By on April 22, 2019

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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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55 Comments on “Colorado a Step Closer to Levying Fines on ‘Gasholes’...”


  • avatar
    retrocrank

    EV chargers need ammeters to show if the E-car is actually being charged or just taking advantage of a privileged parking spot (at least where I work, the plum spots have been reserved for EVs). The former is a so-what; ICEVs have dedicated square footage in the world known as “gas stations.” The latter is somebody just being a dick.

    If one assumes that it is the desire of the parking spot owner to support EVs (a separate debate I’m not getting into), then EVs not being actively charged and ICEVs should be immediately towed from those spots; fines and boots don’t fix the availability problem. Or (at the risk of offending the inconsiderate) probably more effective would be to resort to measures such as sugar in the gas tank or EMPs at EV-resonant frequencies, immobilizing the vehicle in a way that sends a powerful lesson to the owner.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Seems this would be better handled on a locality-by-locality basis, versus a state law, but I have no problem with fining people for parking where they shouldn’t be.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Will this apply to the car dealers themselves?

    A look at PlugShare reveals that dealer-installed chargers are often the worst offenders, because lot staff and customers alike park ICEVs in front of the charging stations.

    You’re more likely to be ICEd by a Rogue at a Nissan dealer than to be ICEd by a Rogue at an EVGo charger.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “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.”

    Now you get into that local ordinance stuff where there is not an ordinance backing up a preferred parking sign and yet they put them up anyway. How hard would it be to create the ordinance and then put up the sign?

    “Will you get slapped with a ticket or towed if you park there and haven’t served our country or don’t have a real baby bump?

    The answer is no, according to Taylor Police Chief John Blair. Taylor has several parking spaces designated for expectant mothers and veterans near municipal buildings, but they’re there for courtesy.

    “There’s no provision in the law that would make those signs enforceable,” he said. “It’s a courtesy in deference to mothers and a sign of respect for our veterans. We would surely hope people would honor that, using basic respect for people.””

    http://www.thenewsherald.com/news/can-you-be-ticketed-for-parking-in-an-expectant-mother/article_618d9c5d-1d3f-512f-86f9-6a97947bd618.html

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    At one of my workplaces, there are some cherry parking spots marked “Hybrid Parking Only”. It would be nice to park my Prius there, but everybody ignores the signs and they are entirely unenforceable. So why bother?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Are those signs from 1999? Hybrids aren’t a novelty anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “At one of my workplaces, there are some cherry parking spots marked “Hybrid Parking Only”. It would be nice to park my Prius there, but everybody ignores the signs and they are entirely unenforceable. So why bother?”

      — It’s not “entirely unenforceable”. If the property owner/lessee has the spots clearly marked as towaway zones and said owner/lessee has a contract with a towing operator, said contract can have the car towed without an ordinance and the perpetrator (illegal parker) ends up having to pay to get their car back. You should check some of the youTube videos of cars getting towed in front of businesses.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    A non-issue. Just an extension of long-existing reserved spots for other handicapped folks. Comply, proles.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    It would be funny to see a bunch of EVs stage a park-in at the local gas station’s pumps during Friday evening rush hour, while all the drivers run inside to buy lottery tickets, cigarettes, MTO meals, taking time to browse the tabloids.

    Oh wait, that already happens. Recently, I literally saw 10 cars at pumps with no drivers nearby, while I waited in line to fill up.

    Fortunately, at home, there is no waiting line for my EV, I don’t have to run a credit card, and I don’t have to step through puddles of fuel and coffee in the freezing rain and snow.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      Yes, while we are regulating the minor nuisances in life, how about we start ticketing the people who think the gas pumps are parking spaces? You know, the ones who aren’t even buying gas.

      There’s way too many of life’s nuisances for the police to handle. Let’s just legalize window smashing for the morons who don’t follow the common sense rules.

