Banning plug-in hybrids from public chargers is no good.

That's the conclusion of a new California law signed in September, which forbids cities from restricting access to public chargers for any type of electric vehicles in the state.

After making a big splash by banning plug-in hybrids from its public chargers last April, the city of Beverly Hills, California, will have to grant them access by New Year's.

READ THIS: Beverly Hills bans plug-in hybrids from public charging stations

There are caveats, of course. According to the California law that requires all types of plug-in vehicles to have access to public chargers, cities are free to restrict access to chargers as long as they are not funded by taxpayers or by utility ratepayers. Still that's relatively few chargers.

The Beverly Hills City Council met in early November and decided that, while some chargers in the city are not publicly funded, granting plug-in hybrids access to some and not others would only sow confusion with charging requirements. Under the new California law, the city has until Tuesday to implement the decision.

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While battery-electric-car drivers have a legitimate beef when they have too little range to get where they are going and arrive at a charger to find it in use by a plug-in hybrid, as a matter of policy, states trying to improve air quality have an interest in promoting electric miles whatever type of car drives them.

From that standpoint, a plug-in hybrid with no more remaining electric range is as unhelpful to the public as a battery electric car that can't get home. It's just more useful to its own driver.

h/t Lanny Hartmann