Republican North Carolina State Representative, Ben Moss, has introduced a new bill, H.B. 1049, that will ban free public electric vehicle chargers unless free petrol and diesel pumps are made available too.
If a town or county has any free public EV chargers on land owned or leased by the state, it must have a free petrol or diesel pump that is also free, otherwise it will be removed. The bill has allocated $50,000 for the 2022-2023 fiscal year for removal of any EV charging stations.
Moss has stated that the bill is to make it fair and equitable for internal combustion vehicle-owners, who have to watch as EV owners get the advantage of charging their vehicles for free, hence the name “Equitable Free Vehicle Fuel Stations.”
The fueling of combustion cars and charging electric vehicles, however, are very different. To charge an electric vehicle is significantly cheaper than it is to fill up a petrol-powered car.
The bill even affects private businesses. If a restaurant, for example, provides an EV charging station, the company must show every customer how much of their bill went towards paying for the charging station, even if they didn’t use it. The bill therefore requires business owners to itemise that expense for their customers or lose the charging stations.
The transition towards electrification is a move that we all must make to ensure that we see a net-zero future. Quite frankly, this bill would reverse any progress the country has made and understandably, will frustrate many EV owners in North Carolina.
Local governments and small businesses, alternatively, could charge customers for charging their electric cars, instead of taking the chargers away immediately. Offering free EV chargers should be used as an incentive to promote electrification. Apart from political reasons, I cannot see what purpose this bill holds and if this bill comes into law, we can expect to see immense frustration.