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Electric vehicle infrastructure (new law)

Published (5/29/2009)
By Mike Cook
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Too often state statute changes in reaction to something. But a new law looks to future transportation options by regulating electric vehicle infrastructure.

Sponsored by Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL-Mpls) and Sen. D. Scott Dibble (DFL-Mpls), it establishes various regulations related to electric vehicle infrastructure including preventing companies that create electric vehicle infrastructure from being regulated as utilities and modifying the state building code to accommodate electric vehicles.

Hornstein said there has always been a conundrum with electric cars: while the ability to produce them exists, there lacks much infrastructure to recharge them.

The law also:

• adds the new generation of electric vehicles to existing statute that deals with electric vehicles, plug-in cars and the like;

• requires the Center for Sustainable Building Research at the University of Minnesota to add electric vehicle infrastructure to its ongoing research into sustainable building practices, including looking at energy use by electric vehicle charging infrastructure in or adjacent to buildings; and

• requires the Department of Transportation, as part of a current study, to study the impact of electric cars and the reduced revenue to fund roads, and make recommendations if any steps should be taken to mitigate the impacts. Because of its power source, electric cars do not contribute to the state’s gas tax revenues.

Many of the definition changes are effective May 22, 2009; study language and utility regulation sections take effect Aug. 1, 2009.


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