Many town and city councils across the U.S. are introducing legislation to enable electric car owners to park for free as a way of encouraging more people to make the switch from gasoline to plug-in cars. 

Normally, these free parking spaces include access to a suitable level 2 charging station, enabling electric car owners to recharge their cars while they park, but just like spaces supposedly reserved for handicapped drivers, more and more electric car parking spaces are being taken up by drivers of regular gasoline cars. 

Now WESH, a  local television station in Florida has captured images of everything from pizza delivery cars through to work trucks, SUVs and even a police cruiser taking advantage of the hybrid and electric-only parking spaces in downtown Orlando. 

Not one of them a plug-in car. 

Orlando Electric Car Charging Station

Orlando Electric Car Charging Station

Unlike California’s Assembly Bill 475, which has mandates that electric car charging bays can only be parked in if the car using the bay is attached to the charging station, Orlando’s charging bays may be used by either fully electric or hybrid cars.

The phenomenon, called ICEing by some electric car fans after the internal combustion engine found in every gasoline car, is rife according to local parking enforcement officers. 

In the past six months, over 70 citations have been issued to drivers of non plug-in, non-hybrid cars who try to get a free ride from the free parking. 

Courier Misuses Orlando Electric Car Charging Station

Courier Misuses Orlando Electric Car Charging Station

But at $30, the fine for getting caught violating the traffic law isn’t that large. And with parking officials having to cover large areas, many drivers are using the parking bays in the hope they won’t get caught while they park for a few minutes. 

As for the reasons for using the supposedly reserved parking? WESH didn’t list any, but let’s hope that the local police officers were using it as emergency parking while on urgent police business and not as a place to park while they visited the local donut shop. 


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