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No More Free Electric Vehicle Parking at LAX

The free to park and charge business model is being reviewed by some businesses. Are EV owners going to lose their privileges?

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It had to happen and LAX does not like to give things away for free. For years, it fought tooth and nail the expansion of the Metro line to the airport preferring to force its users to park at their costly lots. Until now, one of the perks of owning an electric vehicle, EV and going to the Los Angeles airport, LAX was electric vehicles parked for free. LAX is now pulling the plug on this and electric vehicles will have to pay full fare.

Free vs. Making a Profit. This goes back to the other topic on many people’s minds, will charging EVs continue to be free or not. Parking has been free for EV owners in most parts of the city. Charging also. However, as EVs are becoming more prevalent throughout the city, some business owners are reconsidering the free charge and park approach. LAX has done just that.

Free charge and park is not a small deal when you own an EV in Los Angeles and have to make a few day business trip. The hefty parking price is no less than $30 a day for cars at this premium place. LAX feels it could use that parking spot for better use. We have to wonder why not leave a remote parking spot open and free to EVs?

Many people enjoy the 30 day free parking at the LA airport. And why not, 30 times $30 is a lot of money should you leave for a month. LAX’s 38 charging stations was part of the incentives to get people to buy greener cars and most especially, electric vehicles. Taking out that option is a blow to those traveling within the city and those getting on airplanes. But LAX made one mistake, they treated hybrids and plug-in hybrids, PHEV as electric vehicles. In other words, a hybrid that didn’t need charging could use the charge place of an electric vehicle, making some EV owners look for parking spots. It might have been a smarter plan to keep it for pure electric vehicles only and reserve a few spots for hybrids and PHEVs.

Pay To Charge. The same thing seems to be happening with public charging stations, once mostly free to all. Mall owners are starting to make EV owners pay, sometimes more than it actually makes sense. If the original idea was that people would come, park and charge for free while shopping. It was a win-win position for everyone.

This only highlights some of the changes business owners will have to contend within the next few years. Charging and parking for free makes sense for both business and owners, but businesses need to put in place a business plan that maximizes this. Obviously, an airport is not much of a shopping experience and the next few years should see a mixture of free and pay-per-charge stations and parking spots. Ultimately, EV owners will decide what makes more sense, park and charge for free or pay.

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