Electric vehicle infrastructure has bipartisan support from Hoosier lawmakers

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By Charles Edward (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL]via Wikimedia Commons

Electric vehicle infrastructure has bipartisan support from the Indiana legislature

With $100 million in federal funding on the way, Indiana lawmakers are laying the groundwork for a new statewide EV charging network.

The Biden-Harris administration is committing $5 billion over the next five years to create a statewide system of charging stations to encourage EV use across the country.

Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, a lead sponsor of a bill outlining how Indiana’s charging network could work, said the proposal is just a starting point.

“This is an iterative calculation, this is not a complete answer to how we will deal with electric vehicles,” Soliday explained.

Among other things, the law sets standards for pricing at charging stations and establishes new parameters that the state supply commission must take into account when approving new charging station projects.

The measure has bipartisan support in the General Assembly, where it passed several committees and the House of Representatives unanimously.

The bill would also allow private companies to launch pilot charging networks for publicly used electric vehicles, such as school buses. Utilities could recoup the cost of the pilot networks by increasing their subscription fees to customers.

Kerri Garvin, executive director of the nonprofit Greater Indiana Clean Cities, said the pilot programs could optimize larger projects later.

“Pilot projects allow companies and stakeholders to evaluate the feasibility, design, associated costs and benefits for larger deployments,” Garvin said.

According to the Pew Research Center, U.S. EV sales have doubled from 2020 to 2021, and automakers plan to put an additional million EVs on the road before the end of the year.

The transportation sector is responsible for almost a third of America’s greenhouse gas emissions.

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