Colorado Kills Electric Car Direct Sales Bill And Considers Fine For Charger-Blocking ICE Owners

One bill could introduce a $182 fine for blocking charging stations

2019 Nissan LEAF Plus (e+)

Two bills aimed to address problems with the current state of electric cars.

Legislators in Colorado struck down a bill that would have allowed electric car manufacturers to engage in direct sales. HB 1325, titled “Electric Car Manufacturers May Sell Directly To Consumers”, was voted down 35-30 in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

According to the bill summary on the Colorado General Assembly’s website:

The bill creates a new exception that allows the ownership, operation, or control of a motor vehicle dealer by an electric motor vehicle manufacturer that engages exclusively in the sale of electric motor vehicles of the same line-make s are manufactured by the electric vehicle manufacturer.”

Legalese aside, that basically means that strictly EV makers can sell their own cars in a direct sale scheme in the state. However, Automotive News reports that opponents fiercely contested the bill’s effort to bypass traditional dealer franchises, particularly as Rivian is joining Tesla as a major player in the electric market. Tesla currently uses a loophole in Colorado law meant for a defunct bus manufacturer to sell cars in the state.

‘Anti-ICEing’ bill moves forward

Then there’s the matter of HB 1298, a bill that focuses on EV charging station parking. The bill would prohibit drivers of fossil fuel-powered cars and non-charging EVs to park in front of charging stations. We have seen some cases of people being jerks and blocking electric cars, and the bill aims to introduce a penalty for doing so.

Under the bill, Colorado drivers could face a $150 penalty and $32 surcharge for parking in an electric charging station space. According to The Colorado Sun, the bill came about from a Tesla Model X owner who found support in state Senator Kevin Priola and Representative Jovan Melton. She was driven to act on behalf of electric car owners after learning about the impact of fines in Arizona, which can reach $350 for non-electric vehicles blocking charging stations.

House Bill 1298 passed the state house on April 18, with 41 votes in favor of the measure to 21 votes against.