North Carolina Republican state Rep. Ben Moss has filed legislation that takes aim at free electric vehicle charging stations, both those constructed by private businesses and those constructed by towns and cities.
Rep. Moss’s bill bans state and local governments from providing free electric vehicle charging stations unless they also provide gasoline, including diesel, “through a pump to the public at no charge.”
Moss also wants to require businesses that provide privately owned electric vehicle charging stations that are free to the public – say, ones in a store or mall parking lot – to print on every receipt how much of that person’s purchase goes to pay for the free electricity, whether or not they are using the charging station.
Car and Driver’s Ezra Dyer, who happens to be Rep. Moss’ constituent, says his state representative has “decided that his animating principle is Being Mad at Electricity.”
Dyer, in his opinion piece, notes that “electric-car company VinFast is building a 2000-acre factory just up the road that will employ 7500 people, and Toyota is building a battery factory outside Greensboro that’ll employ 1750 people.”
“We’ve simply got to do something about these free public chargers,” Dyer writes mockingly, “even if it costs us $50,000! Those things cost tens of cents per hour, when they’re being used.”
The bill’s wording is so broad it requires every store owner in a mall, strip center, or anywhere there is a free EV charging station to figure out the cost of the electricity, as a percentage of each customer’s purchase, despite the fact that electricity costs vary month to month, and electricity consumers are not told in advance how much their electric rates are.
If, for example, there are 50 stores in a mall, each store would be required to calculate how much of each paying customer’s purchase goes toward the cost of electricity. It would require massive data sharing in real-time: each store would be required to report each transaction, know how many other customers have made purchases that day through the mall, and what the electricity rate currently is.
The bill, if it becomes law, would also provide $50,000 for the state to physically remove any charging stations that are in violation of the legislation.