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Assemblywoman Fiona Mas legislation to expand californias electric vehicle infrastructure garners strong support

Ma is joined at San Francisco City Hall press conference by SF Environment, Plug in America, Environmental Defense Fund and others
Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco and San Mateo Counties) announced legislation today at San Francisco City Hall to provide market certainty for the infrastructure that is needed to support Californias electric vehicle consumer fleet. The legislation, Assembly Bill 631, will place into law a decision by the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to not regulate electric vehicle charging stations as utilities. Assemblywoman Ma is joined at the press conference by the San Francisco Environment Department, Environmental Defense Fund, Plug in America, the San Francisco California Apartment Association and the California Business Properties Association.

Electric vehicles are the next generation of fuel for Californias green economy, said Assemblywoman Ma. AB 631 will provide the infrastructure to support President Obamas goal of putting 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

Plug-in electric vehicles are the future of clean transportation, and we need to do everything we can to make it easy for cities, businesses and private citizens to site and install EV charging stations, said San Francisco Environment Department Director Melanie Nutter. Assemblywoman Mas bill will help make a vibrant EV market in California, and will go a long way towards creating a charging infrastructure that will combat range anxiety that might otherwise discourage potential EV drivers from giving up their gasoline cars.

Electric vehicles are a true game changer that can save drivers thousands of dollars in gas costs while reducing pollution and increasing our energy independence, explained Wade Crowfoot, Regional Director of the Environmental Defense Fund. Assemblywoman Mas bill recognizes this opportunity. It will help attract entrepreneurs to build charging stations while keeping alive a structure that is able to ensure electric vehicles advance both environmental and infrastructure priorities.

Plug In America is pleased to endorse AB 631 which will accelerate the market deployment of electric vehicles by leveraging the implementation of plug-in charging infrastructure. said Jay Friedland, Legislative Director of Plug In America. This key legislation will support an open market for EV infrastructure, helping to overcome barriers to the widespread deployment and use of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles. As the organization representing the millions of potential future consumers of plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles, Plug In America believes AB631 will truly benefit consumers who want the next generation of clean plug-in cars. The CPUC is already making significant strides toward the support of transportation electrification and we applaud Assemblymember Mas efforts to drive the process in the legislature.

During President Obamas State of the Union Address he set a goal of 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. Last spring, Tesla Motors announced plans to manufacture its electric vehicles in the former NUMMI plant in Fremont, California. The California Energy Commission (CEC) projects the number of electric vehicles could grow from 32,756 in 2011 to 1.5 million by 2020 and 2.8 million by 2030.

Despite the emphasis to put more electric vehicles on the street, consumers need these vehicles to be as convenient to own as the gasoline car today. AB 631 is consistent with the prior PUC decision on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). Several years ago, the PUC ruled that CNG as a transportation fuel should not be regulated as a public utility. The Legislature, wanting to provide regulatory certainty, the next year codified that decision. Likewise, the PUC ruled last year that electricity used for electric vehicle charging services should not be regulated as a public utility. AB 631 codifies the PUC decision to not regulate electricity that is used as a transportation fuel for vehicles.

The bill has been referred to the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee and is expected to be heard on April 1.
California State Assembly
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