City revs up to ban ‘ICE’ vehicles from parking in charging spots for EVs

The City is moving to ban non-electric vehicles from using parking spots with adjacent charging stations

The City is moving to ban non-electric vehicles from parking in 12 charging spots at the Barrie marina and other locations around town, under penalty of potential fines ranging from $50 to $1,000, “based on the nature of the offence.”
The staff report was adopted by general committee this week without comment or debate. Council is expected to ratify the decision this coming Monday.
The motion states that:
• No person shall park a vehicle or any part of a vehicle in an electric vehicle parking space where such vehicle is not an electric vehicle.
• No person shall park a vehicle or any part of a vehicle in an electric vehicle parking space where such vehicle is not connected to an electric vehicle charging station and charging.
It further states that an electric vehicle will be defined as one that runs only on a battery and an electric drive train, or a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that runs on a battery and an electric drive train, and also uses an internal combustion engine.
In addition to the 12 spots, (eight for Tesla vehicles and four universal) at the marina parking lot, there are 24 at the Collier Street Parkade (16 Tesla and eight universal), 12 at Heritage Park, (eight Tesla and four universal), and six at the downtown library (four Tesla and two universal).
According to the staff report, owners of electric vehicles expressed frustration at not having dedicated access to the charging stations.
“Signage was installed allowing all vehicles to park at stalls with EV charging stations, including those with internal combustion engines (ICE), because some of the charging stations are located in highly utilized parking lots. Although this practice retained parking supply to meet demand at pinch points along the waterfront, it created frustration for EV drivers when they could not access the charging stations,” reads the report.
“Staff received direct correspondence regarding this issue and collected 58 survey responses. One of the major themes of the feedback concerned the inability to access charging stations due to parked ICE vehicles.”
Under normal circumstances, parking along the waterfront, including the marina lot, is at a premium during the summer, especially during event-filled long weekends like Kempenfest. Marina patrons have expressed their own frustrations over the lack of parking, even if they have purchased a seasonal parking permit.
The lot operates on a first-come, first-served basis. The report says the change is to align the City with provincial legislation preventing “the misuse of charging stations by limiting the use of these parking stalls to electric vehicles that are actively charging.”
However, the report continues that regardless of provincial legislation, “it is the professional opinion of staff that dedication is the best practice because it provides a higher level of service to the growing EV community and it optimizes the use of City assets.”
Other municipalities that have adopted similar measures include Brampton, Burlington, Kingston, London, St. Catharines and Sudbury. Signage informing the public of the parking rules will be installed at a cost of $3,000.
“There is a risk there could be additional costs to retrofit signage once the province releases the supporting regulation for Bill 123 with specifications for EV signage. To mitigate this risk, staff researched and selected a design that is already being used successfully in both the City of London and Province of British Columbia.”
The charging stations were installed following a partnership with Tesla in late 2017, with the automaker donating the equipment and funding the installation costs. The City takes care of operating costs, however, states the report, “electricity costs to date have been far lower than originally anticipated and are partially funded through a sponsorship agreement with the BIA.”
The report did not present information on how many vehicles use the charging stations, but a report from early 2019 said usage was “well below” initial estimates.