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Following electric vehicles fee increases, state lawmakers look to encourage economic growth, industry investment

April 17, 2019
Casey Weinstein News

State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson) today announced the introduction of House Bill 202, legislation to create an Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Study tasked with setting statewide EV infrastructure standards to encourage investment and economic growth. The lawmakers’ announcement follows the state’s approval of EV registration fee increases and a new report lauding Ohio’s potential as a national leader in clean jobs growth.

“If we don’t plan for our future now, we risk being left out of the economic growth and opportunity that comes with clean energy investment,” said Smith. “We need a blueprint that recognizes our potential as a clean jobs leader and builds on that foundation to keep us economically competitive nationally and globally.”

A record 1.1 million EVs were sold in 2017, with that number expected to rise to 11 million in 2025 and 30 million in 2030. While EV sales having been increasing as consumers find that they are a more cost- effective method of transportation than traditional vehicles, Ohio’s charging infrastructure has not kept up with demand.

“Ohio is at a crossroads where we can choose to lead or be left behind in the economic growth and investment that comes from advanced energy,” said Weinstein. “By meeting consumer demand and setting commonsense standards, we will create a pro-growth framework in our state that benefits creates good jobs and draws global investment.”

The recent report by the Clean Energy Trust and Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) show Ohio is well positioned to be a national leader in advanced energy job growth and economic development, adding almost 5,000 clean energy jobs in 2018 at a 4.6 percent job growth rate, even though the state overall experienced an anemic 0.08 percent growth in total jobs.

The proposed study committee under House bill 202 would examine Ohio’s state and local EV charging infrastructure costs and determine the amount of revenue and funding sources needed to make Ohio competitive. The panel would be required to make budget recommendations for implementing electric vehicle charging infrastructure prior to 2021.