Third time chasing an ICE out of a Supercharger spot.

Third time chasing an ICE out of a Supercharger spot.

I am getting a bit tired of having to knock on someones window to tell them to vacate a Tesla Supercharging space. I always point to the sign and they act as if they did nothing wrong. I have been lucky that someone was still in the vehicle.

When will this stop? Does Tesla need attendants at each Supercharger to kick the ICE cars out? Something must be done.

negarholger | 02. september 2013

Which SC ?

mfrey | 02. september 2013

Both the North and Southbound Milford CT Superchargers

bonaire | 02. september 2013

Good luck. L2 ICEings have been rampant for a couple years now. Did they have a Romney bumper sticker?

shop | 02. september 2013

Some jurisdictions have a fine for misuse of a charging parking spot. Maybe something to check on in your area.

shs | 02. september 2013

I found an ICE in an SC space at Tejon and photographed their car. They were with the car and were very upset as they felt that they were doing nothing wrong, just using the shade of the solar panels for a quick stop to talk, or do whatever. They left immediately after and soon as Tesla was in that spot. Thinking about it afterwards, I felt bad that in fact they did not seem to be trying to make a statement about EVs or be a problem in any way, just seeking some shade for a few minutes while they talked by their car. This is very different from leaving an ICE in a space. If we come on too strong about this issue in similar circumstances we may do more harm than good for the EV cause.

AmpedRealtor | 02. september 2013

My opinion... An ICE vehicle has no business in an EV spot. Sorry. You want shade? Go stand under a tree. Superchargers are for use of Tesla vehicles. They are not rest stops. They are not some place to stretch your legs while you give your car shade in a spot that is reserved for someone that is not you. The idiot person sitting in the ICE vehicle didn't pay $2,000 to be able to use that spot, but I did.

I wish Tesla would have thought through this aspect of superchargers more completely.

mjs | 02. september 2013

I see ICEd spots there frequently, but haven't yet been denied a spot.
It hasn't really effected me yet, but I still get frustrated when I see it.

tes-s | 02. september 2013

There use to be ICE cars in the Darien SC spots until they upgraded the signage.

When I was in Milford SB yesterday, one Tesla and one open spot.

Dramsey | 02. september 2013

Solution: some of those pop-up tire spikes like you see at the exits to paid parking lots. A Tesla rolls into the Supercharger spot, and once it's plugged into the Supercharger, the user can retract the spikes using a newly-available button on the center control screen.

An ICE car rolls in and is stuck.

agiangone | 02. september 2013

I can see Tesla installing bars that will automatically come up as a ms approaches.

TikiMan | 02. september 2013

If it makes you feel any better; I sometimes park my MS at a gas station pump area, to grab a bottle of water, or an energy-bar, when I am too busy to stop at a local market.

One time an attendant at a gas station asked if I needed any fuel for my Aston Martin ;-)

Newampster | 02. september 2013

My only SC experience was at Milford Southbound. While returning, I waved off a Suburban that wanted to pull into the other SC lane. They went to another "no parking" spot and let the kids out to race to the restrooms. Some people just don't care.

SBerg | 02. september 2013

Don't have my MS yet, but I think we need to be the guys and gals in the white hats. Being a$$y is not going to do Tesla owners any good. Simply explain that you need the spot to fill up and hopefully the offender will move on without a big issue.

J.T. | 02. september 2013

@SBerg what if you don't need the spot? What if you pull into a Supercharger, connect and notice an ICE in one of the other slots? Do you inform them of their faux-pas? If not, why not? If so, what do you say that's going to leave the ICE owner with the impression that Tesla owners are wonderful people?

My experience is there's no way to educate adults without them taking offense in some way. Then again, I do live in NY.

ppape | 02. september 2013

I hope the signage was something like: Parking reserved for Teslas ONLY. All other vehicles will be towed at owners expense.

Direct! They are given notice. Done. Let's see how many would risk a $300 tow.


AmpedRealtor | 02. september 2013

Charger Rage. Just wait, it'll happen. That will make for an interesting headline.

slevinn | 02. september 2013

As I was charging in Milford, an ICE car pulled into the second spot and I explained that the spot was for electric car charging. They said, "There's no where else to park", which meant that all the close parking spots had been taken.

In a very nice way, I said they could stay there, but they would almost surely get a ticket at a minimum and would probably be towed.

They moved their car and found another spot.

mrspaghetti | 02. september 2013

As long as they are in their cars and willing to move if the spot is needed by a tesla I don't see the big deal. Why not use the shade of its not being used by anyone else?

I know there are different opinions on this too, but I think of it like the disabled stalls in stadium bathrooms. If they're open, use them, but if a disabled person actually shows up they get it next. The difference being that I don't expect non-disabled users of disabled stalls to pinch it off instantly upon arrival of a wheelchair, but ICE drivers would be expected to clear out right away.

negarholger | 02. september 2013

OMG - charge rage
I am just waiting that Gilroy gets solar panels and the now in the corner spots will become the most desirable spots in the entire parking lot... that will be fun.

