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.
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]
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
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]