AUSTIN—Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law Senate Bill 1002, legislation that lays the groundwork for a free and competitive electric vehicle charging marketplace. The bipartisan policy opens the door to private investment in this growing field, marking a major victory for businesses seeking to offer EV charging to their customers.
“Texas is opening the door to the private businesses that want to offer EV charging to their customers,” said Jay Smith, executive director of Charge Ahead Partnership, a coalition of businesses, organizations and individuals working to expand access to the EV charging marketplace. “We applaud Senator Charles Schwertner and Representative Ana Hernandez for advancing these commonsense policies that pave the way for Texas to have a thriving and competitive market for EV charging.”
The legislation limits public utilities from using ratepayer funds to subsidize EV charging stations. Public utilities all over the country have been raising rates on electric customers to subsidize the cost of utility-owned EV charging stations. This practice creates higher power bills for consumers and discourages private business investment, drawing criticism from consumer advocacy organizations and pro-business groups.
Under the legislation, utilities can still offer EV charging, but only through a separate subsidiary that is not funded by ratepayers.
“Texans know that free and open marketplaces attract investment. This legislation ensures that all EV charging providers are competing in a fair marketplace, without elected officials or utility regulators picking winners or losers,” said Sen. Schwertner. “Texas has established itself as one of the few states in the country to adopt policies that will allow EV charging businesses a chance to thrive. While other states are allowing electric utilities to scare off private investment, Texas is open for business.”
“Recharging an EV should be as convenient and reliable as gassing up your car,” said Rep. Hernandez. “This legislation will enable the gas stations, truck stops and convenience stores that already line our interstates to compete with one another to offer customers the best EV charging service. We can have greater hope for a greener future if we develop a marketplace that is hospitable to innovators and entrepreneurs that want to expand EV charging access.”