Lawmakers Love Electric Cars in Georgia – 5 Bills Pending
At least that was true earlier in the week. A total of 5 bills were introduced in various subcommittees during Georgia’s 2015 legislative session. Here is a quick list:
HB 122 – Complete Elimination of Zero Emission Tax Credit ($5,000) as of July 1st, 2015 (Author: Representative Martin of the 49th)
HB 170 – “Lets pay for new roads with EVs” – More below (Author: Jay Roberts of the 155th)
HB 176 – “The Prius Bill” – Allow a reduced credit of $2,000 for any vehicles above 47 MPGs (Author: Tommy Benton of the 31st)
HB 200 – “The charger Bill” – Creates a better definition for Electric Vehicle Charger Credit that includes retail businesses with an annual cap of $750,000 (Author: Don Parsons of the 44th)
HB 220 – “The Plug In Vehicle Bill” – More below (Author: Ben Harbin of the 122nd)
Many stakeholders including: EV Club of the South, OEMs, Local Utilities, Union of Concerned Scientist and Clean Cities Georgia have been working very hard in the past six months to ensure a continuation of Georgia’s success in the EV Market.
The biggest win to date is the elimination of HB 122 that would stop the tax credit as early as July of this year. This is the same battle by the same Representative as last year and as you know it was defeated in the last moment of 2014 session. [http://insideevs.com/georgia-does-not-cap-ev-incentive-hb257-doesnt-make-vote/]
HB 176 (aka The Prius Bill) was really helping a specific manufacturer such as Toyota benefit from a tax credit to help drive sales of Prius C in Georgia. This bill is now dead
HB 200 addresses the issue of not having a clear definition as to which businesses in Georgia can benefit from a tax credit by installing chargers accessible by public. At this moment the bill is heading to a full Ways and Means committee vote next week and will likely pass to a full House vote.
That brings us down to 2 bills. HB 170 addresses the shortfall in the DOT budget by eliminating the ZEV Credit ($5,000) and introduces a $200 annual tax on all EVs. Yes $200! That is an equivalent of driving an big SUV in Georgia and paying for road use tax through gasoline usage. Now, everyone should pay something for driving on the roads but $200 seems extreme. And not to forget all EVs would require a special license plate.
HB 220 (aka Plug In Vehicle Tax Credit Bill) introduced by Representative Harbin, is a measure that addresses many EV issues in Georgia while ensuring a growth through 2018. Here are some details [http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/20152016/146933.pdf]:
Includes Plug In EVs (Only 200 Chevy Volts are sold in Georgia compared to 10,000 Nissan LEAFs)
Credit is based on the battery capacity:
- 4-10 kWh – up to $2,000
- 10+ kWh – up to $3,000
- $30,000,000 annual cap
- Credit use is restricted to once per 3 years.
- Sunset by 2019 (2018 is part of a current compromise)
As of Thursday, HB 220 is now going for a vote in Ways and Means committee to be considered for advancement to the House floor.
While there have been great progress in eliminating HB 122 and HB 176, more work needs to be done. HB 170 presents a clear danger to the EV progress in Georgia and local EV Club of the South has launched a grassroots effort to educate the public on the importance of having a credit in Georgia.
Stay tuned to InsideEVs for more legislative updates.