Charge Ahead Partnership is advocating for a competitive and level playing field for all retailers who want to provide publicly available electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in Texas. The fastest and most economical way to build out a robust charging network in Texas is through a competitive, market-based approach which removes the barriers that disincentivize private investment in charging infrastructure. We aim to work collaboratively with all stakeholders on commonsense solutions that will unlock the market’s full potential without unfairly shifting the cost burden to non-EV users – particularly those in low- and fixed-income communities.
Power companies looking to enter the EV charging market have implemented rate-basing to cover the installation and development costs of EV Charging Stations. Rate-basing allows power companies to transfer the cost for the creation and operation of charging infrastructure to all of their utility consumers on their monthly electric bill, while the vast majority of their customers do not currently drive an EV and will not benefit from EV charging stations. When utilities raise power bills for all monthly customers and use that revenue to build EV charging stations, it results in higher costs for consumers and discourages private investment in EV charging.
What’s worse, rate-basing for EV chargers allows utility companies to sell electricity at prices below the market rate and spread the cost of this loss to all of their customers. This grants power companies a tremendous advantage over private companies who want to make investments in EV charging stations and demonstrates ideals directly contrary to the free market principles that exist in every other growing industry.
The lack of private investment in charging infrastructure only furthers one of consumers’ major concerns regarding EVs: Fear of access to charging or range anxiety. When Americans drive gas powered cars there is little concern about finding gas to refill when traveling or running errands. It is a different story for EV Drivers. Charging networks can and should mirror existing fuel networks, an aspiration made difficult by barriers to private investment.
Texans deserve access to a reliable, convenient and efficient EV charging network that meets both the needs of consumers and the market. Legislative action is required by the Texas Legislature to overcomes these hurdles to private investment and make this network a reality.
Specifically, Charge Ahead Partnership is supporting legislation that:
- Prohibits electric, transmission and distribution utilities from using ratepayer funds to subsidize their own EV charging stations.
- Requires any utility offering EV charging to only do so through a separate subsidiary.
Support Texas SB 1002 and HB 3508!
Senate Bill 1002, authored by Senator Charles Schwertner, and House Bill 3508, authored by Representative Ana Hernandez, will be a step forward for the state’s charging policy, EV recharging experience, and Texas ratepayers. This legislation will prevent electric, transmission and distribution utilities from using ratepayer funds to cover the costs of owning and operating EV charging stations, ensuring that all ratepayers will not have to foot the bill for the expansion of the EV charging network. These bills will also level the playing field for private businesses who want to invest in EV chargers by requiring any utilities who want to be in the business to do so through a separate subsidiary. SB 1002 had a hearing in the Senate Business and Commerce Committee on March 21 and remains in committee while HB 3508 has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee and has a hearing on March 29. We encourage all CAP members to support this legislation.
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