Electric vehicles are growing rapidly in popularity. EVs are environmentally friendly and relatively cheap to run, and they’re becoming cheaper all the time. Each year more and more disabled drivers are choosing to drive an electric vehicle. But are all electric vehicle charging stations accessible for disabled drivers?
Disabled drivers often need more space for their vehicle if it has adaptations. They also often require more space for getting in and out of the vehicle, especially if they use a wheelchair. For these reasons and more, some disabled drivers worry that they may not be able to use EV charging points easily.
Electric vehicle charging accessibility is a crucial issue, so today, we’ll discuss how to find electric vehicle charging points that are accessible for disabled drivers.
What Are Accessible EV Charging Stations?
EV charging stations are places where you can charge an electric vehicle. They are usually found on streets, in shopping malls, in parking lots, and in garages of companies and municipalities. Accessible EV charging stations are those that are easily accessible to people with disabilities.
Are EV Charging Stations ADA-Compliant?
All public amenities must be Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant. This means that EV charging stations in public places must be accessible to people with disabilities. However, in most states, there are currently no specific codes regulating accessibility for disabled EV charging points.
Jurisdictions do have the following guidelines:
- Accessible spaces at EV charging stations don’t count towards the parking facility minimum
- Charging stations are required to have space allotted for a person in a wheelchair
- Typical ADA reach range and turning radius requirements are the standard for accessing the equipment
- EV charging spots should be created in the same way as other ADA parking spaces
Is There Handicap EV Parking?
In most jurisdictions, there is no specific handicap EV parking. Disabled spaces can be used by any person who holds a disabled parking permit. EV charging points will always be located close enough to a disabled space for a permit holder to park in the space while charging their vehicle.
How To Find Electric Vehicle Charging Points That Are Accessible For Disabled Drivers
You can find EV charging points that are accessible for disabled drivers by:
- Joining an EV charging network such as ChargePoint, Electrify America, Supercharger (Tesla), EVgo, or Blink
- Downloading your EV manufacturer’s mobile app
- Searching on your EV’s infotainment system
- Using a dedicated third-party platform such as PlugShare or ChargeHub, both of which have reviews of charging points that you can read
- Searching on Google Maps or Maps.me
How To Get A Disabled Parking Permit
You can get a disabled parking permit to use with your electric vehicle by first having a consultation with a medical professional. This can be done remotely using a telemedicine clinic such as Disabled Parking.
Once the medical professional verifies that you are suitable for disabled parking, they will certify an application form and email it to you within 24 hours. You can then complete the application form and submit it to your local disabled parking authorities. In most states, this will be the Department of Motor Vehicles.
What Are The Qualifying Conditions For A Disabled Parking Permit?
You will qualify for a disabled parking permit if you are disabled in one or more of the following ways:
- You cannot walk two hundred feet without needing to stop to rest.
- You cannot walk without the use of, or assistance from, a brace, cane, crutch, another person, prosthetic device, wheelchair, or another assistant device.
- You are restricted by lung disease to the extent that your forced respiratory and expiratory volume for one second, when measured by spirometry, is less than one liter, or your arterial oxygen tension is less than sixty mm/hg on room air at rest.
- You use portable oxygen.
- You have a cardiac condition to the extent that your functional limitations are classified in severity as Class III or Class IV according to standards set by the American Heart Association.
- You are severely limited in their ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition.
- You have lost the use of an arm or both arms.
- You are blind.
What Types Of Disabled Parking Permits Are Available?
The following types of disabled parking permits are available in most US states:
- Permanent disabled parking placard
- Permanent disabled parking license plate
- Long-term disabled parking permit
- Temporary disabled parking placard
- Organizational disabled parking permit
- Disabled Veterans license plate