Revisions Expected To Be Made To Electric Vehicle Legislation For Frederick County

The County Council Discussed it last Tuesday.


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Frederick, Md (KM) Some revisions are expected to be made to a bill covering electric vehicles. The measure discussed last Tuesday by the Frederick County Council would define electric vehicles, and prohibit drivers of non-electric cars from parking  in spaces reserved for electric vehicles, many of which have charging stations.

Councilman Kai Hagen is sponsoring the legislation. “Staff reviewed it and it went through a legal review. And some changes were made after some back and forth to try to make it clear and clean and specific as possible,” he said

Hagen said he’s willing to listen to feedback from his fellow Council members, and they provided that during a workshop. Councilman Steve McKay said the measure doesn’t outline how it will be enforced. “The big miss that you need to address is how this would be enforced, what kind of violation it would be; and to actually get that language in there,” McKay said.

A similar issue was whether the County could enforce this legislation in the municipalities, which have their own parking regulations. “I would like it to apply to municipalities if it can,” says Hagen. “And I was under the impression that they would have to come up with their own version of this.”

Hagen also said he’s heard from one of the Frederick City Aldermen who told him if the county passes this ordinance, the city would be willing to approve  a similar measure   The Town of Emmitsburg already   has regulations governing electric vehicles.

Another question is whether the County could enforce this bill on private property, such as commercial parking lots which could have parking spaces for electric vehicles, and  provide charging stations for employees or visitors who have electric cars.  . Councilman McKay says   these and similar concerns need to be addressed before this legislation can move forward. “If this were to go into affect with some enforcement provision written into it, in which situations and which types of locations would it be effective. So that’s what I’m missing right now,” he said.

Another question had to do with drivers of these vehicles puling into parking spaces reserved for electric cars which have charging stations. But they aren’t charging their vehicles. “Say with Tesla, they’ll  just be able to pop in, grab a candy or  deodorant or whatever it is they’re picking up, and pop back out without actually charging,” said Councilman Phil Dacey.

“Your bill would give them a reserved space,” Dacey continued, addressing his comments to Councilman Hagen . “I don’t need the charge, or I’m just going to be quick. So I’m just going to take advantage of the space as opposed to someone who might need to charge.”

Hagen responded: “I’ll look around at the existing the laws and see if somebody has addressed it with some specific language. And if it doesn’t seem to complicated, I’d be happy to consider adding that.”

Hagen says more electric vehicles are expected to be on the roads over next several years, and more charging stations will be needed. He said right now, the concerns some people have about electric cars is how far a single charge will take them, and whether there are enough charging stations in place.  . But Councilman McKay urged Hagen not to ignore this concern about parking. “We sure cannot rely on the altruism of electric vehicle drivers to not want to use that space because it’s convenient,” he said.

The bill is expected to be revised and come back before the County Council at a future date.



By Kevin McManus