It will come as a horrible shock to the driver of the pale green Infiniti QX56, but the 2-ton-plus full-size sport utility vehicle is not actually a hybrid.

Nor, for that matter, is a Volkswagen Passat TDI--though it at least has a diesel engine, which gives higher gas mileage than the QX56's dismal 14 mpg city, 20 mpg highway.

The misbehavior committed by the drivers of each of these cars was snapped last month by alert reader and electric-car advocate Michael Thwaite.

Both the diesel-engined Passat and the gigantic SUV with a V-8 engine were clearly parked in the "Reserved Parking-Hybrid Vehicles" area of the Adventure Aquarium parking lot in Camden, New Jersey.

Empty hybrid parking space at Ikea, by Flickr user jennmae

Empty hybrid parking space at Ikea, by Flickr user jennmae

The two offending vehicles bracketed an older Ford Escape Hybrid, which was properly parked.

Hybrid-only parking spaces seem likely to go the way of the manual choke, however.

The new breed of clean-car perks is going to plug-in cars, which run on electricity from the power grid.

Proprietors are adding charging stations to hotels, malls, stores, restaurants, and other establishments.

They see them as a cheap way to keep electric-car drivers captive for an hour or more while their cars recharge on electricity that costs them a few pennies to a dollar or two. Odds are, they'll buy something.

The man who took the photo titled it, "The Hard of Understanding," though we can think of some other labels as well.

But what do you think about hybrid-only parking places?

Give us your thoughts in the Comments below.

[photo courtesy of Michael Thwaite]


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