NC Bill Demands Free Gas

I'm a big fan of electric vehicles (EVs). I used to talk about them extensively in my previous days as a podcaster. With the past decade ushering in actual EVs people can buy, some attention has been put on infrastructure. Some geniuses in North Carolina don't like the idea of public charging. Now they are looking to stop those pesky chargers in their tracks. Nico Demattia at The Drive has more.

Republican North Carolina State Representative Ben Moss has introduced a new bill, H.B. 1049, that would ban free public electric vehicle chargers, unless free gas and diesel pump alternatives are also made available in the same space. If a town, county, or even the state's department of transportation has any free public EV chargers on land owned or leased by the state, and doesn't also add free gas and diesel pumps, the charger will be removed. The bill allocates $50,000 for the 2022-2023 fiscal year for the removal of any EV charging stations not in compliance.

According to Moss, the purpose of the bill is to make it fair and equitable for internal combustion vehicle-owners, who currently have to watch as EV owners get the advantage of charging their vehicles for free. Hence the name "Equitable Free Vehicle Fuel Stations." However, fueling ICE cars and charging EVs are two very different things. It only costs a few bucks to charge up an EV, at average American electricity costs, while it can cost hundreds of dollars to fill many of America's larger ICE vehicles.

The Drive

What I can't understand about Moss' thinking is the fact that EV charging CAN be profitable if a payment system is instituted for EV owners. Tesla had proven people are willing to pay for reliable charging with their Supercharger network. It has been a pay-for-service for many years already.

Of course a bill like this will go nowhere. However, it does show the shortsightedness of some who want to oppose incentives to grow a transportation technology that is better for the planet. Moss would rather spend $50k to remove EV chargers instead of allocating $50k worth of electricity to charge those cars.

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