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Bill: Remove barrier to electric car charging stations in Utah

HB19 » Deregulation measure faces no opposition, is seen as a way to boost market for electric vehicles.

By Brian Maffly

| The Salt Lake Tribune
First Published 3 hours ago • Updated 8 minutes ago

A proposed tweak in state law could go a long way toward making electric vehicles, which typically travel no more than 80 miles between charges, a more practical option for Utah drivers.

Under current law, Utahns who drive electric vehicles (EV) long distances away from home depend on the good will of employers and retailers who install charging equipment for them to use for free.
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(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Associate Deputy Mayor Justin Miller with his electric-powered Nissan Leaf and the electric vehicle charging station at the Salt Lake County Government Center, in Salt Lake City, Friday, March 7, 2014.
(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) An electric vehicle charging station at the Salt Lake County Government Center, in Salt Lake City, Friday, March 7, 2014.
(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) An electric vehicle charging station at the Salt Lake County Government Center, in Salt Lake City, Friday, March 7, 2014.
(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) An electric vehicle charging station at the Salt Lake County Government Center, in Salt Lake City, Friday, March 7, 2014.

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At a glance

Electric vehicles and the law

Legislation awaiting final action on the Senate floor aims to reward those who drive electric vehicles with tax credits and to promote charging infrastructure.

HB19 removes electricity resale from utility regulation as long as it’s used for charging vehicles.

HB74 reauthorizes the Energy Efficient Vehicle Tax Credit, expanding the credit for electric vehicle purchases and leases to $2,500 and for plug-in hybrids to $1,250.
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This is because the resale of electricity requires regulation as a public utility, so, not surprisingly, the private sector has done little to build a charging infrastructure.

HB19 would exempt businesses that provide vehicle battery charging from regulation as a public utility or electric corporation. With expansion of quick-charge facilities, EV owners like Justin Miller would experience less “range anxiety” and others would be encouraged to drive the efficient, low-emission vehicles, says the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek.

Miller, a deputy mayor for Salt Lake County, commutes from his Kaysville home, a distance of about 50 miles round trip. A few months ago he traded his gasoline-powered Nissan Altima for an all-electric Leaf, but he had to park his new car at the Nissan dealer for recharging while at work in Salt Lake City
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