Today begins the fourth week of the 60-day legislative session in Richmond. Two electric vehicle bills have already made significant progress. Several other pieces of legislation have hearings on the agenda today and tomorrow.
Action on Two Virginia Bills
Here is an update for EV-related legislation in Richmond:
SB 630, a “Right-to-Charge” bill has passed the Senate (39-Y 1-N). This bill, sponsored by Senator Scott Surovell aims to make it easier for residents to install EV charging equipment at condos and homes governed by an HOA. It will head to the House next.
HB 511 was reported from the Transportation Committee with amendments (20-Y 2-N). This would give authority to enable state government agencies to operate retail fee-based electric vehicle charging stations on property controlled by the agency. This bill, sponsored by Del. David Bulova, is similar to charging station legislation he got passed in 2018.
Hearings This Week in Richmond
SB 988 would authorize Dominion Energy to implement projects to encourage the adoption of electric school buses. It is on the agenda for today’s Senate Commerce and Labor, Energy Subcommittee meeting scheduled for 4:00 PM.
The Clean Cars Act of 2020 proposes to increase the funding for the Maryland electric vehicle excise tax credit. Annual funding would increase from $6,000,000 to $12,000,000 through fiscal year 2023 under the proposal by Governor Larry Hogan.
Governor Hogan Wants to Double Funding to $12 Million Annually
Under the proposal, the Maryland Department of Transportation will not approve tax credits after the $12 million allocated for each fiscal year runs out. Applicants will then be put on a waiting list the same as they have done previously.
Maryland Clean Cars Act
The Clean Cars Act of 2020 (SB277 & HB359) would also extend the term of the Maryland Zero Emission Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council (ZEEVIC) until 2023.
Indiana may be the first state in the nation to reconsider their supplemental fee on electric vehicles. In 2017, the Indiana legislature added an annual fee of $150 to register an electric vehicle and $50 to register a hybrid vehicle. House Bill 1227 introduced by Rep. Carey Hamilton and Rep. Rita Fleming would repeal those supplemental fees entirely.
Lost Gasoline Tax Revenue
State legislatures have been targeting plug-in electric vehicles for extra annual registration fees in recent years. About half the states charge these additional fees to make up for lost revenue on state gasoline taxes. West Virginia enacted a $200 annual fee on electric vehicles in 2017.
Electric Vehicle Fee Fair or Punitive?
Last year, Illinois proposed a $1,000 registration fee on electric cars that caused an outcry before they backed off and passed the bill with a lower amount. Some EV advocates say the fees are punitive and chills the market for cleaner cars. Others say it’s fair that all drivers contribute to the cost of the roads.
A Right to Charge bill before the Maryland legislature would require that the governing body of a condominium or HOA approve requests to install electric vehicle charging equipment provided that certain conditions are met.
Addresses Challenges for Multi-Unit Housing Residents
Maryland House Bill 111, sponsored by Delegate Marc Korman, would help establish guidelines and a process for condo boards and home owners associations to approve a resident’s application to install an EV charging station. The resident must pay all the costs, obtain any required permits and follow applicable laws and regulations associated with installing the charging equipment.
Synopsis of Maryland HB 111
Providing that certain provisions of a recorded covenant or restriction, a declaration, or the bylaws or rules of a condominium or homeowners association are void and unenforceable if they prohibit or unreasonably restrict the installation or use of electric vehicle recharging equipment; requiring certain owners of electric vehicle recharging equipment to be responsible for certain costs and disclosures; requiring a unit owner or lot owner to obtain certain permits or approval; etc.
UPDATE: This bill died in Subcommittee on Feb. 17, 2020
Virginia Senator Ghazala F. Hashmi wants to impose serious punishment against people who are guilty of “ICEing” an EV charging station. She has introduced an anti-ICEing bill (SB 911) that proposes a $500 penalty for violators in addition to being subject to being towed.
If Senator Hashmi’s bill is enacted without amendments, Virginia would have one on the harshest anti-ICEing laws in the United States. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Transportation and has a long way to go before the 2020 lawmaking session in Richmond ends on March 7th.
Difficulties Installing EV Charging Stations in Condos
Virginia Senator Scott A. Surovell of Mount Vernon has introduced a “Right to Charge” bill (SB 630) for the 2020 legislative session in Richmond.
The legislation would prohibit certain HOAs, condominiums and cooperatives from prohibiting the installation of an electric vehicle charging station in a resident’s designated parking space. The bill sets certain provisions including requiring the EV owner to pay for the electricity plus the cost of the installation and removal of the charging stations.
Senator Surovell says, “The transportation sector has now passed electricity production as the largest carbon emitter in the United States.”
Need to Facilitate EV Ownership
An EV driver himself, Surovell told PlugInSites, “We need to facilitate EV ownership and several people including constituents have reached out to me regarding difficulties encountered installing EV charging stations in condominiums. I’m hoping that my legislation will create a roadmap that facilitates the efficient deployment of charging stations in homeowners associations, condominiums and cooperatives.”
Virginia Delegate David Reid of Loudoun County is proposing a rebate for Virginians who buy or lease an electric vehicle. The legislation will be formally introduced when the Virginia General Assembly convenes on Wednesday, January 8 in Richmond.
Used Vehicles Would Qualify
HB 717 proposes that an individual who buys or leases a new or used electric vehicle from a dealer in Virginia and registers the vehicle in Virginia would be eligible for a rebate. The MSRP for new vehicles and the Kelly Blue Book value for used, must not exceed $50,000 in order to qualify for a rebate.
Electric vehicles that get 200 or more miles of range would qualify for a $2,000 rebate for new and $1,000 for a used vehicle. A vehicle that gets between 120 and 200 miles qualifies for $1,500 for new and $750 for used. Vehicles that get less than 120 miles per charge qualify for $400 for a new vehicle and $200 for used.
The Howard County legislation (CB76-2018) is recognized as a model to guide other communities in developing EV-friendly zoning ordinances. The bill was sponsored by Jen Terrasa who was my Councilwoman at the time. Terrasa was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 2018 and is a member of the House Environment and Transportation Committee.
The guide summarizes city ordinances and zoning practices regarding:
EV charging stations as permitted land use
EV make-ready standards
EV supply equipment standards
EV parking space design and location
Required EV parking capacity and minimum parking requirements
EV-designated parking use standards and protections
New York State Senator Anna Kaplan has prefiled legislation in Albany to require that new construction projects with more than 50 parking spaces that receive state funding must be capable of supporting electric vehicle charging stations.
The bill as drafted specifies that an electrical supply panel, raceway, and other components would be required to support future EV charging equipment with a capacity of at least 3.1 kW for each charging station.
Senate Bill S7055 is due to be assigned to the Committee on Finance when the 2020 Legislative Session begins on January 8th.