Maryland EV Legislation Update – March 10, 2015

Annapolis hearing

Here is an update on the current bills before the Maryland General Assembly that affect electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. Senate Bill (SB) 682 to authorize a reciprocity agreement with Virginia for electric vehicles to use HOV lanes received an unfavorable report in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and is likely dead this session. There was no similar bill in Virginia for the proposed reciprocity agreement anyway.

Today, March 10th, there is a hearing in the Senate Finance Committee on SB 714 to extend the tenure of the Maryland Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council (EVIC) from 2015 until 2020. The Maryland EVIC was established in 2011 to develop a plan to expand the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles and charging infrastructure in the state. They also recommend legislation such as the next bill to report.

SB 762 which would lift restrictions at condos and HOAs and require landlords to approve a tenant’s request to install electric vehicle recharging equipment will have a hearing before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on March 19, 2015 at 1:00 PM. This bill is based on California Assembly Bill (AB) 2565 which gives multi-unit dwelling tenants the right to install a charging station at their residence as long as the tenant pays for the costs of installation, maintenance, electricity and subsequent removal upon moving. A substantial number of potential plug-in vehicle drivers live in rentals, condos or property governed by a homeowners association and this is a consequential issue for many.

There are several ways you can express your opinion to Maryland lawmakers on SB 762.
UPDATE: I’ve been told that there will be no verbal testimony from the public and that written testimony must be delivered to the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee office before noon on March 19. See the Witness Guidelines and Committee FAQ’s for details.
1. Write to the members of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. Find a list of the committee members and their contact info here.
2. Go to Annapolis on March 19th to give your testimony in person. See these witness guidelines for the committee.

Finally, I called Delegate Reznik’s office to get an update on House Bill (HB) 235 which would allow certain electric vehicle manufacturers such as Tesla to sell cars direct to customers in Maryland. The bill is currently held up in subcommittee. An agreement has been worked out with the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association and they support the bill. However, GM is opposing it and some amendments are expected. They don’t know yet what those amendments will do to the bill. The subcommittee meets every Thursday and I will continue to monitor the progress of this and all EV and charging related bills in Annapolis and report here.

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