Half a Dozen Bills Signed to Strength California's EV Market

Sep 22, 2014 11:40 AM EDT | Matt Mercuro

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California Governor Jerry Brown signed a number of legislations this weekend to encourage the electric car market in the state, which currently accounts for 40 percent of all electric vehicles sold in the U.S.

The legislations are meant to make EVs more affordable in low income communities in order to achieve a target of having 1.5 million zero emission vehicles in California by 2025.

Bills signed on Sept. 21 include:

- AB 1721 by Assembly member Eric F. Linder (R-Corona): Grants free or reduced-rates in high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes to clean air vehicles.

- AB 2013 by Assembly member Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance): Increases to 70,000 the number of advanced technology partial zero-emission vehicles that may be allowed in high-occupancy vehicle lanes, regardless of occupancy level. 

- AB 2090 by Assembly member Paul Fong (D-San Jose): Repeals the level of service requirements on HOT lanes for the San Diego Association of Governments and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, and directs them to work with the California Department of Transportation to develop appropriate performance measures. 

- AB 2565 by Assembly member Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance): Requires commercial and residential property owners to approve installation of an electric vehicle charging station by renters, so long as the station meets requirements.

- SB 1275 by Senator Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles): Creates the Charge Ahead California Initiative, which provides incentives to increase the availability of zero emission vehicles in low-income communities.

- SB 1298 by Senator Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina): Makes the pilot projects for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's operation of HOT lanes on State Highway Routes 10 and 110 permanent.

The plans encourage the usage of electric vehicles by granting free access or access at reduced rated to high-occupancy toll lanes, according to Reuters.

"California's plug-in electric vehicle market is ramping up, and we expect to see significant growth over the next ten years as customers realize how economical and convenient they are," said California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative Executive Director Christine Kehoe, according to a California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative press release.

Real estate and commercial owners will be able to approve of the installation of electric vehicle charging stations, as long as it meets requirements.

Earlier this month, California surpassed sales of 100000 plug-in electric vehicles.

Back in 2012, Brown announced a $120 million settlement with NRG Energy to make electric car charging stations across 1,000 locations in California. 

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