After years of uncertainty, AB 1424 would set standards on how to pay for electric vehicle charges.
What is it?
AB 1424 would standardize how payments work at electric charging stations. By 2021, all electric charging stations would have a credit card reader as well as a phone number to call to pay over the phone.
The bill cites California’s plan to have 5,000,000 zero emissions vehicles in the state by 2030 and the need for more charging stations and charging station payment options
Who Backed It?
Assemblyman Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) has backed the bill. Berman has been a long-time supporter of environmental efforts and bills related to alternative energy. Berman has stated that, with the demand for charging stations in the future, there is a need for more charging stations and different ways to pay at stations in a safe and verified manner.
Proponents of the bill include environmental groups and gas station and rest stop owners, including the National Travel and Truckstop Organization.
“NATSO thinks that innovation in payments security is necessary to prevent large hurdles to the installation and use of new charging infrastructure,” said the organization in a press release. “AB 1424 ensures that merchants can continue to offer drivers customer choices.”
Opponents have included auto organizations who worry about the accessibility of charging stations outside of California and stations that have other forms of payment different from California. Consumer organizations, such as Consumer Reports, also oppose the bill because of the barriers it effectively sets up, such as not having a cash payment option.
AB 1424 swept by the Assembly nearly unanimously, and was looking like it would have a similar tally when it was moving up through the Senate Committees in August. However, the bill was then placed in suspense.
The bill had been amended several times, and language defining payment had to be rewritten. New forms of contactless payment are also being implemented by major US banks by the end of the year, and since the bill didn’t clarify if those would be accepted, the bill was put on hold until January of 2020 when it could be altered to fit the new landscape.
The bill is currently on hold until next year. Nevertheless, with near unanimous support from both sides of the Senate and the Assembly, AB 1424 in its updated form next year is expected to pass both houses and be signed by the Governor.
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