JPWhite wrote:Seriously though, enforcement should be the same as with disabled parking spots.
Then arguably we need a specific parking pass, like with disabled/handicapped parking permits. It's not really fair to require those who manage parking lots to be familiar with what every single EV out there is.
If there's a Mini Cooper parked in an EV space, is that really a car ICE'ing it, or is that an electric conversion of a Cooper? Do you rely on the car saying 'Electric' somewhere on it? (Then LEAF owners have to be sure to buy and add 'Electric' to their car!) Do you just rely on 'does the car have a tailpipe' as your determining factor? Then does a Volt qualify? They /can/ charge, after all. And what about PHEVs, like the Prius plug-in hybrid? And in any of those cases, if you guess wrong someone is going to complain! Either you wrongly towed their car, or you didn't enforce the parking, and either way they're all angry now.
With handicapped parking, requiring the individual to go through the process of getting a handicapped license plate or placard makes life easier for enforcement. They don't have to go look for hints that a given car is a handicapped one, just look at the license plate or look for the placard hanging off the rear view mirror. If we want EV parking to be enforced the same way, we'll need to have a similar process for people to go through in order to get an EV plate or whatever.
(Mind you, I'm in favor of EV plates ANYWAY. People complain that we're not paying towards road upkeep through gas taxes even though we drive on the road, and they have something of a valid point. Having an EV-specific plate would allow states to draw money from us in one big 'chunk' to help pay for road upkeep whenever we renew the tabs for that plate, AND would provide an easy way to enforce EV-only parking spots just like handicapped parking.)