Expanding Oklahoma's EV Charging Network
Charge Ahead Partnership is advocating for a competitive and level playing field for all retailers who want to provide publicly available electric vehicle charging in Oklahoma. We believe that the fastest and most economic way to build out a robust charging network in Oklahoma is through a competitive, market-based approach which removes the barriers that are disincentivizing private investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Governor Kevin Stitt signed Senate Bill 502 on June 6, 2023. SB 502 addressed several key barriers to the creation of an equitable EV charging marketplace in Oklahoma, preventing electric utilities from using ratepayer funds to subsidize the creation and operation of EV charging stations. SB 502 permits electric utilities to own and operate EV chargers, but only through a separate subsidiary subject to the same rates, terms and conditions as private EV charger operators. SB 502 also codifies Charge-for-charging, which enables private businesses to sell electricity without being regulated as a utility.
To date, electric utility companies have largely controlled the rollout of EV charging stations. However, the lack of diversity in investors has not yielded the best results for consumers. Across the country power companies have sought authority from the state regulatory bodies to construct EV charging stations paid for largely by their customers through home and business electric bills. This subsidizing of EV charging stations, combined with the existing rate structure for EV charging, prevents third parties from successfully entering the EV charging market and slows the expansion of the EV charging network.
While the SB 502 contained many great steps forward, there is still work to be done. The last major barrier to private investment in EV charging in Oklahoma is the outdated rate structure that EV charging operators are currently subject to.
The passage of SB 502 is a major step forward in establishing Oklahoma as a leader in the development of a competitive, cost-effective, consumer-friendly and innovative EV charging marketplace.
If you would like to join our efforts to ensure that Oklahoma passes legislation that incentivizes the efficient and effective expansion of electric vehicle charging stations in Oklahoma and across America, click here!
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