A whole Hatfields and McCoys culture has grown up around parking in electric-car charging spaces, with electric-car drivers who need juice facing off against conventional cars—and sometimes other electrics who park there and don't plug in or stay longer than they need to. 

Now a study conducted this summer of who gets parking tickets in electric-car-only parking spaces shows it may not always be internal combustion cars causing problems.

Spreadsheet showing tickets in electric car spaces in Montgomery Co., Md. [CREDIT; Lanny Hartmann]

Spreadsheet showing tickets in electric car spaces in Montgomery Co., Md. [CREDIT; Lanny Hartmann]

After Montgomery County, Maryland, made it illegal to block a public charging space while not charging, more electric cars got tickets for parking in charging spaces than internal combustion cars did.

The law, passed in 2014, limits parking to four hours, enough for even the slowest-charging electric cars to get at least 40 miles of range.

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Maryland electric-car activist Lanny Hartmann studied the number of tickets issued in the spaces, marked "No parking except electric vehicles," between July 2016 and July 2017.

In that year, 24 cars and one truck got tickets in the spaces. Eight of them, plus the truck, ran on gasoline or diesel and didn't meet the requirements to park in the space at all. The remaining 16 tickets were issued to electric cars that overstayed the four-hour time limit. 

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Drivers were fined $60 no matter what type of vehicle they parked in the spaces illegally.

The study wasn't able to determine whether electric cars are overstaying their welcome because they need more charge than they can get in four hours, if police are targeting more electric cars, or if conventional-car drivers heeded the signs in the face of hefty fines.  

[h/t Lanny Hartmann]