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“Anti-ICEing” Bill in Maryland Requires Vehicle to be Plugged In

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by Lanny, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. Lanny

    Lanny @Lanny

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    Maryland HB-839 specifies penalties for ICEing a designated EV charging station. The language of the proposed law requires that the vehicle be plugged in to avoid getting fined and/or towed. Here is the clause:

    "Unless the vehicle is a plug–in electric drive vehicle that is connected to charging equipment for charging purposes, a person may not stop, stand, or park the vehicle in a designated plug–in electric drive vehicle charging space."​


    When a similar law, California AB-475, was being discussed in 2011, EV advocates fought against that provision saying it would hinder sharing or put an innocent driver at risk of getting towed no matter how or why their car got unplugged.

    We all hear complaints of some EV drivers parking at charging stations as a convenience without actually using the equipment to charge.

    Is requiring electric vehicles to be plugged in a good or bad idea?

    Lanny
     
  2. jthompson

    jthompson JThompson

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    I think it is a good idea - one YES vote from a Virginian!
     
  3. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    It is a great idea!! All EV's using designated EV charging spaces must be charging, not only plugged in!!
     
  4. DFibRL8R

    DFibRL8R Member

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    IMG_5954.JPG In light of my last charging experience in Maryland last week (Mom's organic market in Frederick) with both marked/signed EV spots ICE'd I fully support this legislation. Especially since when I brought it to Mom's management's attention they shrugged implying they had no authority to act, tow etc.
     
  5. paulkva

    paulkva Member

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    I'm generally supportive of the idea that a car must be plugged in and charging to qualify for an EV-only space, but there are a few caveats that would ideally need to be addressed.

    1. Relatively easy: there should be a short grace period after charging is complete. I realize Maryland's current (no pun intended) law only says "plugged in" so this is a moot point at the moment.
    2. Harder: how would you handle multiple spaces (usually two side-by-side) with a single shared charging station between them?
    3. Much more difficult: how would you handle the case when a car is plugged in and charging, and then someone else unplugs it, maliciously or otherwise? (The "innocent driver" case Lanny mentions above.)
    4. Edge case: how would you handle a space whose charging station is broken or otherwise not operational? Would you just say nobody is allowed to park there at all? I guess in the Maryland case it would technically be legal to just plug in but not initiate charging.

    There might be even more I'm missing here.

    There's a sort of progression of offenses:
    - vehicle is plugged in but not charging: small fine after some clearly posted grace period, maybe equivalent to a parking fee ($x/hour), maybe even varies by location
    - vehicle is unplugged but capable of charging: larger fine, unless you can prove you were charging when you left your car (???), with possible exceptions for spaces with shared charging stations (???)
    - vehicle is not capable of charging (what most people here think of as "ICEd"): even larger fine + towing

    My biggest concern is lawmakers won't fully grasp all the nuances to be able to come up with something truly fair and enforceable. (The proposed law isn't bad, and way better than nothing, but there are holes in it.) My second biggest concern is actual enforcement.
     
  6. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    As Lanny knows, some of us did not support the California AB 475 requirement that a car be plugged in or be towed.

    The problem was that chargers have been set up at times so that up to four spaces could access - AB 475 would mean that if someone unplugged you when your car was done charging & plugged their car in, you could potentially be towed.

    These bills have the best intentions, but when they discourage sharing of public plugs in places where it would make sense, then it's not the right answer either. I'd rather see good signage with pavement marking, coupled with towing enforcement for cars that obviously shouldn't be parked there or are parked well over a reasonable amount of time in the space.

    The right answer, of course, is for public charging to be so plentiful that it is no longer an issue. :)
     
  7. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Active Member

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    I have mixed feelings about items like this due to #3 mentioned above. I HATE finding EVs parked in spaces and not plugged in - its just as bad as being ICE'd (worse actually).

    BUT, I have been unplugged by other EV drivers at a crowded station (downside of owning a Volt - we are low on the pecking order at public stations). If I then returned to my car to find it had been towed, how do I prove that I WAS charging but then was unplugged? I would probably be stuck with the ticket and tow fee and no recourse to the other person who unplugged me. To combat that possibility I would have to rig something to padlock the public EVSE to my car since the Volt doesn't lock the plug in place. It would basically kill any sort of "sharing" mentality with the EV community. But its getting pretty "wild west" out here at public chargers in So Cal anyways, so maybe the time for sharing and community spirit is coming to an end.
     
  8. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    I am in support of this, being ICE'd and "Lazy EV'd" a couple of times.

    Re: the unplugging, I actually bought a device to not allow somebody to unplug me, for fear of being unplugged when I am still charging and need it. The real issue here is that EV owners need to stay on top of their charging requirements and move when they are done. How hard is that? The damn phone tells me when I am done!

    Yes, I know, this is a completely unrealistic hope on my part. At least in the US, the land of "me me me".
     
  9. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Let's remember there is more than one use scenario here. It's not always 'me me me'. Please don't assume the worst. There are places to charge where it is not possible to stay on top of it - many airports, for instance, offer charging in long-term parking lots. It would be a shame if people discouraged sharing in those situations.
     
  10. vdiv

    vdiv Chief Grump

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    Would it make sense to have different rules for different types of charging stations (DCFC vs L2) and for different locations and have different enforcement indicated by the signage instead of one law that apparently is deficient any way it is cut? Should the owners/managers of the station take responsibility for making it available instead of leaving that to the state?
     
  11. 4SUPER9

    4SUPER9 Active Member

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    Most laws are written in much more complex format than single sentence statements. Most are a few paragraphs long. I did not get to explore AB 475 when it was out for review, but I imagine that it did not have proper exemptions. It seems that this is what was/is needed. Perhaps: "...except if there are more EV spots available than there are charger available (i.e.: shared charging), in which case, the non-charging vehicle must be an EV capable of using the charger..." and maybe "in such circumstances, the non-charging vehicle shall not park there for more than x hours before either initiating charging or vacating the space"

    Heck, I'm sure someone could come up with better language that I just spewed out. If a group of people here were to just write these bills and submit it to their legislature, we would all be better off. I blame ourselves.
     
  12. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Actually, blame GM. They got involved with the language of AB 475. It's not a pretty story.
     
  13. Lanny

    Lanny @Lanny

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    Here is an example of the sharing scenario that Bonnie mentioned. Several of the cars had notes on the dash inviting others to unplug them after a certain time.

    Hard to see but the Model S has the J-1772 adapter in the charge port.

    Photo taken at BWI Airport in Maryland.

    BWIFCw.jpg

    BWIFCnote.jpg
     
  14. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

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    I never park in an ev charging stall unless I'm charging and always watch my phone app to tell me when it is done, most of the time I'm back before it finishes. I think proper signage and towing with fines similar to handicap parking would help.
     
  15. Lanny

    Lanny @Lanny

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    UPDATE: "connected to charging equipment" language to be removed from HB-839.

    I spoke with Del. Lam's Legislative Aide today and they intend to submit an amendment to remove the "connected to charging equipment" requirement. It was supposed to have been taken out in an earlier draft but somehow they didn't notice until I brought it to their attention.

    A hearing date has been set for March 3rd at 1:00 PM in the House Environment and Transportation Committee. I plan to be there to testify.

    Lanny
     
  16. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I think simply ticketing ICEs that can't possibly plug into an EVSE and charge is a good start.
     
  17. Chipper

    Chipper Active Member

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    With our cars, Lloyd, how would anyone know whether it was charging or not??
     

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