Hickenlooper, Whitehouse Introduce RECHARGE Act

117th Congress

Encourages states to promote affordable EV charging

On June 28, 2021, U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Sheldon Whitehouse introduced legislation to lower costs for electric vehicle (EV) drivers. The Responsibly and Equitably Change How Auto-charging Rates Get Evaluated (RECHARGE) Act makes it more affordable to drive an electric vehicle by having states review utility rates for EV charging. A version of the bill is included in infrastructure legislation under consideration by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

“Colorado created one of the largest electric vehicle charging networks in the country,” said Hickenlooper, a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “The next step is making electric vehicles affordable and competitive. That’s why we are focusing on how utilities bill charging stations.

“Congress is poised to make big investments in electric vehicle charging infrastructure. We need to make sure that using those charging stations is affordable for motorists across the country,” said Whitehouse. “I’m pleased to support this legislation to encourage more affordable charging rates for the new electric vehicles set to hit our roads.”

In many states, EV charging stations are currently treated like factories that put a constant strain on the power grid, which can lead to artificially high prices for EV owners. The RECHARGE Act would facilitate voluntary solutions at the state level by asking states to consider rate designs that: 

  • Promote affordable and equitable EV charging.
  • Improve customer experience including through faster EV charging for all vehicles.
  • Accelerate investment in EV charging stations.
  • Appropriately recover marginal costs.

The bill is supported by Electrify America, the Environmental Defense Fund, U.S. PIRG, Colorado PIRG, Environment America, and Environment Colorado. 

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