It is best in situations such as the following one to laugh instead of letting silly things become incendiary. I have often been ICE’d at this EV Charger. In this ridiculous story — just almost ICE’d this time, luckily — someone else’s reactions validate mine.
I met a friend downtown to get exercise while I charged my EV. I picked her up a few blocks from the charger, so she could feel the smooth ride of the LEAF again. She enjoyed the LEAF during a test drive one time and continues to shop for an EV.
I explained that this particular charger that we were driving to was often ICE’d and what that meant, so we may have to go elsewhere. As I slowly drove up to the EV charging spots, she said, “It’s blocked. A gas car is parked right in front of the sign. A Nissan Sentra is not electric — is it?”
“No! Oh well,” I replied, slowly inching beyond the Nissan. To my surprise, the next space was empty. In the past, both spots are typically ICE’d. My odds with this charger have been about 2–3 out of 10. I like it because it is in front of a great, walkable park — nice to exercise during the charging session. As I alighted from my LEAF, I looked again at the ICE parked directly in front of the sign.
Kim stood up out of the passenger side and said, “Call the parking ticket police.”
I was simply happy that both spots were not blocked. Even if there is only one charging outlet (many times there are two outlets on charging stations), one can politely wait if the driver has left a note to unplug her/his car at a certain time and use it. I plugged in and went to the back of my car to get out change for the parking meter. As I stood behind the all-electric LEAF, the parking attendant ticket person drove up — but not to the Nissan Sentra. She passed the Sentra and looked as if she was considering ticketing me. She said, “Do you have money in the meter?”
“Momentarily,” I said, “I just plugged in and I am getting change out of the back where my purse is.” I pointed to the black Nissan Sentra, “You do know that car parked in front of the ‘Electric Vehicle Charging Only’ sign is not electric. Not even a hybrid, not even a non-plug-in hybrid.” (Photos above and below.)
The ticket lady’s response: “He may not have noticed because the lines under his car are not green enough.”
I look at the sign, and the charger itself with bright neon lights, as she drives on. The ICE Nissan did not get a ticket.
At this point, Kim is shocked but almost laughing. Kim exclaims, “I can’t believe this — she was going to ticket you!” I was relieved that I got the spot and that a ticket person was around. The comedic side of this story takes over, though. The lines on the parking space under the car aren’t bright enough?! What about the larger charger with neon lights? What about the sign?!
The ICE car did not get a ticket. Perhaps this is why my odds are so bad here.
I did not walk long thanks to the driver with the black Sentra in the other available spot. I made sure to move my car immediately once charged. It is possible another EV might come along. Even if I leave a note to unplug the charger from my car when it finishes charging, another EV is not able to park and wait there due to the Sentra.
Returning, I decided to take a picture of the ICE driver’s car. Even if you miss the sign, there is no mistaking the neon lights of the fast charger in front of this car as well (whether the lines under the car are green enough or not).
As I walk back to the LEAF, Kim notes, “He just walked up and got in the car before you started taking pictures.” He must have watched me take pictures. Maybe this will help. He may have avoided a ticket, but a possessed EV driver is photographing his impolite, inconsiderate parking.
This whole incident brought me back to my bicycling days. That’s another story, but I’ll say that I recommend getting a bike helmet video camera.
The next day’s charging included the three of us politely sharing the chargers:
All images by Cynthia Shahan
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