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Los Gatos Restricts Electric Car Charge Stations’ Parking Stalls to EV Only

The Los Gatos Town Council unanimously voted this week to restrict access to the municipality’s electric vehicle charging stations exclusively to electric vehicles owners.

The move was applauded by Los Gatos EV expert Mike Calise, who praised town government leadership, including Mayor Barbara Spector, for a comprehensive review of their charging stations program.

The access points are located at:

South parking lot across the street from the Toll House Hotel
Parking lot 5, between Elm and Main streets
Parking lot 3, between Royce Street and Grays Lane (two behind the former Domus building)

There are also two EV charging stations at the Los Gatos Motor Inn, which were installed in early 2012.

“This is a good day for the Bay Area community,” exclaimed Calise in a written statement Monday evening after the vote was taken.

Calise said the town had followed through its long-term EV charging stations plan by assessing usage of the access points, particularly after staff received numerous concerns through emails and telephone calls from EV drivers expressing their frustration that the parking stalls adjacent to the charging stations were available to all vehicles and were often occupied by conventional vehicles, limiting the charging opportunities for EVs.

“After measuring a significant increase in demand, it was good to see the town move to exclusive use of those parking stalls to pure battery electric EVs or Plug-In Hybrid Electric vehicles,” Calise said.

In addition, those electric vehicle owners must initiate a paid-for charging session and will not have a special privilege of parking in an open charging station stall just because they drive an EV, he added.

Everyone gets treated equally as the respective parking lot allotted timeouts govern the max length of all vehicles parking there including gas and electric powered vehicle with no special time extensions for EVs, he said.

In time, it may be that the max EV charging sessions may be shorter than the parking lot allotted time maximums if the town feels that the EV demand will continue to outstrip supply and even faster turnover is required, he noted.

The town’s four EV charging stations became operational in June 2012. Since that time, staff has been monitoring the usage activity for each station.
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