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Ordinance for free parking for electric cars approved

Electric car drivers won’t have to put money in parking meters in Las Vegas under an ordinance approved Wednesday.

The City Council voted unanimously for the ordinance, which was mandated by a law the Nevada Legislature approved earlier this year.

Under the state law, local communities are required to allow drivers of alternative fuel vehicles to park without paying.

The city ordinance enacts the law in the city and establishes a permit system, which will go into effect Jan. 3.

Under the system, drivers of electric cars such as the Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf can apply for a permit, pay a $10 fee and park at metered spaces without paying.

“It is a feel-good bill by the state, which is coming at the expense of local governments,” said Councilman Bob Coffin, a former state legislator and Chevy Volt driver who said he supports the concept.

Despite the ordinance, parking will not be a free-for-all. Electric car drivers will be required to obey time limits posted at meters and other city-managed parking spaces.

Also, conventional hybrid drive vehicles such as the Toyota Prius will not qualify for the program.

Residents with questions are urged to call 229-4700 starting Jan. 3.

Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at bspillman@gmail.com or 702-229-6435.

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