      • 0 avatar
        retrocrank

        Let’s just legalize bazookas. We’ve done it for pot, time to do it for bazookas.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          I say, only legalize bazookas for people who vape weed while driving, thus solving the problem of people who vape weed while driving.

          • 0 avatar
            retrocrank

            Brilliant. Now, what to do about Left Lane Denizens and those who aren’t aware of the left stalk? Thermonuclear devices?

      • 0 avatar
        brn

        Can we also regulate people who pull so far up at a pump, that they take up two fueling spots?

        • 0 avatar
          jalop1991

          you mean like lawncare trailers?

          DISCRIMINATION! HATE! RACISM!

        • 0 avatar
          Flipper35

          Or those that fill up, go inside to pay. then they grab a coffee, and a sandwich and eat it. Talk a while with their friends and eventually come out and free up the pump.

          • 0 avatar
            jalop1991

            And this is why I fill up almost exclusively at Costco.

            They accommodate my tastes in How It Should Be Presented To The Buyer. I have no interest in hanging out at in a scummy store with a lot filled with beaters (at best) and people who apparently have never worked a gas pump before, let alone bought coffee. People who have never had jobs and don’t know how to behave in public. Or laborers yelling out their smokes preferences like they’re at the casino playing craps, along with holding handfuls of Monster drinks for the day.

            I bet Costco runs 10 times as many people through in an hour as any convenience store.

            Of course, you have to be a Costco member. But that’s OK; it’s just like how many others in the world have declared that all the Amazon Prime bennies are free to them, because they’ll ALWAYS have Prime. I’ll ALWAYS have a Costco membership, if only for their incredible credit card.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      “Fortunately, at home, there is no waiting line for my EV, I don’t have to run a credit card, and I don’t have to step through puddles of fuel and coffee in the freezing rain and snow.”

      Neither do I. It’s called Costco.

      Unfortunately, when I’m on a road trip and there’s no Costco around, I have to suffer the credit card and puddles of coffee. But all gas pumps are covered anymore so rain isn’t an issue, and besides, I’m there for what–3 or 4 minutes?

      What do YOU do on a road trip with your EV? How’s that having an hour lunch every couple of hours?

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    Anyone, whether ICE or BEV, parked at a public charging station but not charging should be subject to towing.

    I’ve been forced to sit (and fume) while inconsiderate slobs block gas pumps while they fart around inside the store. In my home town, I pay at the pump and leave promptly. On trips, I pay at the pump and park elsewhere before entering the store.

  • avatar
    AJ

    What determines an electric vehicle? My Jeep has a Snomaster fridge in back, and the beer must be kept cold… :)

  • avatar
    markf

    Another example of one party rule ruining Colorado, quicker than most people thought………

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      yes, because preventing people from blocking EV charging stations is “ruining” things.

      Maybe the only way these inbred wannabe hicks named Cody will learn a lesson is to have their Confederate-flag-laden brodozers torched before their very eyes.

      • 0 avatar
        markf

        “yes, because preventing people from blocking EV charging stations is “ruining” things.

        Maybe the only way these inbred wannabe hicks named Cody will learn a lesson is to have their Confederate-flag-laden brodozers torched before their very eyes.”

        Every been to Colorado? No, then you would know your stereotypes hold no weight. Typical closed-minded leftists, anyone who disagrees is “inbred” and flies Confederate flags. Sounds like you are the inbred.

        It’s about government overreach, solutions in search of a problem. I hate it when people get their gas then go inside the Kwikicrap without moving and thus blocking the pump. I don’t think the police need to ticket them….Plus, police cannot enforce parking laws on private property……..

      • 0 avatar
        CaddyDaddy

        JimZ lives here in Colorado. He is a faithful proponent of leftism who regularly comments in the Denver Compost and the Springs Gazette. He left the Bay Area and now votes and advocates the looting of Colorado for his benefit.

