Charging Point Law Has EV Owners Up In Arms
Existing law requires full-electric vehicles to use the spaces provided they have a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) supplied decal identifying the car as a zero tailpipe emission vehicle.
Traditionally this has allowed owners to leave notes informing other EV drivers how long they need to use the point for, so that they can pull into the adjacent space and use the point when the neighbouring vehicle has finished charging.
California Assembly Bill 475 is designed to let plug-in hybrid owners use the spaces too, but was recently altered to remove the requirement for decals, instead suggests that the spaces can only be used when the vehicle is plugged in to charge. A change which, it says, could save money for the state DMV.
This last minute revision has the double effect of allowing plug-in hybrids to use the public charging infrastructure, but outlaws parking in the spaces when the car isn’t plugged in. Vehicles violating the rules can be towed away at the owner’s expense.
It’s left EV owners concerned that, if someone were to swap the plug to an adjacent bay, it would leave the original car in violation of the new law. Driver group Plug In America has started an online petition against the bill in its current form, which is awaiting sign-off by California Governor Jerry Brown.
Plug-in America’s Ben Kane wrote on the website: ‘The current iteration of AB 475 has clearly failed to match its stated goals, and will hurt rather than help the fast-growing electric vehicle charging infrastructure and the many consumers it was designed to serve.
‘As it stands, the Governor should veto AB 475 and send it back to the legislature with recommendations to return it to a form that will prove effective and practical for electric vehicle drivers.’