EV Charger Blocking Law Passed In Ontario, Canada

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EV chargers are sometimes inadvertently blocked by drivers of both gas-powered and electric vehicles who park in front of them but don’t do any charging. Mostly, this behavior seems to be simply to get a parking space, not to deliberately thwart EV drivers from charging. However, there have been a small number of instances where some people have parked their gas-powered vehicles in front of EV chargers to intentionally block them. Such attempts don’t appear to be all that common and are probably misguided efforts to protest the growing presence of electric vehicles, even though they are better for the planet overall and reduce local air pollution.

Adoption of EVs - The next generation
Image credit: Zachary Shahan | Cleantechnia

In Ontario, a bill was recently passed that makes the blocking of EV chargers an offense that can be fined up to $125. Paul Calandra, Government House Leader and Member of Provincial Parliament for Markham-Stouffville, presented the proposed legislation. Mike Schreiner was one of the bill’s co-sponsors, and Conservative MPP Lorne Coe moved it forward. Mr. Calandra answered some questions about the legislation for CleanTechnica.

Why was the bill written and put forth?

Business owners invest thousands of dollars to install EV charging stations for use by their customers and as loss-leaders to drive retail sales. These spaces are sometimes improperly used by EV drivers who use charging stations as priority parking spaces but do not charge, and by drivers of non-electric vehicles. This legislation will reduce improper use of EV charging stations, leaving them available for those who need them, while creating an environment for continued consumer EV adoption.

Has it been signed into law?

Yes, the bill passed third reading and received Royal Assent on December 12th however it has not yet come into force.

Have EV chargers often been blocked by gas-powered vehicles and non-charging EVs?

We have heard varying reports from the EV community of blocking charging stations. In the GTA we have heard many reports of blocking by non-charging EVs more than gas-powered vehicles.

If so, is most of the blocking unintentional, or does it also sometimes happen intentionally by people who are anti-EV?

EV charging stations are generally well marked, but Ontario lacked a consistent application of formal rules around use or misuse of the EV charging stations. Regardless of the motivation of those who block EV charging stations, with the passage of this law, we will be making life easier for EV drivers and putting in place a consistent and understandable framework for the use of EV charging station parking spaces.

Did someone complain about the problem or report it?

There have been countless reports of EV charging station misuse within the EV community in Ontario and other jurisdictions.

Does House Leader MPP Paul Calandra drive his own EV? Does he have a personal interest in them or is it more a general interest in increasing sustainable transportation?

Minister Calandra drives a Ford Fusion Energi PHEV and it was through his own experiences as an EV driver that sparked interest in the idea behind this legislation.

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Jake Richardson

Hello, I have been writing online for some time, and enjoy the outdoors. If you like, you can follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JakeRsol

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