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May 6, 2014 > Assembly Committee approves electric charging stations bill

Assembly Committee approves electric charging stations bill

Submitted By Jeff Barbosa

Seeking to expand the number of charging stations available to drivers of electric vehicles, on April 28 the state Assembly Transportation Committee approved AB 1696 by Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) to make increasing the stations a priority at park-and-ride lots and parking facilities. The bill passed on an 11-5 vote.

ÒCalifornia is where 40 percent of all electric vehicles are sold in the United States and they are the most widespread type of zero-emission vehicles on our roads,Ó Wieckowski said. ÒIf we can reduce the worries people have that they wonÕt be able to find a charging station, we can reassure drivers and potential buyers. By putting more electric vehicles on the road we can reduce our emissions and improve our environment.Ó

In 2012, Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order calling for the state to be prepared to support 1.5 million zero emission vehicles by 2025. Transportation emissions are the primary source of carcinogenic particulate matter and smog. Low-income communities are disproportionately affected by the transportation emissions.

AB 1696 clarifies that adding parking spaces with charging stations for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids should be a priority in the Department of TransportationÕs and the state Department of General ServicesÕ vehicle parking incentive programs for parking facilities and park-and-ride lots.

Having more charging stations in public spaces will allow EV drivers to Òtop offÓ or fully recharge their vehicles to travel to their destinations.

The bill is supported by the Union of Concerned Scientists. They note that in the most populous cities in the United States, driving an EV will not only reduce emissions, but save owners money compared with driving the average gasoline vehicle.

Assemblymember Wieckowski represents the 25th Assembly District, which includes Fremont, Newark, Milpitas, San Jose and Santa Clara.

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