        Glad to see that the state will now enforce the whims of private property owner’s parking preferences. Try getting an abandon car towed on private property, “call a towing company.” If we can make preferences for EVs, maybe GM B-Body parking only, what’s the difference. In Colorado, EV are mostly fossil fuel powered anyway.

        • 0 avatar
          redapple

          CADDYDADDY
          Not surprised at all. Makes sense

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “JimZ lives here in Colorado.”

          you’re off by over a thousand miles, chief.

          “Glad to see that the state will now enforce the whims of private property owner’s parking preferences.”

          they already do that. go park in a handicapped spot w/o a placard or plate.

        • 0 avatar

          “Glad to see that the state will now enforce the whims of private property owner’s parking preferences.”

          That’s a curious position coming from someone who considers themselves a conservative or libertarian.

          The state enforces property rights in general. If I own a parking lot, I can decide who gets to park where, for whatever reason, as long as I’m not violating any anti-discrimination laws. If you don’t act how I’d like you to act on my property, you’re tresspassing and the state will very much enforce my right to have you removed.

          I’m personally not thrilled with the idea of police being able to ticket you for parking not according to the property owner’s wishes, there shouldn’t be criminal or civil penalties backing up those wishes, beyond whatever penalties there are for tresspass but they can tell you to move it along.

          • 0 avatar
            CaddyDaddy

            Ronnie, in Colorado private property rights are only enforced by civil litigation. The “authorities” only get involved after a court action has taken place and a Judge issues a writ. Then you petition the Sheriff to conduct action. Citations are never issued for matters of possession in Colorado.

            Now trespass is different. handicapped spaces are different as they are a matter of requirements during the govt. planning / building permit and are subject to the follow thru on muni code. Etc….

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            Yes the cops can trepass folks then cite them if they do it again but they don’t enforce traffic or parking laws on private property.

            Somewhat related is this court case stating chalking tires by parking enforcement officers is trespassing

            https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/chalking-tires-enforce-parking-rules-unconstitutional-court-finds-n997326

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      “Another example of one party rule ruining Colorado, quicker than most people thought……”

      Did you miss the part where it said bipartisan?

  • avatar

    The next civil war in America will be between BEVocrats and ICEpublicans. You do you think will win?

  • avatar
    stingray65

    This is what is going to happen. The law will pass, and tickets and towing will start, and someone will start compiling statistics that show 60+% of the fined/towed cars are owned by blacks/Hispanics/illegals with limited income, and Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Kamala Harris, AOC, Cherokee Warren, and Cory Booker will arrive with CNN and MSNBC in tow to declare the law racist and xenophobic. Woke city and state officials will tell the “racist” police to stop enforcing the gashole law, just like they have already been told in many diverse jurisdictions to stop enforcing immigration laws, drug laws, vagrancy laws, turnstile jumping laws, crapping on the sidewalk laws, etc.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Wow that was a depressing read in the comments section, thanks, folks.

  • avatar
    Acd

    A few years back luxury hotel in Atlanta where I had a meeting had special parking near the parking garage elevator for low emission vehicles and one of the spots was taken up by a mid-1990’s Jaguar XJ12 which made me chuckle.

  • avatar
    redapple

    A dozen or so key jobs will fix the ‘blockers’

  • avatar
    Rasputin

    I have no problem with fines for ICEVs using charging station slots.
    I just wish:
    – The EV slots were located at the far reaches of the parking lot, except for maybe a couple of Handicap EV slots. As several commenters have mentioned, in my experience the chargers are usually right up front next to the handicap slots. Since in shopping areas they tend to sit longer than other vehicles, being up front IS preferential treatment.
    – EVs were charged a Road Tax on a mileage-based MPG equivalent.
    – That EV sales were not subsidized with tax money.
    – That EV manufacturing subsidies were put on a par with other products that receive subsidies – that is, based on jobs created and not promoting an ideology.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      EV slots are placed in locations where it is most convenient to run electricity.

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        FormerFF,

        In my experience the best placement for EV slots at retail stores is near the building (i.e, at a front corner), but *not* immediately adjacent to the front door.

