Expanding Georgia'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 charging in Georgia. We believe that the fastest and most economical way to build out a robust charging network in Georgia is through a competitive, market-based approach which removes the barriers that are disincentivizing private investment in electric charging infrastructure. We aim to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to find 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. We believe that we can craft a more effective public policy solution.
As more Georgians consider shifting to an EV, the issue of where they will charge their vehicle is becoming top of mind. Range anxiety – the fear of not knowing where you can charge while traveling outside of your local area – is deterring many from making that leap from gas-powered to electric vehicles. As is the case with gas pumps today, there should be no reason why charging stations cannot be found with the same ease, convenience and complementary amenities that drivers have come to expect. Unfortunately, there are policies in place that are stifling the growth of EV charging stations.
To date, electric utility companies have largely controlled the roll-out of EV charging stations. However, the results have not yielded the best results for consumers. Power companies have sought authority from the Public Service Commission (PSC) to begin construction of EV charging stations paid largely by their customers through home and business electric bills. This subsidizing of EV charging stations, combined with the current rate structure for EV charging, has prevented third parties from successfully entering the EV charging market and slowed the expansion of the EV charging network. As a result, we have failed to meet drivers’ expectations of choice, quality, safety, and affordable, competitive pricing that they have grown accustomed to with the established traditional refueling network.
In order to overcome these barriers, we need a quick path to a fast charge. Georgia has an opportunity to develop policy that will allow our state to continue to support the growing EV market and ensure that EV drivers of today and tomorrow can conventionally, reliably and efficiently recharge their vehicles and get to their destination. Through this legislation, Georgia can continue to be a leader in EV technology, innovation and manufacturing.
Specifically, Charge Ahead Partnership is supporting legislation that:
- Permits third-party EV charging retailers to resell electricity to customers without being classified as a “utility.”
- Allows PSC-regulated power companies to continue to own and operate EV charging stations but in a competitive manner under a separate entity.
- Creates a competitive, level playing field with regard to rates, terms and conditions for the sale of electricity that is fair and consistent for all EV charging retailers.
2022 Georgia General Assembly Session Update:
There was legislative success for Charge Ahead Partnership’s priorities in the 2022 Georgia General Assembly session. CAP supported SR 463, which will create a Joint Study Committee on the Electrification of Transportation. The resolution recognizes the impending growth of the electric vehicle market and the need for state-wide charging infrastructure to be implemented. Crucially, the resolution also recognized the necessity engage stakeholders directly when planning and enacting electric vehicle implementation.
CAP also supported HB 1322, which would have ensured that electric utility companies would not have unfair advantages in the EV charging market. The bill would have prevented discriminatory pricing, ensuring that retailers who provide electric vehicle charging are not regulated as public utilities while effecting several other changes which would have further enhanced Georgia’s ability to develop a robust EV charging network. Unfortunately, despite being reported favorably by committee, the bill was never voted on by the full House.
The Joint Study Committee created by SR 463 will meet throughout the rest of 2022 before producing a report with recommendations for further legislative action. We look forward to supporting this process and providing stakeholder feedback when the opportunities arise. And while HB 1322 did not pass, we are encouraged by the support it received in committee and look forward to carrying the momentum generated by the bill into the next session.
The interim between the 2022 and 2023 session also saw a Georgia Power rate case which helped to address one of the major barriers to private investment in EV charging, rate structure. As a part of the rate case settlement Georgia Power is required to offer a new rate for EV charging that takes demand charges into account and will be more favorable for EV charging operators.
If you would like to join our efforts to ensure that Georgia passes legislation that incentivizes the efficient and effective expansion of electric vehicle charging stations in Georgia and across America, click here!
Support GA Senate Bill 146 and House Bill 406!
Georgia Senate Bill 146 and House Bill 406 will serve as significant steps forward for Georgia's EV charging network. SB 146 and HB 406 permit Georgia Power to build ratepayer funded EV charging stations, but only though the limited purview of their Community Charging Program. If the utility wishes to build more chargers outside of this program they can only do so through a separate subsidiary that cannot use ratepayer funds. This will allow Georgia to develop an EV charging marketplace that better meets the needs of consumers. This legislation also allows retailers to resell electricity without being deemed a utility, a necessary step for private investment and a change that will bring Georgia policy in line with most states across the country. We encourage all CAP organizations with operations in Georgia to reach out to their legislators and express their strong support for SB 146 and HB 406. Both bills have passed their chambers of origin and Committees in their second chamber. SB 146 is currently before the full House of Representatives and HB 406 is currently before the full Senate.
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