Electric Car Driver Gets Ticket For Parking The ‘Wrong Side’ Of A Charging Station

There isn’t a week that goes by when we don’t hear from someone who has arrived at an electric car charging station to find it blocked by a gas-guzzler. ICEing — the term given to such a misdemeanour — is one we’re all too familiar with.

ICE cars park in EV spaces all the time, but we never thought someone would be ticketed for parking an EV in an ICE car space.

ICE cars park in EV spaces all the time, but we never thought someone would be ticketed for parking an EV in an ICE car space.

Luckily for electric car owners, parking enforcement staff are become more proactive in policing electric car charging spaces, with more and more states, cities, parking providers and companies fining those who park in these spaces illegally. In California, there’s even a law on the books which makes it illegal for any car to park in an electric car charging space unless it happens to be actively plugged in an charging.

But when we heard about an electric car owner who was ticketed at his office for parking in a non-EV charging space, we couldn’t believe what we were hearing.

Enter Honda Fit EV owner Robert Olson, who posted on Facebook last week a ticket he was given in his work parking lot for charging his electric car while it was parked in a non-EV charging space.

The ticket, filled out we presume by an official Microsoft parking lot employee, berated Olson for not displaying an official company parking permit — something Olson says most cars don’t bother with any more. Underneath the citation, scrawled in capitals, was the following request:


As Olson explains, his company parking lot has a total of four electric car charging spaces, and four electric car charging stations. Located along one of the parking aisles, the four electric car only parking spaces face four regular parking spaces, with the charging stations located between the two.

“A [Chevrolet] Volt was parked in one of those spaces not charging, so I parked on the next aisle which was not labelled an EV space and plugged my car in literally right in front of the Volt that was parked and not charging,” he explained on Facebook. “Both sides can reach.”

Is this the weirdest EV parking ticket you've ever seen? We think so.

Is this the weirdest EV parking ticket you’ve ever seen? We think so.

In other words, Olsen was parked the other side of the parking aisle to the charging stations, opposite the bay occupied by a car which was parked but not charging. On public property in California, parking in an electric car space and not using it is illegal, so the Volt would be the one getting ticketed.

But in this case, on private property, Olsen was the one who got a telling off.

Aside from highlighting something we’d never before have thought of as a problem, this cautionary tale does at least remind us of one very important thing: don’t park in an EV space if you have no intention of charging. Once you’ve finished charging, please move and let someone else use it.

It’s nice to see electric cars finally gaining some visibility — but we think perhaps this parking official was taking things a little too far. What do you think?


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  • CDspeed

    Since most of us have mobile phones with cameras, snapping a picture of why you had to do something out of the ordinary will help when proving your case. Along with an explanation, he could also have presented a photo of the offending Volt and the unused charge connector.

    • Dennis Pascual

      Hat is exactly what I do at LAX. Because of must be plugged in component of the California EV law, and in case someone unplugs me, I ALWAYS photograph my vehicle plugged into the spot before I catch my plane. On the of chance someone unplugs me while I’m on my trip.

      • CDspeed

        I’m starting to think a charger mounted security camera may become necessary in the future for all charging stations.

  • Surya

    Since when is it not allowed for an EV to park in a regular spot? That makes no sense!

    • Loanword Eggcorn

      Presumably the issue is that he was charging while not parked in the EV charging spot.

  • D. Harrower

    Was there a fine associated with this “ticket”?

  • Jon

    Surely the main issue was that he didn’t have a parking pemit?

  • leptoquark

    For the cost of one L2 EVSE, Microsoft could have put in probably a dozen L1 plugs on their own circuits, and let folks charge all day at Level 1, without having to worry about moving cars, thereby making all of this a non-issue. The best solution would be something like a 70/30 mix of L1 to L2.

    • Loanword Eggcorn

      Agree 100%. For long duration parking, like at work, it makes lots of sense to have slow charging. The cars are sitting there for many hours. Level 1 is cheap and easy to install. It should be plentiful. Keep pushing this idea!