Home News Tesla owners set to win legislative protection from Supercharger blocking in CO

Tesla owners set to win legislative protection from Supercharger blocking in CO

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The Colorado electric vehicle (EV) community is set to benefit from legislation that will fine gas-powered violators for parking in EV charging distances. The penalty is $150 plus a surcharge.

The bill, HB19-1298, recently passed the state congressional house and corresponding senate committee, and it now awaits a final vote in the Senate before signature by Colorado Governor Jared Polis. Once enacted, the Centennial State will join ten other states with similar laws, many of them with substantial financial penalties also.

The charge in Colorado has been led by local Tesla owners feeling impacted by the episodes, filmed “ICEing” in reference to the internal combustion engines of the violators. Tesla owner, YouTuber, and President of the Denver Tesla Club, Sean Mitchell, took the neighborhood frustration with electric vehicle owners’ lack of alternatives for dealing with ICEing directly to his local representatives and has been rallying for the case. His efforts were endorsed by Margaret-Ann Leavitt, vice president of Denver-based National Car Charging, and the two advocates were recently featured in a local paper highlighting both their cause and their forthcoming legal victory.

This is a small section of the EV community that helped get this bill passed through House, and Senate Committee. Last stop is Senate floor next week to Governor’s desk. Shoutout to Kamala (featured in photo) for driving the invoice! pic.twitter.com/NpZvlHhH3d

— Sean M Mitchell (@seanmmitchell) April 25, 2019

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Internet forums and social media are filled with sightings where Superchargers are being obstructed by ICE vehicles, some maliciously as a statement against zero emissions cars overall. Given the benefit of the doubt, however, most instances of vehicles obstructing EV chargers are a matter of location and in places without means of enforcement, unimpeded if a driver chooses to ignore the purpose of a charging place.

The legislation in Colorado doesn’t. “This is a solution searching for a issue,” Tim Jackson, CEO of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association (CADA) representing 260 dealers in the nation, was quoted as saying in The Colorado Sun article comprising the invoice. He also cited the EV chargers located in the CADA parking lot, noting that he could “rely on one hand” the amount of times an electric vehicle t able to use them due to ICEing. He neglected to mention the chargers on CADA’s home ban Tesla vehicles from using them, which doesn’t bode well for the institution ’s assumed neutrality on the matter.

Another argument made by an legislator was the taste EVs would be awarded over other cars needing parking treatment such as vehicles that are big. The cars ’ options are limited or removed from the immediate area, when those spots fill despite reservation signals. This comparison may be relevant when only focused on the dilemma of reserved parking space violations, but considering the miles-long distances between Supercharger/EV charger places vs. locations for large cars to park, the bigger vehicle issue doesn’t appear to align with the purpose of the bill at hand.

Prob with Colorado Automobile Dealers Association (@DriveColorado) stating ICEing is not a problem is that they 've always hauled they do not support EVs. Worst of all they do sophomoric things like exclude @Tesla EVs from website. See @KDVR story here: https://t.co/PWWtZjXKjR pic.twitter.com/PhgfhntG9N

— Sean M Mitchell (@seanmmitchell) April 23, 2019

Tesla itself is aware of the ICEing issue and has been seen testing its countermeasures. In Taiwan, a member of the Tesla proprietor posted a movie of a ground lock which used identification for deactivation to ensure only Tesla vehicles could park without harm in the space. Tesla China was also seen testing a similar device using QR codes for deactivation.

Overall, the presence of electric vehicles throughout the US will continue to bring changes to the present transport industry as it adapts to their specific needs. As seen in this example in Colorado, advocacy may be necessary in cases where local government isn’t immediately aware of the changes required, but the effort can prove to be worthwhile.

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