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Free Parking for Electric Cars – Yay or Nay?


Free Parking for Electric Cars – Yay or Nay?
Photo credit: Ruddington Photos / Flickr

With electric cars gaining popularity and market share, their proliferation throughout the automotive world is still limited. In order to boost their sales, the idea of allowing electric cars to park free in places that normally charge has been tossed around. Whether this is a good or bad idea, has not been hotly debated, but there are clear arguments on both sides of the issue.

In high-population city centers, allowing electric cars to park free of charge could entice new-car consumers into purchasing electric cars. While the long-term environmental impact of electric cars is still unknown, their reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would be greatly beneficial to many populated cities.

Electric cars are quiet, reducing noise as well. Allowing them to park for free would be beneficial to the segment for simply enticing new buyers with another added incentive to buying the car.

While allowing electric cars free parking, there is the issue of taxing them. For many states, paying for road construction projects and other transportation infrastructure comes from a gas tax. Electric cars avoid this tax when they bypass the fueling station for the electric outlet at home. If electric cars take a large hold in the market, a large portion of profits from the gas tax will be lost, leaving many states without funding for proper road and infrastructure maintenance.

A problem that is being seen by used electric vehicles is value depreciation. When electric cars are heavily incentivized, their resale value plummets because the market wasn’t actually ready for the influx of electric cars. This leaves a discrepancy between what certain social agendas want and the market. There is the reason the Ford F-150 is one of the best selling vehicles for over 35 years. Incentivizing a product, like allowing electric cars to park for free is only as good as the market they are sold into, and right now the electric car market isn’t growing at the rate many would like.

The idea of granting electric cars free parking is nice, and would sell more electric cars to those free parking would directly effect, but whether it is a good, long-term idea still has to be properly weighed. Free parking for electric cars has larger ramifications that must be considered before such an incentive is instated.

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