devices have been easy to enforce for half a century, plus they provide the proper incentive for everyone, not just the gassers. And they’re a new source of public revenue.

Also they’re more realistic than expecting the police to know the inner working of every type of vehicle. Heck, I could probably park my little gasser Mazda in the EV spot, remove the gas cap, then plug the charger right into the gasoline filler neck.

“That must be an EV!”, said the meter-maid. 😉

Why need a “parking meter”? Hardware is $1000’s, electricity is $0.10’s! The “charging meter” displays charge & est. time remaining. Sadly today, most public charge stations charge by Hour, not by kWatt-hour.

Perhaps a little leeway (~30 min) grace period after a charge completes is all that is needed? With 25 kW+ chargers all but high-capacity Model S’es can be fully charged in under an hour. Just wait… already hearing a complaint about a green S that was parked for days! (On Level 1 😉

that $100 is proposed to be upped to $125. They also want a $75 fee for hybrids.

This is another way the law is dumb. How are parking cops supposed to know how every type of vehicle works? Is it an EV, or EREV, or hybrid, or whatever? There will soon be dozens of models and hundreds of variations. They won’t know which is which.

This is a different bill, “Open-Mind”.

Jay, one more nit-pick. It is not unanimous if even one person opposes the bill.

“That proposition went to the State Senate last week and unanimously passed by a 43-6 margin.”

…lets make that “almost unanimously”.

I’m a little slow with the edits/updates today; sporting the mother of all head-colds, lol

Use the fines to pay for the roads and eliminate the $100 fee on EV’s.