Raleigh ordinance reserves spaces for electric cars

Posted April 3, 2012
Updated April 4, 2012

— If you can't plug in your car, stay out of the nearly two dozen electric charging stations around the capital city.

The Raleigh City Council on Tuesday approved a measure that would impose $50 fines on anyone who uses a public parking space that is designated for electric and hybrid vehicles but doesn't drive one.

The ordinance, which goes into effect April 10, requires that electric vehicles parked in the designated spaces must be attached to a charging station.

Raleigh is one of the first cities in the United States to install public car-charging stations.

Users must pay to park at the public charging stations but the electric charge is free.

The city says the public stations were used 96 times last year, but they offset more than 19 tons of carbon dioxide in vehicle exhaust.

This year, the usage is expected to go up.

The city spent $125,000 for the charging stations. State and federal grants, as well as manufacturers' donations, helped offset the rest of the costs.


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  • lance4 Apr 4, 2012

    A large portion of the electricity used in refining gasoline is generated on site using the fossil fuel products rather than purchased from the grid. Nonetheless, fossil fuels had to be burned to generate that heat in the first place. Maybe it was a byproduct of the refining process itself (and as such an efficiency boost to the whole process), but that doesn't change the fact that it was used and that a fossil fuel was burned to generate it. And while I don't claim that they purchased the electricity from the grid, I could get pretty close to that figure: $3.95/gal * 12% = 47 cents. That'll buy around 4.5 kWh of electricity. I'm also not trying to make the point that the 6kWh is somehow competing with the power used to charge EVs. The point I'm trying to make is that before someone puts forth a claim that we're just trading one fossil fuel for another, they need for first understand how energy intensive the gasoline refining process really is.

  • billknighton Apr 4, 2012
    According to eia 12 percent of the cost of a gallon of gas is refining costs. If 100 percent of that cost were electricty and they didn't have factories or employees or other costs you still could not buy 6 kwhrs of electricy for that price.

  • billknighton Apr 4, 2012

    Also, how much of that 6 kwhr was in heat energy from combustion at refineries and how much was from electricty? The answer to that impacts your argument. Know that a refinery is going to be using as much combustion derived heat as possible so they don't have to buy that electricity. That combustion derived heat was not taken from the power grid and never had the potential to take 6kwhrs of charging from evs.

  • lance4 Apr 4, 2012

    Everyone that is worried about the cost of the electricity, do you even know how much electricity is used at these charging stations? About 40 cents/hr. I'd gladly pay an extra 50 cents/hr surcharge for parking, but right now it's offered as an incentive to encourage people from using polluting, foreign oil. As for the part of the report that says they were only used 96 times, that's true. The first EV's to come to the state were only delivered in November. Now that they are on the market and there are probably over a hundred now in the area, they will get use this year. As for whether electricity or gas is less polluting, consider this: It takes 6kWh of electricity just to refine one gallon of gas, that may take your vehicle 25 miles. That same amount of electricity will power an EV that same 25 miles. So even before the gas leaves the refinery, gas has already polluted as much as the electric for an EV.

  • billknighton Apr 4, 2012

    I do not believe hiring 2-3 public school teachers would have been a better use of the $125,000. . They would just fill kid's heads up with arts and humanities babble rubbish. A better use of those tax dollars would be to either not tax earners to begin with or, if you must, why not something to get them out of school. Maybe an apprentice program in manufacturing.

  • tarheelfan41 Apr 4, 2012

    Another social engineering effort gone bad!

  • tarheelfan41 Apr 4, 2012

    ost $125,000 dollars and used 96 times??? And you wonder why we do not have money for education. Remember somebody voted to put this $125,000 dollars into this boondoggle and let 2 or 3 teachers be fired! This is an example of poor choices. I had rather 2 or 3 teachers kept their job for another year rather than the 96 "free" electrical charges. BTW, nothing is free. WE paid for it!

  • billknighton Apr 4, 2012

    If government wanted to encourage ev use they could do so with e-bikes. First, take out the state law that limits powered bikes to 30 mph. You can buy an e-bike that will just hit 50, though illegally if on public streets. riding in the gutter while cars pass you at double your speed is not safe. Make 45 mph legal and put some charging stations (a standard 110 outlet) available on sidewalks and not parking spaces. And stop hassling people for locking their bikes to whatever solid object they can find. We don't need expensive bike racks installed in limiting locations.

  • billknighton Apr 4, 2012

    I like evs. But let's not fuel their opponents with faulty claims.

  • billknighton Apr 4, 2012

    I commented about the how far off this was using the EPA numbers. It's worse even than that, by far.
    30 mile round trip x 96 trips / 21 mpg(USA average) x 5.5 pounds Carbon per gallon x 32/12 (the ratio of oxygen to carbon in co2 by weight) = 2011 pounds of co2 saved. This article reports a co2 savings of 38,000 pounds. It exaggerated by 18.9 times if you accept a 30 mile round trip. Which is generous for an ev. I like evs