It was a cold January Indiana morning. I headed to the shopping center. They were delivering a TV and I needed a part before they arrived.
I pulled into the empty parking lot about 15 minutes before the store opened. I thought good, it’s pretty cold, I’ll get a nice parking space close to the door. It wasn’t quite so easy.
I discovered several signs in the good, close-in parking spaces. Several prime spots were allocated to handicapped, which is certainly understandable; however, there were also spots for in-store pickups, pregnant women, police officers and a couple for the employee of the month. Over 20 prime spots were reserved for all these special people.
I found the closest spot for the rest of us, parked and waited for the store to open. I got out, the wind was blowing, I zipped up my coat, pulled my knit cap over my ears and trudged into the store grumbling all the way.
On the way out, I noticed a concentration of cars where I was parked and two handicapped spots taken, the rest was empty. I wish I had taken a picture.
It was cold, but having handicapped family members, I support the idea of making it easier for them. I’ve often said I’d love to be able to park in handicapped spaces, but hope I NEVER need a handicapped sticker. Save them for those who need them. Glad I am healthy enough to walk.
Having prime parking spaces for special needs makes good sense from a humanitarian standpoint. The political class have mandated it; they want the voters to know how much they care.
One of my pet peeves is seeing people park in handicapped spots that shouldn’t be. I recall pulling into a drug store, next to a liquor store that had a handicapped spot right in front of the door. A hot rod pulled in, handicapped sticker hanging from the mirror. Out jumped two young men, laughing and joking, as they went in. I looked closely and there was an elderly woman in the back seat. They came out carrying a couple cases of beer. Grandma must have been really thirsty. I bit my tongue and said nothing.
I have no complaint about a couple spots for pregnant women. Cops…I have mixed emotions. If they are there on official business, makes sense. If they are shopping on taxpayer time…. Well, you get the picture.
Heck, if I owned a Dunkin’ Donuts, I’d give cops their own drive-through lane and have a flashing light on the roof signaling when donuts go on sale.
I could get upset about the in-store pickup spots, particularly when the sign gives you a phone number for them to bring your order out to your car. Is the prime spot for customers, or employees? It makes little sense from a marketing standpoint; retail shops want people walking into their store hoping they will see some impulse items and buy more. There is a reason the pharmacy is almost always in the back of the drug store.
For Christmas, my wife Jo got a Yeti coffee cup, and she loves it. They are expensive, but they really do the job. We left it in Indiana. I decided to surprise her and get her one here in AZ. I found one Yeti store in Phoenix at a very upscale mall.
We drove over, and discovered parking was very difficult. Near the Yeti store are several high fashion shops and there were a couple of open spaces. There were some funny markings on the pavement and then I saw “Tesla Parking Only” with another sign warning you about a city ordinance and huge fine if you try to park there in anything but a Tesla.
It didn’t say electric vehicles, it said – Tesla. What kind of crap is that?
I have no problem with anyone who wants to buy and drive a Tesla, that is their choice. I have friends that love theirs. They are quiet and smooth, as advertised.
For readers concerned about saving the planet, don’t bother to write in, that is NOT the issue I am talking about.
I was surprised to read Investors.com, explaining:
“For every Tesla car sold (up to No. 200,000), federal taxpayers kick in $7,500 to lower the costs. State taxpayers in a multitude of states pony up still more. In Colorado, they contribute another $5,000 to the electric car kitty, in California, it’s $2,500.
The taxpayer help only starts there. Tesla also collects hundreds of millions from competing automakers by selling environmental credits…. In more than half a dozen other states to car companies that can’t meet the states’ ‘zero emissions’ sales mandates.”
I fail to see how buying/selling environmental credits helps the planet. It’s more like a “get out of jail free” card, with some money changer in the middle (Al Gore, maybe?) making a lot of profit.
