Colorado a Step Closer to Levying Fines on 'Gasholes'

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
colorado a step closer to levying fines on 8216 gasholes

Your author tries not to create too much of a stir with his vibrant and eventful Chevy Cruze, but sometimes it’s hard. Still, there’s at least an attempt to keep the peace, ensuring owners of alternative-fuel vehicles feel respected in the presence of my potent 1.4-liter studcarriage.

Others aren’t quite as respectful, as documented in certain videos. “ICEing” Teslas isn’t cool. As public charging stations proliferate, it’s bringing the two sides into direct conflict with each other — especially in areas where parking is a limited commodity. What to do? Impose fines and hope for the best, it seems.

Certain states and municipalities have already enacted laws to make the blocking of an EV charging station by an internal combustion vehicle punishable by a steep fine. Colorado’s just the latest state to seek the preferred solution to “gasholes” (or “ICEholes) who hog these coveted spots.

House Bill 1298 would see plugless perpetrators fined $150 for parking at a charging station in the ZEV state. The bipartisan bill passed the House on April 18th and is now in the Senate.

If this proposed legislation moves readers to anger or applause, thank Kamala Vanderkolk, Roxborough Park resident and owner of a Tesla Model X, as well as the state of Arizona. Vanderkolk was moved to write the bill, sponsored by state Sen. Kevin Priola (R) and state Rep. Jovan Melton, (D) after a visit to Flagstaff, Arizona. There, EV charging station hogs face a $350 fine.

Because most electric vehicle owners charge at home, the growing conflict between EV drivers and ICE owners often takes place at way stations. Hotel parking lots, for example. It was in a Marriot parking lot in Flagstaff where Vanderkolk found herself faced with a row of EV chargers, each one blocked by a non-electric car. Not surprisingly, her advocacy for the bill has earned her online enemies. One Twitter user said he would park in every EV spot he came across, just out of spite.

One of the bill’s backers says it isn’t about preferential treatment for EV owners. As the spot is reserved for EVs, only EVs should park there.

“This is not to create some type of convenience for EV vehicles,” Rep. Melton said during the House debate, per The Colorado Sun. “This is saying don’t block the port where they can charge.”

The same fine would apply to EV or PHEV owners who linger too long at the plug after topping off their battery. There’s a 30-minute grace period written into the proposed legislation.

Tim Jackson, CEO of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association, calls the bill “a solution looking for a problem.”

“Non-electric cars parked in electric charging stations are rare and didn’t need protection from hundreds of dollars in fines or tow-aways to solve,” he said, adding that he could count on one hand “the number of times that someone has parked a non-electric car in an electric charging station” at the group’s Denver HQ.

It seems likely the bill will eventually pass into law, and it’s even more likely that certain drivers will ignore the warning signs that go up in its wake. The battle between two classes of drivers will continue, only the state will now make some money off of it.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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  • Binksman Binksman on Apr 26, 2019

    Maybe its different out in CO, but in most places, electric charging stations are at private businesses or owned by the local municipality. One way or another electric charging facilities are provided as an incentive to do business there. If I owned a restaurant and spent the money to put in electric chargers so a small demographic of people spend money at my restaurant, I'm well within my rights to post signs and have vehicles towed, regardless of what type of vehicles those are. The only reason anyone thinks of making a law about this crap is because so many people on either side of an argument prefer imagined victimhood to common sense and good manners.

  • Retrocrank Retrocrank on May 01, 2019

    Just read through all this again, and here's how to solve these many problems all the while spreading social justice. Lots of unqualified people around who can't find work in today's tech-heavy market. Give them jobs by outlawing self-fueling and self-parking. These jobs should be given to the unskilled unemployed. Not only does it provide employment, it avoids improper parking in fueling spaces, and it also gives those who have suffered at the hands of the income-inequality oligarchy the chance to drive some nice machines, which otherwise they'd be unfairly deprived. Without doubt, any moral person would rather pay a little more for fuel or to park for the good of the whole.

  • MaintenanceCosts Despite my hostile comments above I really can't wait to see a video of one of these at the strip. A production car running mid-eights is just bats. I just hope that at least one owner lets it happen, rather than offloading the car from the trailer straight into a helium-filled bag that goes into a dark secured warehouse until Barrett-Jackson 2056.
  • Schurkey Decades later, I'm still peeved that Honda failed to recall and repair the seat belts in my '80 Civic. Well-known issue with the retractors failing to retract.Honda cut a deal with the NHTSA at that time, to put a "lifetime warranty" on FUTURE seat belts, in return for not having to deal with the existing problems.Dirtbags all around. Customers screwed, corporation and Government moves on.
  • Bullnuke An acquaintance of mine 50+ years ago who was attending MIT (until General Hershey's folks sent him his "Greetings" letter) converted an Austin Mini from its staid 4 cylinder to an electric motored fuel cell vehicle. It was done as a project during his progression toward a Master Degree in Electrical Engineering. He told me it worked pretty well but wasn't something to use as a daily driver given the technology and availability of suitable components of the time. Fueling LH2 and LOX was somewhat problematic. Upon completion he removed his fuel cell and equipment and, for another project, reinstalled the 4 banger but reassembled it without mechanical fasteners using an experimental epoxy adhesive instead which, he said, worked much better and was a daily driver...for awhile. He went on to be an enlisted Reactor Operator on a submarine for a few years.
  • Ajla $100k is walking around money but this is almost certainly the last Dodge V8 vehicle and it's likely to be the most powerful factory-installed and warrantied pushrod engine ever. So there is some historical applicability to things even if you have an otherwise low opinion of the Challenger.And, like I said up thread, if you still hate it will be gone soon anyway.
  • Carlson Fan GM completely blew the marketing of the Volt. The commercials were terrible. You'd swear they told the advertising company to come up with an ad that would make sure no one went out and shopped a Volt after seeing it!...........LOL My buddy asked why I bought a car that only goes 40 miles on a charge? That pretty much sums up how confusing and uninformative the advertising was.