During the 2014 General Session, Representative Patrice Arent (Democrat – East Millcreek) ran a bill that called for the definition of “public utility” to not include businesses that sell charging services for the batteries of electric vehicles. HB 19 – Electric Vehicle Battery Charging Amendments passed and was signed by Governor Herbert and paved the way for infrastructure that would allow for the practical creation of charging stations for electric vehicles. Now that the law has had a chance to simmer, Arent is proposing follow-up legislation, aimed at building up electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Utah.
[pullquote]Two years ago, lawmakers approved the first step towards creating electric car infrastructure a reality. This year Representative Arent is back to help expand on the groundwork she laid in 2014.[/pullquote]HB 130 – Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Amendments authorizes local government entities to issue a bond for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. In addition, the bill requires that an assessment area for electric vehicle charging infrastructure be a voluntary assessment area and authorizes counties, local districts, special service districts, and a military installation development authority to provide electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Arent is clearly looking to the future with HB 130. In a world that is facing widespread changes in climate due to global warming, the importance of transitioning our infrastructure away from vehicles that rely on fossil fuels and to more environmentally friendly products cannot be emphasized enough.
It goes without saying that more electric vehicles on the road and less gas-guzzlers would help Utahns in our quest to reduce air pollution, a problem that blankets the Wasatch Front and Cache Valley with inversion each winter.
A study released in 2014 from the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) concluded that the use of electric vehicles will provide serious reductions in vehicle emissions. “In the future, as electricity generation shifts to more renewable electricity sources, electric vehicles offer the potential for vehicles with close to zero emissions,” said the study.
Arent’s bill should also be attractive to lawmakers, in that it will not cost the state a penny. HB 130 simply opens up the option for local government organizations to create the infrastructure necessary to transport Utah into the future.
To contact Representative Arent, click here or call 801-889-7849 (Cell).
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