HPD cracking down on electric vehicle parking violators

KHON - July 15, 2013
Kristine Uyeno

It’s one of the biggest complaints the state received from people who drive electric vehicles: others parking in their charging stations when they’re not supposed to.

But police are now cracking down on violators.

State Sen. Mike Gabbard, (D) Kapolei, Makakilo, parks his Nissan Leaf in this electric vehicle stall in Kapolei. But he remembers an incident months earlier when he ran into a small problem.

“I was kind of running low on juice and I live close by, but I needed to get a charge but spaces were being used but they weren’t EV’s,” Sen. Gabbard said.

Vehicles that aren’t electric, parked in stalls that are clearly reserved for others.

“I kind of waited and came back and the guy was not very nice,” Sen. Gabbard said.

But now, there is a parking crackdown on violators of EV slots. Anyone who parks there who’s not supposed to, could receive a citation between $50 and $100. It’s a new law that went into effect two weeks ago.

“I’m an EV driver so I’m for it, I think it’s great,” Pearlridge General Manager Fred Paine said.

The shopping center has two EV stalls, but because of the demand, it will add three more spots.

“We notice that if there’s a car in the stall, there may be another electric car in the vicinity waiting until they leave,” Paine said.

Right now, there are more than 150 EV parking lots across the state for over 1,550 registered electric cars. The numbers continue to grow.

“It’s well-marked and surprisingly, in the two years we’ve had this, we’ve not had one complaint,” Paine said.

“I think the fact that the law is the law and we’re trying to encourage people to lower their emissions and decrease their use of gasoline,” Sen. Gabbard said.

Since the law is fairly new, police did not have statistics for us, but will give us an update on the number of citations issued next month.

Hawaii Revised Statutes §291-71 Designation of parking spaces for electric vehicles; charging system. (a) Places of public accommodation with at least one hundred parking spaces available for use by the general public shall have at least one parking space exclusively for electric vehicles and equipped with an electric vehicle charging system located anywhere in the parking structure or lot by July 1, 2012; provided that no parking space designated for electric vehicles shall displace or reduce accessible stalls required by the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines. Spaces shall be designated, clearly marked, and the exclusive designation enforced. Owners of multiple parking facilities within the State may designate and electrify fewer parking spaces than required in one or more of their owned properties; provided that the scheduled requirement is met for the total number of aggregate spaces on all of their owned properties.
(b) For the purposes of this section:

“Electric vehicle” means:

(1) A neighborhood electric vehicle as defined in section 286-2; or

(2) A vehicle, with four or more wheels, that draws propulsion energy from a battery with at least four kilowatt hours of energy storage capacity that can be recharged from an external source of electricity.

“Electric vehicle charging system” means a system that:

(1) Is capable of providing electricity from a non-vehicle source to charge the batteries of one or more electric vehicles;

(2) Meets recognized standards, including standard SAE J1772 of SAE International; and

(3) Is designed and installed in compliance with article 625 of the National Electrical Code.

“Place of public accommodation” has the same meaning as that provided in section 489-2. [L 2009, c 156, pt of §4; am L 2012, c 89, §2]