Signage Differences Make Electric Cars Impossible

May 18, 2012

May 18, 2012 — The future is here, but it needs signs.  The federally financed EV Project, intended to build infrastructure for the widespread use of electric vehicles, is running into some hiccups — mainly in the form of typography and image.  That is to say, signs.

Just a few different signs denoting EV-charging spots. (Ecotality)

An advisory committee assembled by Ecotality, which is home to the EV Project, reports that public charging spots are less and less visible.   (Think rather large phone chargers in outlet strips all over the country.  At least that’s the plan for this new wave in decreasing automobile emissions.)  While some stores are quick to advertise an eco-friendly practice, others are a bit more hesitant to tow away internal-combustion cars that are parked in EV spots.  These are paying customers, after all.  So what if it’s illegal.

An MUTCD-regulation call for EV parking only (

With signs large and small, multi-colored and black-and-white, changing text and changing image, motorists are anyway finding it hard to know whether a spot is even EV-exclusive.   The Federal Highway Administration’s latest Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices recommends a single uniform sign, like the one above.

Any EV drivers out there? What do you think?

– R. Fogel

Category: News, No Parking, Regulations