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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

EV Driver Violates Wheaton's Law

Background

When a gas car (internal combustion engine or ICE) blocks access to a charging station, it is known amongst EV drivers as "getting ICEd".

There is an online "name & shame" campaign for gas cars that parking where they shouldn't and block access to charging spots. This campaign was started by Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield (@aminorjourney). It works like this, when you see a parking spot that has been ICEd, take a picture and post it on the social media site(s) of your choice with the hashtags #YouCantParkHere #YouDontPlugIn. It is also a good idea to call parking enforcement, if applicable, and have the vehicle ticketed or towed.

#YouCantParkHere #IDontCareIfYouPlugIn

Recently I was at an event where there were hundreds of people and just four EV reserved parking spots. I was there early and parked in one of the EV spots, plugged in, and enjoyed the event. About 2 hours later, I was alerted that my car was full and I went over to unplug and move.

When I arrived, I found something that disgusted me. Next to the EV parking spots, were the ADA parking spots. A red Leaf had parked in the ADA ramp access area between an EV and an ADA modified vehicle. You can see where they parked in the photo below:

Illegally Parked Electric Car 

The Red Leaf apparently needed to charge. Maybe they thought this was the EV area? The spots to the right (where my car is) are clearly labeled as EV spots. The spots to the left were clearly marked as ADA spots.

Maybe they are hoping to get lucky, grab a few kilowatt-hours and move on before anyone noticed. That is not what happen. What drew my attention to this car was the hysterical mother of two that owned the white vehicle in the ADA spot. She had her two sons with her (one of them in a wheelchair). And they were unable to load the wheelchair into the vehicle because their access was block. She was mad and rightfully so.

It is NEVER ok to park in an ADA parking area unless you have an ADA permit. And it is NEVER ok to park in an ADA ramp access area for any reason.

I have friends with special needs children, these people are heroes. They don't need additional aggravation from arrogant self-centered EV drivers with an inflated sense of entitled. You drive a plug-in car, you are not single handedly saving the world.

What really upsets me in this case, is that the red Leaf was just two parking spaces from my car. On the dash in my car I had the PIA EV Card (shown below).

Plug In America EV Card
This card had my name and cellphone number on it. All they needed to do was call or text me and I would have moved my car and let them have the parking spot. Instead, they ruined the day for a family and made all EV drivers look bad.

To conclude the story, after she got off the phone with parking enforcement, I helped the mother find a nearby area where she could load her son into the vehicle.