CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Right now parking in an electric vehicle spot with a gas powered vehicle is just frowned upon, but if some lawmakers in Raleigh get their way, it could soon become illegal.
EV charging stations are popping up all over the country, North Carolina Included. According to Liberty Plug-Ins, there are around 860 public charging stations in the Tar Heel State. But Democratic Representative Julie von Haefen says despite the surplus of charging spots her constituents have been dealing with a re-occurring problem.
“[The concern] really actually came from a constituent who owns an electric vehicle and was saying, you know, that there’s so many times that he goes to charge the vehicle, and there’s a combustion engine vehicle parked in that space,” Haefen said.
Representative Von Haefen owns an electric vehicle herself, and has dealt with this issue first hand, which is why she decided to join republican Representative Harry Warren in drafting House Bill 255 the “Regulate EV Charging Stations” bill.
“We actually have a lot of EV charging spaces in downtown Raleigh that I see every day that there’s vehicles parked there, that shouldn’t be. And right now, there’s no regulation over who can parking spaces.”
The way House Bill 255 is written right now, violators would pay a $100 fine if they get caught parking in an ev spot. Though that might not seem like much for violating a state law, Representative Dean Arp said it could come along with some hefty court fees, similar to ones you’d get with a traffic violation or speeding ticket.
“The fine for that was just very, very high, I thought,” Arp continued, “to give you perspective, the fine for going more than 16 miles over the speed limit is only $50. And it just seems like a very high fine that’s out of proportion with the public safety risk.”
Both sponsors of the bill have said they’re open to lowering the fine. House Bill 255 passed through the Transportation Committee on Wednesday and now it’s heading to the Regulatory Reform Committee. A similar bill did pass through the House last year, but ended up stalling in the Senate.