Misuse of EV stations in city garages may prompt hourly fee or tickets


Sherman Plaza Self Park. Credit: City of Evanston

Officials at the Maple Avenue and Sherman Plaza parking garages have received several complaints about electric vehicles occupying charging stations for hours on end, leading some Evanston City Council members and officials to discuss imposing hourly charging rates or issuing citations to electric vehicle owners.

Images obtained by the Evanston RoundTable show many vehicles remaining in place at charging stations for anywhere between four and nine hours at a time, treating charging stations as parking spots.

Grievances surrounding charging station misuse have been most widely made about the Sherman Plaza and Maple Avenue parking garages.

Several Evanstonians have raised the issue with 4th Ward Council Member Jonathan Nieuwsma since it was raised in the Administration and Public Works Committee agenda in February 2023, Nieuwsma said.

Nieuwsma said the City Council acknowledges the problem and is committed to solving it.

Ticketing could be an option

“There are a couple of ways we can address this,” Nieuwsma said. “We can charge electric vehicles for the privilege of parking in those spots. We can also issue citations after a certain period of time. This is something our sustainability department has been involved in as well.”

While there is currently a three-hour charging limit at each station, the city has no existing regulations preventing individuals from either remaining in a spot after charging has turned off or unplugging the charger and plugging it back in, starting a new three-hour charge. Regular garage fees, if any, would be in effect.


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