Crack down on electric car charging spots

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Frank Landfield says he loves his Tesla and what it represents. 

"I'm not contributing to global warming and wars," he said. 

He doesn't love the electric car parking situation, though. 

"On Thursday night at the Street Fair, there is always a gas car parked in the charging station," Landfield said. 

He said this happens often at the parking garage on Baristo, and at other locations, too. We talked to Palm Springs city manager David Ready about the problem. Just like any new regulation, it'll take time to get everyone on board.    

"The parking spots are a newer phenomenon and we just had the no parking signs up for a couple weeks and we usually do that as a grace period," Ready said. 

The grace period is over. The city started enforcing the signs last week.

"The fine is $35. We are also looking at, right now it's a two hour parking limit, but maybe we need to increase it to four hours. We may need to modify the program a bit. As the electronic vehicle program expands, we want to make sure we have the right kind of enforcement regulations there," Ready said. 

Landfield said people shouldn't abuse the spots, because some really need to use them.  

"It's like a handicap spot. Most of the time they're empty, but when a handicap person comes up, they need to park there. Like when an electric car comes up, they might be out of juice. They need to juice up," Lanfield said.

With more grants, the city can eventually add more charging stations.

"We're just starting to grow the spots for electric vehicles. We have two downtown and two at the airport, but as the downtown redevelopment project grows, we will add additional parking spaces as well," Ready said.

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