DJung | 02. september 2013

@mrspaghetti the problem with that is that they may park there and leave for a long time, especially at a shopping mall. hen we wouldn't be able to locate them and ask themn to move their vehicle. then those that need to charge would have to wait for them to return

KendallPB | 02. september 2013

The bathroom stall comparison doesn't work. First, I don't believe a larger wheelchair-accessible stall is intended to sit empty 99% of the time; I believe non-disabled folks are allowed to use them. (I haven't been to a stadium lately but I'm thinking of similar stalls in bathrooms across the country.) However, the Supercharger spots aren't intended to be used by ICEs, period. Second, people don't just lock themselves in a handicap/disabled stall for the heck of it; they're using it and you know they'll be gone as soon as they can. Not necessarily so for an ICE in a Supercharger spot. Thirdly, if all stalls are full, again, someone will use the handicap/disabled stall and get going when done; but when someone is ICEing an EV or Supercharger spot, it's rarely or never the actual last spot there--they have other parking options...they just want that one.

RZippel | 03. september 2013

This is not just a problem with superchargers. We have a lot of public, free Type2 charging stations in Germany. Those who have no very explicit official "no-parking" signs are usually taken by ICE cars. Ans even the ones where you get a ticket are, by people who don't care or don't have to pay anyway because they live on social security...

I fear there is no way but technically blocking the slots if you want to be sure. You will just meet a lot of people that don't just leave or you won't meet them at all. Because the SCs are Tesla property I guess there won't be official no-parking zones where the authorities tow, right? Here in Germany, Tesla would have to initiate that as the owner and that is not practicable. It is a nightmare to get the money back from the owners of the car, even if you had them towed rightfully from your property. Because people ignoring the rules tend to be the ones you can't just reason with...

sunrunner | 03. september 2013

I saw this in Tejon, a family stopped their SUV In SC spot, left their dog in the car and went to eat lunch. I mentioned that this is an EV charging station so the guy just shrugged and walked away.
In buelton, i once found 3 spots occupied by ICEs.
Maybe some people need to be towed in order to take EV parking only more seriously

bradslee | 03. september 2013

Perhaps TM should put a big sign saying "High Voltage and Extremely Dangerous to Gas Powered Automobiles" in each SC. -:)

RZippel | 03. september 2013


The competition would love it: NYT would write:

Tesla Motors admits that supercharging stations are extremely dangerous to the public.

I advise against it ;-)

J.T. | 03. september 2013

@mrspaghetti The chargers in Milford are not covered.

defmonk | 03. september 2013

Even with attendants, you can't teach folks what their parents have not. How many times have I seen an ICE parked at a gas station pump long after it's full? While others are waiting? Incredible.

highfalutintodd | 03. september 2013

Have never been to a supercharger location - are the spots they're in really that highly trafficked? Here in TN most public charging stations seem to be tucked out of the way even in busy places.

WhisperingCJ | 03. september 2013

At an office I used to work in, we had a problem with the public using the office car park because it was in the middle of town.

The car park had a single entrance and just happened to have a post on each side of the road.

We solved the problem with the public parking in it by simply attaching one end of a long chain to one side of the entrance.

This chain was never actually used, and in fact, we didn't even buy a padlock for it - just the chain, but we made it obvious it was there, and its presence was enough to persuade people to believe they may get locked in. (We didn't even use a sign, LOL)

An obvious sign saying that ICE vehicles may be towed if found using an EV charging bay may be all that is required. It doesn't even need to be acted upon.
It may not stop the people wanting to use them as shade, and staying near the vehicle, but they are not the problem as they can move their car when a Tesla drives up, but it should dissuade people from walking away from their car.

J.T. | 03. september 2013

@kribensa I like the thought behind your proposal. It's like Speed Checked by Radar signs. No one really wants to find out.

Mathew98 | 03. september 2013

@jtodtman - Unless you're in DC area and they do send you a ticket along with photo/radar report.

J.T. | 03. september 2013

I haven't heard this one before:

Lift gates at every stall which can only be activated from your touchscreen.

If someone else said it then you can have all the royalties.

mrspaghetti | 03. september 2013

I vote for clear signs threatening towing - even if unenforceable in a given jurisdiction.

thranx | 03. september 2013

A sign threatening an expensive tow may not be the best possible solution, but it's cheap and frequently works.

Agreements with local tow operators (who would collect a portion of the tow and storage charge) would ensure that the signs are enforced, as they would have an incentive to keep an eye on the supercharger spaces.

AmpedRealtor | 03. september 2013

How about a two-pronged approach:
Post a sign that unauthorized vehicles will be fined and towed at owner's expense.Provide each owner with a card giving that owner legal authority to contact the police and/or towing company on behalf of Tesla to have such vehicles removed from the premises and the owner fined.

