A Perfect Example of How Not To Do EV Charging on Public Streets

There are many good ideas surrounding electric cars. This is not one of them.

Delivery trucks, turning cars and trash—as if cyclists didn’t have enough to worry about in the bike lane, now we have electric car chargers strung over the path like poorly-hung Christmas lights.

Recently, Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles underwent a minor facelift under the ADAPT program. This included revamping the city’s cycling infrastructure with a new separated bike lane. Construction was completed earlier this month and the road re-opened to the public in its entirety. However, there’s just one thing that wasn’t taken into account during the planning phase: the public electric vehicle charging infrastructure on the same side of the street where the bike lane was just placed.

It wasn’t long before Reddit user /u/TezzDonut spotted a car making use of the charger, and while the car itself technically wasn’t blocking the bike lane, the poorly placed cable certainly was.

via Reddit /u/TezzDonut

Oh, and before you ask, the car is a three-wheeled Arcimoto FUV, and that stands for Fun Utility Vehicle because, well, just look at it.

Was this some sort of crazy move by city planners designed to pit EV drivers and cyclists against one another? Probably not. It’s likely just a blunder caused by poor foresight, though we would like to believe that there’s some sort of secret turf war going on between the two for control over LA’s surface streets.

But it’s also dangerous. Could you imagine riding your bicycle at night and then getting clotheslined by a destination charger that is run not only through the bike lane, but also positioned at chest-height? It’s probably fair to assume that this is a risky game waiting to take out its first unsuspecting two-wheeled commuter.

Fortunately, some kind souls on Reddit banded together and contacted the Bureau of Street Lighting, the department that’s in charge of these destination chargers since they pull power from the city’s street lamps. The department has reportedly already turned off power to the unit to prevent this from happening until it gets around to moving the unit.

This problem might seem small and silly, but it’s a prime example of just how much is poised to change as we see more battery electric vehicles on the street. If anything, this proves to us that public charging infrastructure—which is critical to mass EV adoption—is going to be harder to master than it seems.

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