Eleventh-hour intervention needed
Chelsea Sexton - WORDPRESS
- August 19, 2011
More problems in the growth of EV's in society are in the news again. Do you predict problems in your state? --Ed.
For the second time, General Motors has sponsored a California bill that creates more problems than it solves and doesn’t support current Volt drivers. And without some eleventh-hour intervention, AB475 is going to pass. As other states often follow California’s lead, the perils of this trend are hardly restricted to the left coast.
Some background: public charging has existed in California since 1996, much of it funded by General Motors. Because federal law requires ADA access, they are often located in prime parking spaces. Signage restricts parking to electric vehicles, but “ICEing”- a gas car parking in a charger space- has been an ongoing nuisance issue. It’s also been a manageable one, via local parking ordinances that allow offending vehicles to be ticketed or towed.
But in 2002, with EV population arguably in decline, the California legislature passed a law restricting public charger use to “zero-emission vehicles”. It also requires a DMV sticker so parking enforcement can easily tell which vehicles are eligible. Without clear evidence that local ordinances were insufficient, the 2002 law has been “a solution looking for a problem”, adding complexity and administrative costs. But its use by only a few charging sites limited the inconvenience, with just over 800 parking stickers issued to date.
That is, until plug-in hybrids hit the market and Chevrolet Volt drivers were excluded from those chargers. GM stepped in when asked, turning to Assemblymember Betsy Butler, whose district includes the company’s Torrance facility (and my house), and AB475 was born. Originally, it simply expanded eligible vehicles to include PHEVs. But in June, the sticker scheme and complex definitions were scrapped in favor of verbiage stating that any plug-in is legally parked “while connected” to a charger. The change appears to greatly simplify things, but it’s surprisingly problematic.... [Read More]