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Bill Targets Vehicles In Charging Spaces

Those who park a gasoline-powered vehicle in an electric vehicles charging space could get quite a jolt — in the form of a parking ticket.

State Sen. Jennifer Metzger, D-Middletown, recently introduced S.6836 in the Senate to amend the state’s Vehicle and Traffic Law to prohibit parking in spots designated for charging electric vehicles. In Jamestown, fines for parking violations range from range from $10 to $180, though it isn’t known yet what the potential fine for an electric vehicle parking violation would be.

Metzger proposes to amend the section of state law related to stopping, standing or parking in specified places. Not only could gas-powered vehicle owners be fined, but electric vehicle drivers who park in an electric vehicle charging space and aren’t charging their vehicles can receive a ticket as well.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority estimates there were 36,854 electric vehicles on the road in New York state at the end of 2018, a 63% increase from 2017. NYSERDA has set a goal of 850,000 electric vehicles to be in use in New York in 2025 and 2 million such vehicles by 2030.

“Typically, electric vehicles are charged at home. However, there are public charging stations available for charging vehicles. Public electric vehicle charging stations are limited in number and are often found in parking lots, where other vehicles may be parked,” Metzger wrote in her legislative justification. “According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center, there are nearly 1,500 stations for electric vehicles in New York State, which offer a total of 3,614 charging outlets. As electric vehicles continue to be adopted by consumers, it is critical that parking spaces designated for charging are available and that such designation is enforceable.”

Metzger’s proposed legislation is just the latest bill introduced during the 2019-20 legislative session to encourage use of electric vehicles in New York. In addition to electric vehicles’ prominent place in the Climate Leadership And Community Protection Act, other electric vehicle legislation proposed during this session includes:

¯ Sen. Brad Hoylman, D-New York City, introduced S.6049 in May to create special electric vehicle license plates for those who own or lease a 100% electric-powered vehicle.

¯ Metzger introduced S.5820 in May to require NYSERDA to study and make recommendations regarding the state’s electric vehicle inventory and improvements to the state’s electric vehicle infrastructure. The legislation passed the Assembly and Senate, but has not yet been delivered to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his signature. Both Assemblymen Andrew Goodell, R-Jamestown, and Joe Giglio, R-Gowanda, voted in favor of the bill in the Assembly, where it was approved 145-1.

¯ Metzger introduced S.5655 in May to increase rebates to municipalities to help pay for infrastructure projects that support development of clean vehicles. That legislation has been referred to the Senate’s Environmental Conservation Committee.

¯ The state Senate passed S.5439, which directs the state Energy Commissioner to adopt regulations increasing fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles purchased by or for the state or any agency or public authority thereof, and requires that by 2030 all such vehicles shall be battery, electric, plug-in hybrid electric or zero emission vehicles. The legislation was referred to the state Assembly’s Energy Committee.

¯ Both the Senate and Assembly passed A.6338-A/S.5157A to void condominium bylaw restrictions that prohibit or unreasonably restrict installation or use of electric vehicle charging stations. Both Giglio and Goodell voted against the legislation in the Assembly, with Goodell saying forcing condominium boards and homeowners’ associations to reopen a contract based on one owners’ issue with their electric vehicle is an approach the state should use with caution.

“What this does is state that even though your deed reflects the fact that you agree from day one that you will abide by the rules and regulations of the condo, if those regulations in your opinion aren’t reasonable as it relates to a charging station for your car then that restriction in your deed is null and void,” Goodell said on the Assembly floor.

¯ Metzger sponsored S.3827A to create an exemption for the sale of the first $35,000 for a battery, electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle from state sales and compensating use taxes. It has not yet received a vote in the Senate. Similar legislation, S.1291, was proposed by Sen. Rich Funke, R-Fairport.

¯ Hoylman proposed S.2274 to require certain state owned and operated parking garages, open parking lots and other parking facilities to install and maintain charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles. Hoylman’s legislation was introduced in January 2019 and referred to the Investigations and Government Operations Committee.

¯ Sen. Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, introduced S.0241 to exempt new clean fuel vehicles and vehicles meeting clean vehicle standards from the first year of vehicle registration fees. That legislation has not made it out of the Senate’s Transportation Committee.

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