Plug-in hybrids like the Chevrolet Volt or Toyota Prius Prime are being prohibited from using the 35 public charging stations owned by the city of Beverly Hills near Los Angeles. The new policy goes into effect Monday on April 2.
The change is part of a broader EV charging policy update that will include enhanced enforcement of the rules for cars parked at charging station spaces as well as new payment policies at the 14 city parking lots and one park that have charging facilities.
Under the new rules, drivers will pay $0.25 per kilowatt-hour to help cover the cost of providing electricity. In addition, a $6 per hour “station fee” will be charged after the first 2 hours in order to encourage station turnover to other cars.
All vehicles other than all-electric models or those parked without plugging in and initiating a charging session will be subject to receiving a citation or being towed at the owner’s expense.
The new policy was adopted “in order to improve access for vehicles that are 100% reliant on electric power” as increasing sales of EVs bring challenges for scaling up so-called opportunity charging facilities.
All-electric cars at these stations can typically add 20 to 25 miles of driving range for every hour of charging. Many, but not all, plug-in hybrids draw less power and can add 10 to 12 miles of range for each hour of charging.
Plug-in hybrids typically, but not always, have smaller batteries and shorter driving ranges and may be most likely to need a charge away from home in order to avoid burning gasoline.
Presumably, this new policy will prohibit charging of the 2018 BMW i3 model which comes with the range extender option even though, at 97 miles of all-electric range, it can travel farther on a single charge than a 2018 Fiat 500e or a 2018 smart fortwo.