Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Who should pay for electric vehicle recharging stations?

As more makes and models of all-electric vehicle
start showing up in auto showrooms, a big question
in a potential buyer's mind will be:
Where can charge up if my car if it starts running low on energy and  I'm not close enough to plug it into my home charging system? 
A secondary question that consumers likely have
not considered--but eventually will--is:
Who should pay for the installation of those away-from-home recharging stations?
 New Jersey Assemblyman Josephs Cryan wants
to save you the trouble of having your nice new car towed home when it runs out of electrons. He's introduced several bills aimed at encouraging-- and compelling--the installation of charging systems at away-from-home locations.

On Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011, when the New Jersey Assembly Appropriations Committee considers the bills, it's likely that the second question will be on the minds--and lips--of lobbyists who represent the entities that would be required to pay for the installations.

The Senator's first bill, A-3647, puts that obligation (and cost) on the owners of  newly 
developed shopping centers. To make sure the job gets done, A-3649 would prohibit the 
state Department of Environmental Protection from issuing permits to new shopping centers
that do not provide charging stations. Also shouldering the cost of the charging stations 
would be businesses that operate service stations on the state's toll roads (A-3648)
That's the "stick" side of the senator's bill package. On the "carrot" side, he's introduced:     
A-3650  and A-3651 which provides a corporate business tax credit and gross income tax deduction for the purchase and installation of vehicle charging stations for electric vehicles--and hybrid electric vehicles.

The committee debate should be interesting.  You can listen to it live (or later) via the Legislature's web site.

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