Bill aims for ‘equity’ in fueling vehicles for free | Beaufort County Now | House Bill 1049 would force business owners with "free" electric vehicle charging stations to explain how their customers are subsidizing the service.

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    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the Carolina Journal. The author of this post is CJ Staff.

    There's no free lunch. And there's no "free" charging of electric vehicles. Charging stations have a cost that would become more transparent under a bill filed in the N.C. House.

    Rep. Keith Kidwell, R-Beaufort, filed House Bill 1049 Wednesday, along with fellow Republican Reps. Ben Moss of Richmond County, Mark Brody of Union County, and George Cleveland of Onslow County.

    The proposal is titled "Equitable Free Vehicle Fuel Stations."

    H.B. 1049 would add a new section to state law: "Any person who is engaged in a business where electric vehicle charging stations are provided for use by the public at no charge shall ensure that each customer of the business, without regard to whether the customer uses the charging stations, is informed of, on the receipt for purchases, the percentage of the amount of the customer's total purchase price that is a result of the business providing electric vehicle charging stations at no charge."

    The bill also targets electric vehicle charging stations on state property. N.C. law now authorizes the Department of Transportation to operate those stations at roadside rest stops under certain conditions.

    Except for that existing law, "the Department of Transportation shall not use public funds to provide electric vehicle charging stations on property owned or leased by the State or to fund or install electric vehicle charging stations on property owned or leased by a person or entity unless the Department or the person or entity provides gasoline and diesel fuel for motor vehicles through a pump to the public at no charge," if H.B. 1049 becomes law.

    The bill also focuses on local governments. "A county shall not use public funds to provide electric vehicle charging stations on property owned or leased by the county or to fund or install electric vehicle charging stations on property owned or leased by a person or entity unless the county or the person or entity provides gasoline or diesel fuel for motor vehicles through a pump to the public at no charge," according to one of the bill's provisions.

    A similar section of H.B. 1049 would apply the same restrictions to cities.

    The bill would provide DOT $50,000 "for the purpose of removing any electric vehicle charging stations that do not comply with the provisions of this act."
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