Combustion-engined car owners could face a $100 fine if the law is passed.
A majority of North Carolina's House Transportation Committee has approved a bill that, if passed into law, would impose a $100 fine on combustion-engined vehicle drivers if they were to park in spots designated specifically for EV charging, according to The Charlotte Observer.
The practice, known as ICE-ing, has been happening throughout the country and the world for the past few years. Some Tesla owners even fought back by blocking gas pumps. Now, some state-level governments are taking action - against ICE vehicle owners.
This is actually the second time North Carolina House passed a bill like this. The first time was back in 2021 but the bill ultimately stalled in the Senate. Aside from the fine, the bill would limit the use of designated charging station parking spots to electric vehicles, assuming they are plugged into the charger.
The law would apply to charging stations owned by local governments and public agencies, and even stations on private property that have a sign posted specifically stating they're for EV charging only. "The intent of the bill is to keep combustion engines out of those EV charging spots," said Rep. Harry Warren, a Republican.
Other House members did express some concern that there's really no way to prove that an owner of, say, a Chevy Bolt EV, is actually using the charging station or if they're just using the spot for convenience. "So you could park a vehicle, plug it in and leave it there indefinitely?" asked Republican Rep Jay Adams. In reality, the chances of that happening are slim.
Other House members who are against the bill argue that since there's no law banning gas-powered vehicles from parking in front of gas pumps and not using them, why should EVs receive special consideration? A few claim that regulations regarding EV charging spots should be left up to local city governments. The $100 fine was also considered by a few to be too steep, countering that a $25 fine was more suitable.
What was not included in the failed bill from two years ago is a new provision stating that if an EV charging station doubles as a handicap spot any vehicle with a handicap placard, regardless of powertrain type, could park there legally.
The fact that North Carolina, a southern state that's typically more conservative, is considering for a second time passing a law like this signals that EVs are quickly becoming more common than ever. State lawmakers across the country, at some point, will probably have to pass similar laws.
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