I was shocked when GolfBlogger.com reported on Federal Subsidies For Golf Carts: (emphasis mine)
“The federal credit provides from $4,200 to $5,500 for the purchase of an electric vehicle, and when it is combined with similar incentive plans in many states the tax credits can pay for nearly the entire cost of a golf cart. …. The federal credit is generous enough to pay for half or even two-thirds of the average sticker price of a cart, which is typically in the range of $8,000 to $10,000. ‘The purchase of some models could be absolutely free,’ said Roger Gaddis of Ada Electric Cars in Oklahoma. ‘Is that about the coolest thing you’ve ever heard?’
…. And since there is apparently no limit on how many carts can be bought by an individual with this stimulus, some are stocking up on free carts for resale later. Others have figured out how to turn the electric car loophole into instant cash through a buy and leaseback arrangement.
It’s just one more example of the unforeseen consequences that nearly always occur when the government attempts to manipulate the market.”
I’m not sure if the federal credits still exist. Some say no, while others invite you to their store and they will show you how to outfit your cart, so it qualifies.
My point is simple, those who want to buy an electric vehicle certainly are free to do so, while possibly benefitting from taxpayer subsidies. I’m not debating the environmental issues, or political use of our tax dollars; do that on other sites.
What put me over the top?
Not only did I resent the preferential treatment for the owner of one particular brand of automobile as opposed to saying electric vehicles; I looked at the setup. I couldn’t find a spot to insert a credit card.
Tesla owners get prime parking, but they also get a free fill up when they park there? I’ve spent a lot of money at that mall; no merchant ever gave me a free tank of gas! In fact, the government slaps a 10% mall tax on everything we buy there. No wonder online shopping is so popular!
|Editors note: I just got a note from the gal in production who handles our account:|
“I’m not sure if Dennis realizes this, but most of the outrage he has in his article is based on the false assumption that Tesla chargers at malls and in parking lots are free because they don’t have a credit card slot on them. My friend owns a Tesla and I asked him. He says every Tesla owner has a Tesla account with a card tied to it, and when you plug in, it bills your account. If you don’t have a credit card set up on your Tesla account, it won’t let you charge at those spots.”
Thanks for the heads up! Wonder how owners of other electric vehicles feel about that?
Merchants tell us the spots are put there by the mall owners. OK, BUT…the cost of electricity will be reflected in their rent…and those costs will be passed on to shoppers in the form of higher prices.
An article on teslamotorclub.com asks, “Why should a Mall have EV parking/chargers?” Some interesting responses:
1. EV buyers are more discerning as they have already made a decision to spend more $ than a typical car buyer in the same class of vehicle.
2. If this is important to EV buyers they might decide to go to Yorkdale instead.
3. It’s the way of the future, there is brand value in being seen as a leader not a follower.
Doug G. adds:
They should do this because people are going to vote with their feet. If you offer charging, then we will come to your store. If not, we will go to some other place that does.
Cpa chimes in:
To encourage EV drivers of all stripes to patronize their shopping center, because if you don’t, someone else will.”
Perhaps merchants should follow the line of thinking for all customers. Teslarati tells us owners of other vehicles are offended:
“The act of a combustion engine car parking in an EV charging space is usually referred to as “ICEing.” ….this woman seemed to be parking somewhere that would be identified as a “prime” spot due to its location close to the front entrance of the mall.”
If the politicos use my taxes to subsidize owners of electric vehicles and golf carts, I’ll deal with it at the voting booth.
If mall owners want us to pay higher prices to subsidize them filling the tanks of Tesla owners, while offering them prime spaces, I too can vote – with my car and shop elsewhere.
I find no fault with charging stations for electric vehicles (not just Teslas) as long as they are not in prime spaces and FREE. I resent the heck out of it when I’m walking farther on very hot, cold or rainy day because of the type of vehicle I chose to buy.
Enough is enough! Starting immediately, if I see charging stations in prime spots, I will ask the merchant for a discount. Even if the owner is paying for the charge, why should they be given prime parking? Where do we draw the line?