Cincinnati, Ohio, has come up with a creative incentive for those who own electric vehicles: Free Parking. For those who have played Monopoly — well, the way I always played it — landing on the free parking square meant you got to cash in. Electric vehicle (EV) owners in Cincinnati will be able to cash in on savings thanks to the city’s Electric Car Incentive Program.
Note that hybrid owners will not benefit from this incentive since the program is geared toward fully electric vehicles.
Cincinnati Ohio also has free downtown parking for EVs but it requires you to visit a special office on the third full moon of the vernal equinox and have the wizard that works there personally inspect your car and pour a potion on you.
— Tesla Fudge (@teslafudge) October 4, 2019
The free parking spots include all city parking meters and one city-owned garage located downtown. The parking in the garage is on a first-come, first-served basis and does not include overnight privileges. This also includes free parking at every and any parking meter within the Cincinnati city limits.
Parking at these meters means drivers must still follow parking rules, though, and if the meter says you have an hour, then the driver needs to leave when that time is up. If you are an EV owner in Cincinnati and would like to participate in this incentive program, you can apply here.
Helping EVs Means Helping The City
Cities can benefit from providing incentives for EV owners. There are many types of incentives, but in places where parking is expensive and difficult, free EV parking has proven useful. It encourages residents to purchase an EV, and with more people buying electric, toxic fumes from the automobiles will be cut and public health will improve.
Back in July, I got to meet up with a friend who owns a Tesla, and we went down to the riverfront where we had to pay to park. We had to find the meter and get change because the meter only took quarters. The time cost of finding the change can be more than the cost of the parking. Having free parking for EV owners is an excellent way to reward people for embracing a newer way of driving that helps our planet.
There are many ways a city, parish/county, or state government could provide incentives for EV owners without costing the taxpayer too much money. Partnering with local businesses near a charging station could work. For example, here in Baton Rouge, we have a Trader Joe’s, several restaurants, and even a dental office by the Tesla Supercharger. Imagine if the city worked with these businesses to offer discounts for EV owners — the city would win because we would be rewarding those who drive green and local businesses could also get more customers.
Another idea is for city/state employees to be given free charging or other incentives for driving electric. When I lived in Atlanta, I did an internship with the city and they had an employee-only gym that I was invited to work out in. Imagine if city governments also offered incentives for driving electric — a home charging station, free charging at work, etc.
Free parking citywide for all-electric vehicles is a great start and shows just how, from a local point of view, various cities are uniquely embracing the idea of electric vehicles. EVs are quickly becoming the new normal, and they are not going away any time soon.
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