California bill would guarantee open access to charging stations for all EV drivers

Coulomb Chargepoint Electric Car Charging Station
CC BY 2.0 Flickr

A model that could spread to the rest of the country

A Californian bill titled Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Open Access Act (SB 454) has just passed the state's Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee. The bill guarantees that plug-in vehicle owners (either plug-in hybrids or fully electric) will get some transparency from charging stations in the state: Basically, plug-in drivers should be able to charge anywhere, at rates that are clearly marked, and without the need for special membership.

This makes a lot of sense as a patchwork of incompatible charging networks could hold back the adoption of plug-in vehicles. Open access levels the playing field and will increase confidence in the technology (nobody wants to have to worry all the time that maybe the charging station they're headed for has some special or hidden requirements).

If the bill becomes law, it would pioneer something that would probably - like many things that start in California - become widespread across the rest of the U.S. and no doubt other countries.


See also: New York City launches LEAF taxi pilot program, wants 1/3 electric taxis by 2020

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