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USA: Committee supports bill to help electric vehicle owners

It’s been a concern for businesses or cities to recoup costs if they provide a charging station for electric vehicles for fear they could be regulated as a “utility.” A bill discussed Wednesday would change that, encouraging more stations.

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill unveiled Wednesday would allow businesses or cities that provide a charging station for electric vehicles to recoup their costs without fear of being viewed as a “utility” and regulated by the Public Service Commission.

Such a concern may seem unwarranted, but under Utah law as it exists now, that worry could become a reality as electric vehicles become more mainstream in the state.

Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek, told members of the Public Utilities and Technology Interim Committee that her measure would set in place assurances that someone providing a plug-in station for electric vehicles and being compensated would not run afoul of the state’s utility regulator.

She said the issue has been studied by the legislatively created Economic Development Task Force as one cost-effective way to make a dent in the air quality problem that plagues the Wasatch Front by encouraging the use of alternative fuel vehicles.
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