Washington State proposes fines for ICEing out EVs

In EV-friendly Washington, the state Senate easily approved a $124 penalty for parking an internal-combustion engine vehicle in a space clearly labeled “Electric Vehicles Only.”

 

It can be a maddening experience for an electric vehicle driver looking for a charge, but it seems to have inspired the first EV-specific pop-culture slang term – being ICEd out.

To be ICEd out is to arrive at a public charging station only to find that an old-fashioned, internal-combustion engine (ICE) vehicle is parked in the space, like the proverbial dog in the manger. Washington has become the latest state to establish fines to address this 21st-century etiquette violation.
 
To some, this may seem redundant. Logically, parking a dinosaur burner in a space clearly labeled “Electric Vehicles Only” is like parking in a handicapped space, or any other restricted space, and the local meter maid can and should present the offender with a parking ticket. However, several state and local governments have seen fit to enact specific penalties for violators.
 
In EV-friendly Washington, the state Senate easily approved a $124 ICEing penalty last week. As the Associated Press reported, Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom pointed out that those spots are critical for EVs, which need access to charging stations, and Senator Mark Mullet of Issaquah said that he is an EV driver, and has himself been a victim of ICEing. The measure passed by a 43-6 margin and now goes to the state House.
 
Similar laws already exist in California, Hawaii, Portland, Oregon, and – of all places – Maryland.
 
In the Mountain State, the passage of SB 340 was not without controversy. Democratic State Senator Jamie Raskin, the bill’s sponsor, said “This is a fledgling industry that we’re getting behind, and we’re hoping, as the president of the United States has said, that this becomes big business in America. [EV drivers] need to charge up their vehicles by plugging them in and the problem is they’re pulling into the relative handful of places that exist in the state where you can plug your car in and people are parked there.”
 
Republican Senator E.J. Pipkin did not agree. “We’re using the power of the state to further one particular private business. I think that is not appropriate,” said he.