Bill tries to eliminate free electric car charging in North Carolina with bad arguments
A new bill has been introduced in North Carolina in an attempt to eliminate free electric car charging at businesses, and their logic for justifying it is unsurprisingly poor.
In most cases, electric vehicle charging is done at home or at fast charging stations during long journeys. But there are also plenty of other charging solutions, including some companies, like hotels and restaurants, offering free charging to encourage patronage from EV owners.
In North Carolina last week, Rep. Keith Kidwell, R-Beaufort, felt the need to discourage this practice with Bill 1049. If passed by the legislature, the bill would discourage free charging of electric vehicles in businesses and would completely ban free charging at government properties unless it also offers free gasoline or diesel fuel.
Kidwell’s bill reads (via The Carolina Journal):
Any person who operates a business where charging stations for electric vehicles are made available to the public free of charge must ensure that each customer of the business, whether or not he uses the charging stations, is informed, on the received for purchases, the percentage of the amount of the customer’s total purchase price that results from the company providing free charging stations for electric vehicles.
If the bill passes and some charging stations are found to be non-compliant, the bill includes a clause offering up to $50,000 in incentives to remove the charging stations.
Kidwell’s logic for the initiative, which no one asked for, is that it’s not fair to people who don’t drive electric vehicles because there’s no free gas anywhere.
That’s the dumbest thing I’ve heard this month. Who asks that exactly? Does Kidwell feel pressured by his constituents to stop free charging?
I spent a month driving electric in North Carolina this year, and I’d be much more worried about expanding charging options than discouraging free charging. Also, I have never charged for free in the state.
It would actually be funny if that passed because, if companies started doing the math and saw how much it costs to offer top-up and had to include that on the bill, it would probably show that it’s 0.1% of the bill for most companies.
That said, I hope this doesn’t pass or this is an example of politicians wasting their time on non-issues when there are much more pressing issues.
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