Last Updated: March 31, 2022
With the White House, Congress and many states rushing to electrify the transportation system, policymakers in Washington continue to push for increased incentives for electric vehicles and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
The White House and Congress are considering proposals to expand the electrification of the transportation sector, including more incentives beyond what was included in the Infrastructure Investment Jobs Act for the purchase of electric vehicles (EVs) and the expansion of EV charging infrastructure. As part of the debate, some policymakers are looking to encourage government agencies or electric utilities to build, own and operate electric charging stations. In several states, electric utilities have been approved to charge all of their customers (or ratepayers) to subsidize the cost to build the necessary infrastructure as well as own and operate the chargers themselves. In addition, some states require businesses that sell electricity for the purpose of charging EVs be regulated like a utility. Further, businesses are also having to pay additional fees or tariffs, called demand charges, above and beyond the cost of the electricity itself. This outdated market design dampens private sector investment and makes it difficult for convenience and fuel retailers to participate in the EV charging market.
The convenience and fuel retailing industry sells over 80% of the motor fuels in the United States at approximately 116,000 locations. Policies that impact transportation energy and, such as what and how to sell, store, label, dispense, price and tax fuel, can have a dramatic impact on the industry. Not allowing the resale of electricity to charge EVs, permitting utilities to charge all of their customers to subsidize EV infrastructure and charging, and the additional cost for non-utilities for the cost of electricity (i.e., demand charges) will stunt the private sector’s ability to invest in EV charging infrastructure and ultimately hinder the development of a robust charging marketplace.
NACS believes that EV charging should be an open, competitive market. Convenience and fuel retailers should have the option to sell any legal source of transportation energy in a competitive market with a level playing field. Allowing the private sector to compete evenly is the best way to spur investment in and the development of electric charging infrastructure. It is also the best way to ensure that vehicle owners get the best prices and experience over the long-term. With over 116,000 fueling locations, the convenience industry is well-positioned to provide the energy needs of future drivers – regardless of the energy source. All industries, whether it be a gas station, utility, technology company or other type of business, should have fair access to incentive and investment opportunities to provide consumers the widest range of choices in fueling their vehicles.
President Joe Biden has stated that his Administration has a goal of installing at least 500,000 EV chargers in the transportation refueling system. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was signed into law at the end of 2021 and included 2 major incentives program for EV charging. There are many in Congress who believe these programs are not enough and are seeking more incentives for EV charging infrastructure and exploring policies to expedite the electrification of the transportation system.