City Council Votes to Halt Electric Vehicle Parking Program

The Philly parking war continues with the city dealing a blow to EV car owners.

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City Council voted 11-6 this morning to halt Philly’s electric vehicle parking program.

It’s a win for those rallying for more public parking spots in Philly, and bad news for EV car owners – especially those who have likely invested between $4,000 and $5,000 to apply for, secure and install parking spots that double as charging stations (because, you know, you have to plug in and charge EV cars). 

Philadelphia magazine’s Victor Fiorillo wrote about the city’s EV parking program last month. The program, which began in 2007, allowed for the creation of more than 50 EV car-only spots in the city. But neighbors began complaining that the city was taking public space – street parking – and reserving it solely for those who could afford EV cars and the (evidently costly) process of obtaining a spot. Anyone without an EV-car who parks in an EV designated spot can face a $300 ticket, or possibly a tow to the impoundment lot.

Councilmen David Oh and Mark Squilla, who co-sponsored the bill approved by City Council this morning, say the legislation isn’t meant to discourage environmentally-friendly technology, but to give the city time to establish a better plan for accommodating EV car owners. The city hasn’t updated the program that allows for residents to establish EV car-only parking spots since its creation.

If Mayor Jim Kenney passes the moratorium – he reportedly said he plans to – those with EV car parking permits can still use the designated spots, but the city will temporarily ban new permits, and spots designated for EV cars will open to the public for two-hour parking between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Permits recently issued for 12 people will be halted.

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