Illinois Bill To Fine Car Owners Who Park In Electric-Car Charging Spaces Waits For Governor's Signature


NRG eVgo electric-car charging station

As more public electric-car charging stations appear, they're creating a thorny etiquette issue.

Charging stations may occupy parking spaces that everyone wants to use--no matter what they are driving.

Sometimes, an electric car driver will pull up to a station, only to find that an internal-combustion-engined car is blocking it. Drivers call this "getting ICEd."

ALSO SEE: Park A Regular Car In Electric-Car Space? In WA, It'll Cost Ya: $124 (Apr 2013)

In Illinois, new legislation means that practice could soon result in a fine and towing.

HB0198 (via Plug In Sites), is a bill that would make it illegal for internal-combustion car owners to park in electric-car charging spaces.

The bill was passed recently by the Illinois General Assembly, and is awaiting Governor Bruce Rauner's signature.

Pair of Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric cars parked at work [photo: Jen Danzinger]

Pair of Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric cars parked at work [photo: Jen Danzinger]

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It calls for a $75 minimum fine for "a person parking a non-electric vehicle in a space designated for electric vehicles," and requires municipalities to put up signs warning of the fine.

The proposed maximum fine is $100.

MORE: Famed U.S. Route 66 To Go Electric In Illinois, With State Support (Dec 2014)

The legislation also empowers any person or authority owning or operating a parking facility to have internal-combustion cars towed if they block charging spaces.

This rule would apply to all public parking spaces with electric-car charging stations, as well as private parking areas open to the public.

Electric vehicle parking by Flickr user aaron_anderer, used under Creative Commons license

Electric vehicle parking by Flickr user aaron_anderer, used under Creative Commons license

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Designated charging spaces will have to display some form of identification, enough so that a "reasonable person" can see that they are reserved for electric cars.

The move to combat ICE-ing was provoked by one Illinois electric-car owner, who made what turned out to be an important phone call.

After getting ICEd, a constituent called the office of State Representative Robyn Gabel, who ultimately drafted the parking-fine bill after looking into the matter and finding that Illinois currently has no way of preventing internal-combustion cars from parking in front of charging stations.

If it gets signed into law by Gov. Rauner, the new rule will take effect January 1, 2016.

[hat tip: Brad Horton]

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