        (Generally just as easy to run electricity to a corner of the building as right out front. If the EV spaces are next to the handicapped spaces right in front, they *will* be taken up by ICE vehicles when you need a charge. If I drive an EV, I’m not looking for a premium parking spot, I’m looking for a charge. If I don’t drive an EV, I’m going to resent ‘all’ the parking spots being ‘shifted out’ 4-5 spaces.)

  • avatar
    Mike-NB2

    I’ve got no issue with attempting to stop ICE drivers from parking in and blocking the charging stations.

    As a former owner of several TDIs I found it frustrating to pull into a filling station and see the only diesel pump occupied by a gasoline-powered vehicle. (The pumps have nozzles for both gas and diesel.) It seems that inevitably these same people would pay in the store, scratch a few lottery tickets and when they finally got back to their cars they’d take time to tune in a better radio station and maybe send a few texts. All while the rest of the pumps were empty. Then again, this was also a design problem at some stations since the diesel pumps were in the first row to accommodate commercial trucks it also meant that the walk to pay was a few less steps.

    The worst was the time I pulled into a station just as two separate vehicles had pulled in to either side of the only gas pump that also had diesel. They could have used any of the other vacant pumps but these two ladies used that one. I waited, and waited and waited. I finally went in to the store to see what was going on. The cashier said both women had gone into the attached McDonalds. I’m sure these thoughtful and considerate people would have immediately moved just by me asking them, but by that time an ambulance and fire truck had joined the growing line.

    To this day in my gasoline-powered car I won’t pull up to the diesel pump.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      “As a former owner of several TDIs I found it frustrating to pull into a filling station and see the only diesel pump occupied by a gasoline-powered vehicle. (The pumps have nozzles for both gas and diesel.) It seems that inevitably these same people would pay in the store, scratch a few lottery tickets and when they finally got back to their cars they’d take time to tune in a better radio station and maybe send a few texts. ”

      I always thought they were applying for a mortgage.

      Or balancing their checkbook.

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        asdf assures me that it always takes 3.5 minutes maximum to fuel up an ICE vehicle – regardless of weather, tank size, fuel type, filling station congestion or human selfishness.

        Please refrain from introducing real-world stories like this. The resulting subtlety and nuance are not good for the all-or-nothing ICE-good EV-bad level of discussion.

        /S

        • 0 avatar
          jalop1991

          “all-or-nothing ICE-good EV-bad”

          There is no “good” or “bad” about it.

          There’s “strong preference for me” and “wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole”–all for whatever reason.

        • 0 avatar
          jalop1991

          “asdf assures me that it always takes 3.5 minutes maximum to fuel up an ICE vehicle – regardless of weather, tank size, fuel type, filling station congestion or human selfishness.”

          Take congestion out of it, because even if there was a 1:1 ratio of EV/fuel stations, congestion can happen anywhere anytime. It has nothing to do with fueling the car.

          Neither does weather. Nor does human selfishness. All of those items are equal opportunity items and will affect everyone simply trying to buy the product.

          All that matters is, energy amount for energy amount, it takes humongously longer to fill an EV and an ICEV.

          I don’t disagree that on average, it’s 3.5 minutes to fuel up an ICE vehicle regardless of weather, tank size, etc. From credit card in to driving away, it’s a nit of time.

          And I just drove a Jetta loaner this week; 525 mile range on its gas tank. Fascinating. So filling up THAT particular ICEV is significantly less frequent than my GTI.

          Ergo, I would much rather take a road trip in an ICEV than an EV. And I’m on the road every week for work….

  • avatar
    80Cadillac

    I’m surprised I’ve never heard of the owner of Arizona.

    “thank Kamala Vanderkolk, Roxborough Park resident and owner of a Tesla Model X, as well as the state of Arizona.”

  • avatar
    binksman

    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.

  • avatar
    retrocrank

    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.


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