Colorado considers parking fines for cars blocking EV charging stations

A bill that would fine drivers for blocking EV charging stations has passed the Colorado House of Representatives and is now in the Senate, reports the Colorado Sun. House Bill 1298 would impose a $150 fine on non-EVs and EVs that have finished charging but haven’t been moved after a 30-minute grace period. Opponents claim the fine is too high and the bill provides special treatment to EV drivers.

Colorado encourages EV adoption by offering a $5,000 incentive for the purchase of an EV. Earlier this year, the state’s current governor also signed a zero-emission vehicle standard that mirrors California’s. Colorado’s previous governor promoted a plan to support adoption of EVs and increase the number of charging stations in the state. There are currently 690 public charging stations and 1,809 ports.

State Rep. Jovan Melton said during the House debate on the new bill, “This is not to create some type of convenience for EV vehicles. This is saying don’t block the port where they can charge.”

Tim Jackson, CEO of the trade group Colorado Automobile Dealers Association, said, “This is a solution looking for a problem. Non-electric cars parked in electric charging stations are rare and didn’t need protection from hundreds of dollars in fines or tow-aways to solve.”

Margaret-Ann Leavitt, VP of Marketing for EV-charger retailer National Car Charging, said, “Regardless if it’s a problem or not, it’s a reality. This is a change in how people fuel. I would never park my car at a gas station and walk away. That’s essentially what they’re doing. Most people who stop at a public charger, they do so because they need to. [Most] people who have an EV fuel at home. If they’re fueling at a public charging station, it’s probably because they’re on a long, extended trip.”

Source: The Colorado Sun