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Hoarding of Public EV Parking Spot

Discussion in 'Model X: Battery & Charging' started by AdamHLG, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. AdamHLG

    AdamHLG Member

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    I currently have an MX on order for December delivery. I wanted to share a story from this morning.

    My public parking garage at work (about 20 minute drive from my house) has no EV spots (yet at least). Out of curiosity I looked at the PlugShare app and sure enough the public garage one block away has 2 EV spots (2 stations of EV plug J1772). I took a walk over to see the garage and the EV spots. The monthly parking rate is the same for both garages. There are several office buildings in the general vicinity of my office, as well as an apartment complex, that utilize these parking garages. Most of my charging would be at home but still I was curious and perhaps I would consider changing garages to have the use of these EV spots.

    Anyway, both spots are taken. I ask the attendant in the office whether the spots are usually taken, and I am told yes. In fact, she tells me that the parking garage manager owns the car in one of the EV spots (it is a Chevy Volt). Keep in mind this is a County owned garage with County paid employees running it. I ask what time he gets to work and she says about "6:30 am" and that he works all day and parks there every day. Now, I don't want to start a debate with the lady in the garage office, but I ask "so this means there is really only 1 EV spot if the manager takes this spot every day" and she says "yes". I ask if she thinks this is unfair that the spots are supposed to be shared with the public and she does not respond. I thank her for her time and leave her office. But before I leave the garage, I walk over and look at the J1772 and sure enough it says "vehicle full - charging stopped". This is at 9:15 am. This aggravates me because I quickly realize that this guy is hoarding this spot all day to the exclusion of others and his car is fully charged!

    Ultimately I suppose there is nothing to stop him from doing this. And then it hit me. At these public garages near office buildings, people probably get there at zero-dark-thirty in the morning and park their EVs and leave them there for the day, so there is probably never an open spot. Is this the norm for garages near office buildings?

    I will do my charging from home so its not a major issue but I will not change garages due to this understanding. I am more curious as I am not in the EV world yet whether this is the norm - that people park for the day and leave cars all day in the public spot.
     
  2. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    you need to educate people that the spot where the charger is, is a charging spot, not a parking spot.
     
  3. arcus

    arcus Member

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    This is definitely not a norm (nor should be), so additional education is overdue. It might have worked when EVs were scarce, but with increased numbers of them on the road everyone needs to start paying attention and be more considerate.
     
  4. davewill

    davewill Member

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    I'd pen a complaint to whoever my local representative was in the County government. Include all the gory details like his license plate number. There's no reason to ignore this kind of behavior.
     
  5. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    first off I believe that the charging spot in question is located in a private lot and at this point in time most municipalities do not regulate ev charging spots. writing to your local officials with complaints won't accomplish much, you should try to get a group of like minded people together and petition your local leaders to consider regulating ev parking/charging spots.
     
  6. davewill

    davewill Member

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    He said right in the post that it was county owned and operated. :rolleyes:
     
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  7. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    That's not the way EV parking is supposed to work, but it's not uncommon to find it working that way. It's an attitude of entitlement that has to be fought with education, which may be a long battle. Like with airports, parking garages where people park all day would really be better off with a large number of 120V circuits instead of a few higher power charging stations that require folks to move their cars during the day.
     
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  8. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    Write to the county and request new signage. Many around here have 4 hour limits and charging ONLY signs.

    I don't recommend or condone this, but as a prior owner, Volts don't lock the J1772 charge port in. So it could be unplugged if it was showing full (be aware that Gen 1 Volts have opposite signals for that then most EVs, so check the charge station for sure) However, the alarm will probably go off if the car is unplugged, as that is the default setting.
     
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  9. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    ok, nonetheless lacking an ordinance on the books regulating parking at an ev charging spot exactly what do you think a complaint would accomplish?
     
  10. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    If people don't speak up, then those who can change policy are unaware. And it's entirely possible that the garage manager hasn't really thought about the fact he's blocking another EV.

    @AdamHLG -- Once you have your car, of course ... I'd first leave a note on his car, asking him to call you when his car is done charging so that you can charge too. (It's a nice way to say 'You need to move it out of this spot.")

    If that doesn't work, then I'd send a letter to the county office that oversees the garages. If they become aware, it's likely that they'll establish policy that cars in county garages that aren't charging need to be moved.
     
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  11. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    may I offer post #5 into evidence?
     
  12. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    You may. :)

    Seriously, of course you should do that if the first two steps don't work. But I've had pretty good success over the last six years with lowkey approaches.
     
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  13. AdamHLG

    AdamHLG Member

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    Some good advice here. Not sure how I'll handle this particular situation because I can always get a full charge at home which would be the typical scenario for me; but I am more concerned about the typical practice when I head out for client meetings an hour or two away or whatever, e.g., should I avoid garages near office buildings and try to plan on stops (when needed) at shopping malls, etc., where there would be better opportunities for spots to open up and where this may not happen.

    Anyway, I do like the idea of leaving a note and asking for him to call me to generally discuss it and educate him as mentioned in the thread. It is bothering me that someone is doing this. I need to see if its as bad as I think it is, rather than relying on what the attendant is telling me.
     
  14. David29

    David29 Member

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    I suspect this sort of thing is fairly common. One way to combat it is to abandon the "free charging" approach. Although I love the idea that communities like mine have building charging stations as incentives for people to come to our location for their morning coffee or evening entertainment or whatever, that approach has limited value once the number of EVs in an area gets to the point where it is more common than not to find the spaces busy.
    Two nearby universities illustrate two approaches. One has two Chargepoint stations and free charging. Sometimes the stations are both busy, sometimes not. But at least once, I ran into an Uber driver who had no business at the school; he as just "refueling" his car on the school's nickel. The second university also has a Chargepoint station for two cars, but the energy is not free. The user gets three hours at market rates. After that, the rate skyrockets to several dollars per hour. The stated intention is to encourage turnover and discourage all-day parking. I have always found at least one of the chargers free at this location. I think this second approach has merit for wider adoption in public spaces such as the parking garage the OP writes about. It genuinely provides charging for those that need it, but also encourages turnover and avoids any accusations that the public is subsidizing a special group of people.
    (Full disclosure: although I have used both of the university locations several times each, I have not probably used either location often enough to make a statistically valid observation.)
     
  15. davewill

    davewill Member

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    I expect that the offender, a county employee, could simply be told to cut it out. No legislation required.
     
  16. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    pulling one little weed only makes room for others to follow, laws need to be altered to prevent hogging/icing.
     
  17. boelkers

    boelkers Member

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    I have this exact issue at my work. I work for a hospital and they have one J1772 charging station and its free. There is a Chevy volt owned by a doctor who gets in before me and he plugs in every day. Never moves his car. 9 or 10 am and its charge is full. I also don't have a need to charge at work, but it would be nice on days where I need to make a long out of town trip after work.

    The part that really frustrates me is if an EV owner who actually needs a charge comes to this spot they will find it occupied. I've left a note on the car before kindly asking for the car to be moved when charging is complete and mentioning that charging spots should be used just for charging. So far no dice.
     
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  18. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    maybe you should look him up and try to explain in person proper EV etiquette to him, in his defense he might not be able to pull away from his duties to move the car but being a volt driver his need for that charge is not crucial.
     
  19. boelkers

    boelkers Member

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    This. This has been my feelings. I'm all for EVs but his need is so far down on the list compared to others.
     
  20. MIT_S60

    MIT_S60 Member

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    Or leave him a note every day on his window until he starts moving his car.
     

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