Should electric vehicle owners get priority in public parking lots?

Should electric vehicle owners get priority in public parking lots?

Summary: With seemingly more electric vehicle charging stations cropping up than there are electric vehicles, some are questioning the placement of those stations in public parking locations.

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So, Fox News had this article out on Friday questioning the practice by mall operators and store owners of including charging stations for electric vehicles. Actually, they aren't so much questioning the practice overall, the story is critical of the tendency to place these spots in high visibility places, often close to the entrance. Where, many time they are empty because of the limited number of electric vehicles on the road.

As I have reported numerous times, forward-thinking retail operations have been installing spots in order to encourage visits by these owners and, let's be real, to generate a little good will and potential revenue by allowing electric-vehicle charging on premise. Garage operators have also taken to this practice because it might give them a competitive edge by catering to the small but growing number of electric-vehicle owners who are seeking to charge up their cars while spending some time at the store.

Fox suggests that there is a "growing frustration" among people who drive "conventional" cars about the placement of the parking spots and it quotes an unnamed person in Minnesota with this rant: "This makes me think drivers of electric cars must be a little disabled."

So, here's the thing: Don't blame electric-vehicle drivers for the placement of the spots, take it up with the real estate company or business owner who picked that location.

The locations of these stations are strictly a business decision, chosen for their visibility. Heck, it obviously has more people thinking about electric vehicles, even if they don't drive them.

If businesses choose to respect the pioneers who actually are helping ensure that the future prices of electric vehicles are cheaper for the rest of us by installing places for them to charge while running errands, they have a right to put charging stations where they want. No one is requiring them to make these investments.

Oh, and by the way, don't park in that spot out of spite just because it is closer. Even though I don't think you can get a ticket for parking a gasoline-powered vehicle in a charging station spot like you can if you're a jerk enough to park in handicapped parking spot, it's really poor form. Plus, you might actually be preventing someone from making it back home, if they have pushed the limits of their electric-vehicle battery.

Related stories:

Real estate company spruces up retail sites with electric vehicle charging

Parking garage manager plugs into electric vehicle charging

Collaboration will extend Coulomb's electric vehicle charging network

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7 comments
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  • RE: Should electric vehicle owners get priority in public parking lots?

    as someone in a wheelchair i resent those who park so the special lip allowing wheeled access to the sidewalk is blocked.
    dwtownshend
  • Biff! Pow!

    Sorry I'm late. There was a handicapped guy out front parking in a regular spot, and I stopped to beat the crap out of him.
    Robert Hahn
  • Tesla has some reserved parking spaces at my local mall

    There is a Tesla store at the mall near my house. They have a reserved area where Tesla cars can recharge while parked. Only Tesla vehicles can "park" at the spaces.<br><br>The spaces are not far, but they are not close to the entrance of the mall. They don't take any spaces that were originally reserved for the handicap (spaces that are heavily enforced by the mall cops). They only reserved 3 spaces, which I have only seen fully used once .... the rest of the time is 1 Roadster for a few hours a day (I assume it belongs to a store manager or owner).<br><br>I see no problem with reserving spaces for a few electric charging stations ... AS LONG AS THE OWNERS PAY FOR THE CHARGES. I don't want to subsidize the electricity other use (exception for helping the elderly and homeless shelters).
    wackoae
    • RE: Should electric vehicle owners get priority in public parking lots?

      @wackoae Electric car users are already subsidizing your gas with their taxes spent on wars (so the cheap oil keeps flowing). Why not do the same for them?
      ff2
      • RE: Should electric vehicle owners get priority in public parking lots?

        @ff2 Huh? You got that backwards dude! The majority of road funds comes from gasoline taxes. Electric cars, by definition, do not use gasoline so they do *NOT* pay taxes for the roads that they are using to drive around on in their electric cars. So Gasoline users are subsidizing the roads for the electric car users.
        tech_ed@...
  • RE: Should electric vehicle owners get priority in public parking lots?

    Well-written article, and nice picture of my car. EV drivers don't need to get the best of parking spaces, but we like it when we do.

    One wrinkle - because we may see handicapped EV drivers, it's best if there is some charging at handicapped spaces or nearby. The picture in your article is the Oakland Airport and the next charging station to the right is at a handicapped space.
    rlowenth
  • RE: Should electric vehicle owners get priority in public parking lots?

    Interesting developments, Heather. Thanks for raising them. Doc lives in northern California where there are quite a few electric cars on the road, so I'm in favor of charging stations in public parking lots. But that said, they don't have to be the best spaces ??? I can see why that might frustrate other drivers. Same question applies to allowing electric vehicles in carpool lanes. Are we creating a two-class society when it comes to vehicle choice? Doesn't seem fair as electric vehicles still command a price premium and are not an option for the vast majority of drivers. So as long as the charging stations are well marked, I don't see a problem locating them in the "back" of the parking lot or garage.
    DocuMentor (Doc)