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Pennsylvania regulators adopt new EV charging policy

Pennsylvania new regulations will clarify that electricity provided by EV chargers is not reselling or redistribution

Pennsylvania utility regulators have approved a new policy aimed at clarifying rules about how power is resold, in an effort to promote investment in public electric vehicle charging stations.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission began looking into the issue earlier this year, after questions were raised around whether existing rules could unintentionally limit public charging stations.

Speaking Thursday at the third annual Regional Executive Energy Summit in Hershey, PUC Chairman Gladys Brown said the existing rules were established before the rise of EVs and were designed to protect tenants from being overcharged for electricity by their landlords.

She proposed the new policy statement earlier this year, which the commission unanimously approved. It clarifies that third-party EV charging is providing a service to drivers, and will not be considered a resale or redistribution of electricity, subject to pricing requirements.

“As it relates to electric vehicles, it would not be considered – in terms of a charging station – as resale or redistribution of electricity,” said Brown. “We wanted to remove that barrier, if someone interpreted it another way.”

As EVs become more popular with consumers, policymakers are figuring out how to ensure the charging infrastructure is in place to support them. A bill proposed last year by Representative Marguerite Quinn aimed at promoting the growth of Pennsylvania’s charging infrastructure.

Pennsylvania lags many other states when it comes to EV charging infrastructure. It currently has 1.16 fast charging ports per 100,000 people– less than neighbouring states, like Delaware and Maryland, which have 3.89 and 2.89 respectively. Vermont, California and Hawaii lead the nation with the most ports per capita, according to data compiled by the Georgetown Climate Center.

Time spent charging and vehicle range depend on the kind of car and the kind of charger it’s connected to.

Both Level 1 and Level 2 charging stations deliver household electricity to the vehicle. Level 1 is akin to a typical wall outlet, while Level 2 is like what’s needed for a clothes dryer or electric stove.

Level 3 DC (direct current) fast-charging is much more expensive and powerful. It could be compared to a gas station, where drivers can “fill up” their EV in a relatively short period of time.

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