EV Charging Equity Act Unveiled

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Assemblymember Kevin McCarty has introduced a pivotal piece of legislation, Assembly Bill 2427, aimed at democratizing access to electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. The Equitable EV Charging Act seeks to simplify the deployment of curbside charging stations for residents of multi-family homes, addressing a critical gap in California’s transition to zero-emission vehicles.

McCarty emphasized the importance of this initiative: “The State of California is leading the way to transition our transportation system to 100 percent zero-emission vehicles, but the millions of drivers who don’t have access to at-home charging are at risk of being left behind. If we want all Californians to have access to electric mobility, we must provide them with convenient and affordable public charging options where they already park: the curb.”

Despite the convenience and cost-efficiency of home charging solutions, a California Energy Commission (CEC) study reveals that only 33% of multi-family housing residents have access to such facilities. The disparity is even more pronounced among lower-income groups and communities of color.

Assembly Bill 2427, supported by FLO EV Charging and itselectric, mandates the CEC to evaluate the benefits of curbside charging for underserved communities. Furthermore, it obligates the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development to craft permitting tools and best practices to assist local governments and developers in establishing curbside charging infrastructure effectively.

Louis Tremblay, CEO of FLO, highlighted the strategy behind leveraging public spaces for EV charging: “If we strategically leverage the public right-of-way, we open up numerous new possibilities to increase communities’ access to EV charging right at the curb. But doing so requires planning and collaboration between both the state and local governments. This bill supports that work and will help expand charging access for the Californians that need it the most.”

Echoing the sentiment, Nathan King of itselectric underscored the national urgency: “Beyond California’s leading example, the country needs 1.2 million more public EV chargers by 2030, particularly in dense urban neighborhoods. Today, the biggest barrier to deployment is the cost and complexity of connecting an EV charger directly to the utility’s grid. Our charging network fully avoids this barrier, enabling affordable and scalable public charging infrastructure that benefits cities, drivers, and communities,” while bringing revenue directly into communities.

The bill not only signifies a monumental step towards inclusive EV adoption in California but also sets a precedent for nationwide efforts to overcome infrastructural barriers in urban EV charging deployment.

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