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How Electric Vehicles, Lobbyists, & A New Law In Virginia Are Connected

You’ve seen them. When you go to a parking garage, grocery store, gas station, or shopping mall, you’d be hard-pressed not to see an electronic vehicle (EV) charging station. Though technology will evolve, the average EV can run on one charge for about 250 miles. The distance they can run on one charge is impacted by the battery’s size, the vehicle’s weight, driving conditions, and the use of the car’s accessories. We bring this up because the EV is tied to charging stations like typical cars need gas stations. Without either, cars are effectively useless for travel. 

Another thing you may have noticed is that some of these charging stations are branded with the car company’s logo—Tesla, for instance. The cost of installing these stations can be significant. A level 2 charger runs about $2000, and a DC fast charger can go for upwards of $10,000. Who is paying for these?

  • The store itself may pay for them to attract and retain customers
  • There are government grants and rebates available to offset the costs
  • Charging network operators install and maintain them in exchange for revenue 
  • Other stores partner with electric utilities and environmental groups 

A New Law

As of July 1, 2023, parking at a charging station is illegal unless you are using it. One of the reasons this law exists is because the companies who installed them lobbied for it. EV charging stations are now only available for people who will use them, but the fine for parking at one is minimal. It is also a boost for EV car companies because people have complained about the lack of availability of these stations. There are instances where people have been stranded because they weren’t able to find a charging station or because people have parked in a much-needed location. 

The law is also a victory for the insurance companies, strangely enough. Insurance companies have struggled to keep up with the rising values of EVs. Recently, the value of these cars has increased tremendously because more people use them. In 2021, there were over 10 million EVs on the road worldwide. This number is expected to increase to 145 million by 2030. Insurance companies have worked to keep pace by adjusting their rates accordingly. Legislation can influence markets, and as EVs become more mainstream, insurance companies will base their rates on the cars’ stable price points. 

Although we may understand why the law was created, it marks Virginia’s commitment to supporting the industry’s growth. Expect similar laws to pass in surrounding states because when there is a predictable and consistent environment for EVs, more people will gravitate to them. 

Norton Pelt

Norton Pelt is a Virginia-based law firm representing clients needing assistance with criminal defense, family law, estate planning, business law, and civil litigation. Our team is committed to fighting aggressively for your interests, and we remain committed to finding the best possible outcome for your legal issues. Contact our team to schedule your consultation if you need to speak with legal counsel regarding any of these areas.

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