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It may be rude, but should it be illegal for gas cars to park in EV charging spaces?

Richard Stradling/rstradling@newsobserver.com

A bill that would make it illegal for gas-powered cars and trucks to park at public electric vehicle charging stations began to move forward in the General Assembly on Wednesday, though not without some opposition.

A majority of House Transportation Committee members approved House Bill 77 on a voice vote. The full House passed a similar bill in 2021, only to see it stall in the Senate.

The bill would limit use of designated charging station parking spaces to electric vehicles that are plugged into the equipment. It would apply to charging stations owned by local governments and other public agencies, as well as stations the public can use on private property, as long as the owners have posted a sign indicating they’re for EV charging only.

“The intent of the bill is to keep combustion engines out of those EV charging spots,” said Rep. Harry Warren, a Republican from Rowan County who is one of the primary sponsors.

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While the bill is aimed at excluding drivers of petroleum-powered vehicles, some members of the Transportation Committee seemed more concerned about potential abuse by EV owners. Rep. Jay Adams, a Republican from Catawba County, noted that there’s no way to know if an EV driver is actually using the charging equipment.

“So you could park a vehicle, plug it in and leave it there indefinitely,” Adams said.