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Tesla driver sparks debate with photo of car blocking EV chargers: 'How does this work?'

"I'd give them a pass."

"I'd give them a pass."

Photo Credit: iStock

A Tesla driver recently shared a pic to Reddit that sparked quite the debate. The picture shows an SUV that is not an electric vehicle parked in a spot with signage for EVs and handicapped, van-accessible parking. 

At first glance, the pic, headed "ICEd out in Valencia," appears to be just another example of an internal combustion vehicle taking up an EV charging spot. 

Tesla parking
Photo Credit: Reddit

For years now, EV drivers across the country have taken to social media to vent their frustrations about gas-powered vehicles parking in spots designated as charging stations. There are countless Reddit posts about it, but this one falls into a gray area for multiple reasons.

For starters, it should be noted that we don't know whether or not the vehicle has a handicap placard. We can't see the rearview mirror in the picture.

The pic was taken in California, but the vehicle has Nevada license plates. Nevada only gives out handicap plates for people with permanent disabilities. It's possible this person had a temporary disability and would therefore not have handicap plates.

The main point of contention seems to be whether or not it's OK for someone with a handicap placard but not an EV, or someone with an EV but not a handicap placard, to park there. 

The law surrounding that question is pretty ambiguous, but the most widely accepted interpretation is a "use last" type of protocol. That means that if you have a handicap placard and you're not in an EV, but all other handicap spots are taken, you can park there. Or if you have an EV but not a handicap placard, and all other charging stations are taken, it's okay for you to park there.

This question dominated the conversation in the comments.

One commenter asked: "How does this work? You have to be EV and handicapped?"

"The Superchargers I've seen with handicap signs say "use this last," so you can still use it if not handicapped, but use another charging stall if available," another replied

Another person commented: "If this person has a handicap placard on their rearview mirror and there are no other handicap spots open I'd give them a pass."

Of course, there's always the possibility that the car doesn't have a handicap placard, which would make the offense that much more egregious. But since we don't know, let's have faith in humanity and hope that it was just someone with a placard who didn't have anywhere else to park.

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