By Bob Katzen
The House and Senate approved and sent to Gov. Baker legislation that regulates and encourages the use of zero-emission vehicles. The measure prohibits owners of public electric vehicle charging stations from requiring a person to pay for a membership to use the stations but allows the stations to charge different prices for members and non-members. It also allows municipalities to designate parking spaces for use only by zero-emission vehicles and to fine and tow vehicles that violate that rule.
Other provisions require the state to establish regulations for electric vehicle charging for residential and commercial buildings; issue a feasibility study on the electrification of state-owned vehicles; and conduct a study examining the advisability and feasibility of assessing taxes, surcharges, levies or other assessments to offset projected gas tax revenue loss from the increasing purchase or operation of zero-emission vehicles.
Supporters said it is past time to regulate these vehicles and offer incentives for drivers to use them. They said this can help reduce U.S. reliance on imported oil, increase energy security and help save the environment.