On Wednesday, the House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation aimed at helping Georgia prepare for widespread adoption of electric vehicles across the state.
House Bill 406 would lay the groundwork for a network of federally funded electric vehicle charging stations along major highway corridors. Although utilities are expected to own and operate some of these stations, they are likely to open in stores and other retail outlets.
The bill would require electric car owners to pay for the electricity that powers their vehicles by the kilowatt-hour, not by the time spent at charging stations.
Motorists using EV charging stations will pay an excise tax on the electricity they buy, on top of the current $210 annual fee paid by EV owners. Tax revenue from electric vehicles will help offset the gasoline tax the state Department of Transportation may lose in the coming years as more motorists switch to electric vehicles.
“Our goal is to ensure Georgia’s roads and bridges are properly funded,” said Rep. Rick Jaspers, the bill’s lead sponsor and chairman of the House Transportation Committee.
The portion of the legislation that makes the Georgia Department of Agriculture responsible for inspecting public charging stations for electric vehicles doesn’t go into effect until early 2025.
“We have to get an opportunity for the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Revenue to scale up,” Jaspers said.
The bill now goes to the Georgia Senate.
This story comes to Rough Draft thanks to a partnership with Capitol Beat.