TeslaOR | 03. september 2013

Many people are just clueless about how many EVs are on the road. This will improve as awareness get better, but the pinheads who just don't care will need to be towed/ticketed.

Tesla could help the situation by adding more prominent Tesla signage to the new supercharger locations. I think the superchargers are more prone to squatting than other public chargers as they do not have the LED screens and blinking lights for sign-in that the public ones have.

The latest supercharger location that I looked at has two types of parking restrictions. One for Tesla's only and the other with 30min parking for everyone. Whats that all about? Will only confuse the situation more.

LMB | 03. september 2013

Here's my spiel for the ICE folks:

"This isn't a parking space. It's a fueling station. If you're not fueling here, could you move your car so someone else can?"

Then when they look confused, I say, "This is like parking your car in front of the gas pump and walking away."

I don't know if I get through, but it's worth a try.

LMB | 03. september 2013


At Darien North, they put cones in front of the spaces. Works like a charm. They don't do that at Milford.

Next time I travel, maybe I'll bring my own and leave them there.

Warkovision | 03. september 2013

I had a similar experience in Buellton to one of the previous posters. There's a Marriot Hotel to the North of the SC and a multiplex movie theater and McDonalds to the south. There are eight relatively nondescript charging stalls with no overhead cover that says TESLA. If one is somewhat observant one can see the little arches with the charging cables attached. No one else was there so I parked my car there and set up the charging and just walked around a bit to check out Buellton. When I got back there was another MS owner there charging and we had a great conversation for about 20 minutes. Then a mom and her 5 kids pulls up into one of the charging places in her big white Chevy Suburban, unloads the brood and off they head to McDonalds. There were still 5 places left and I was about to leave so we didn't say anything. But the two of us looked at each other and just shook our heads. Maybe EV charging parking places should be painted like handicapped places only a different color and have an "EV Charging Only" painted there too.

jbunn | 03. september 2013

I would have said something (politely). People know not to park in front of a gas pump. We'll have to teach them gently over time through repetition. And better signage is a must.

We have a public lot three blocks from my house. I've walked by 4 times during the day and night. Every time, it's iced, or there is a BMW electric prototype parked there, but not charging. Sadly, they have poor signage, so not much I can do. If they would have had a sign, I would have been happy to call a tow.

Whoever installed the Chargepoint is losing out on paying customers. They need to get on it.

jbunn | 03. september 2013

Oh, and it's got two L1/L2 Chargepoint stations...

grega | 03. september 2013

Maybe the super charger could be made to look more like a gas pump.

Rheumboy | 03. september 2013

How about parking in front of the ICE car to recharge (if all bays are taken) blocking their exit if they don't move or are absent. Then when they return just tell them the re-charger is "locked" until the charging is completed. Then they will have to wait along with you.

SamO | 03. september 2013

Just act all sweetness and light:

"Gosh I wanted to tell you that people are getting towed for parking in EV charging spots. Happened to a my neighbor and it cost over $500 . . . and they dinged his door. Hope nothing like that happens to you."

skulleyb | 03. september 2013

I was recently at the Buellton SC and it has a sign.
I cant remember perfectly what is says but it was like 30min parking only Tesla's exempt while charging.

Im sure local ordinances prevail and parking has to be in line with that.

Flyshacker | 03. september 2013

SamoSam +1 Best idea yet! I'll do it.

Also, sign: "Don't even think of parking here."

DJung | 03. september 2013

maybe if the supercharging spaces looked less like parking spaces, so that the owner would pull into the slot, charge, and then continue forward to leave, like a drive thru or gas station.

Chris TX | 03. september 2013

My wife and I have always joked about running over to the ICE owner/operator exclaiming "OMG! I didn't know (insert OEM here) made an EV!!!" And when they say, "This isn't electric" you dramatically and bewilderingly look over at the charger. Follow that up with an over-dramatic "OOOOohhhhhhh....."

Now, the SC is a different story as it has Tesla plastered on it. I'm looking forward to the several opening up around us.

fluxemag | 03. september 2013

In Scottsdale in the parking garage outside of the Tesla store, there are four spots with epoxy floor, a big TESLA sign and roped off saying the parking is for Tesla cars only. I've never seen any other vehicles parked there and it's pretty easy to hop out and move the plastic chain for the spot you want. We will see how well that works during Christmas when the mall is exploding with humans. Honestly I expect it to be full of Teslas. Just make it official looking and most people will scurry off. (I did see a Leaf owner pull up to investigate the chargers, but not park in the spaces)

jbunn | 03. september 2013


You Sicilian? That was a classic. "Eh, you got a beautiful family there. I like that. Pretty wife. Nice kids... Be a shame if anything happened to them."

No slur intended. I am one. Sounds like something I might have heard around the house....