The grace period is over. Shoppers who drive their gas-powered vehicles to Vaughan Mills can no longer park in spots designated for electric powered vehicles, but some drivers are finding that out the hard way.

The outlet mall’s general manager told CityNews the spots became active this week and while an education period is still in effect, tickets are being written for drivers who parked their gas-guzzlers in locations specifically reserved for electric vehicles that also include a charging station.

Meanwhile, those with an electric car are also getting a shock this week — with the record-breaking cold temperatures wreaking havoc on their car’s battery life.

“What you’re going to see if it’s zero (degrees Celsius) or minus five, you’re not going to see a significant impact,” Cara Clairman, CEO of non-profit organization Plug’n Drive, explained.

“When you see the really significant impact is when you’ve got what we have today, like -20 C, then you will see a drop in your battery range as much as 30, 40 per cent.”

There are more than 16,000 electric vehicles on the road in Ontario, according to numbers obtained from the Ministry of Transportation (MTO).

Yet the province argues finding a charger is easier than ever.

“There are over 1,300 public chargers available in Ontario now,” according to a statement from the ministry.

“MTO does not currently designate parking spaces for electric vehicles, nor does it partner with or mandate municipalities to create parking spaces for electric vehicles.”

To test out an electric car, or speak with volunteers, drivers can visit the Electric Vehicle Discovery Centre in North York.

Via Toronto City News