North Carolina could ban free electric chargers if free gas isn’t also offered

North Carolina could ban free electric chargers if free gas isn’t also offered

A Republican bill seeks to make the cost of refueling an internal combustion vehicle more fair, eliminating free electric chargers if free gasoline is not offered to drivers. The Republican bill also allocates $50,000 to destroy existing shippers that do not meet established requirements.

North Carolina Republican state representative Ben Moss has introduced a new bill, HB 1049, that would ban free public electric vehicle chargers, unless free gasoline and diesel pump alternatives are also offered in the same space.

Equal circumstances for drivers

If a city, county, or even the state department of transportation has free public electric vehicle chargers on land the state owns or leases, and doesn’t add free gas and diesel pumps, the charger will be removed. The bill allocates $50,000 for fiscal year 2022-2023 for the removal of any electric vehicle charging stations that do not meet the requirements.

A fair and equitable project

According to Moss, the purpose of the bill is to make it fair and  equitable  for owners of internal combustion vehicles, who currently have to watch electric vehicle owners get the benefit of charging their vehicles for free. Hence the name “Equitable Free Fuel Stations for Vehicles”.

EV charging costs are not comparable to the cost of gasoline

However, refueling ICE cars and charging electric vehicles are two very different things. It only costs a few dollars to charge an EV, at the average cost of electricity in the United States , while it can cost hundreds of dollars to charge many of the largest ICE vehicles in the United States.

The bill also goes a step further. It even affects private companies. Let’s say you own a restaurant in North Carolina and have a free charger in your parking lot, so a customer who owns an electric vehicle can charge while eating. You’ll need to show each and every customer, even if they didn’t use the charger, what percentage of your bill went to paying for the charging station. That would be like showing each customer the percentage of their bill that went to a plumber for fixing the toilet, even if that customer didn’t use the toilet.

A free charging station for electric vehicles in a company is an expense paid by the owner to provide a service to their customers, like any other service. This bill would require business owners to itemize that expense for their customers or they would lose the charging station.

A bill that would generate frustrations

Presumably local governments and small businesses can just start charging customers to charge their cars, but that defeats the purpose of offering the service. Aside from pure political theater, it’s hard to see any real reason to introduce such a bill and you can understand why electric vehicle customers in North Carolina would be frustrated if this bill becomes law.