Electric Car Bills

Today, I filed two bills to promote electric vehicles in Texas. HB 3308 will allow drivers of electric vehicles to utilize HOV lanes and HB 3310 will provide a $2,500 for the purchase of new electric vehicles.

The full press release I sent out is below:

Today, State Representative Eddie Rodriguez, D-District 51, Austin, filed House Bill 3308 and House Bill 3310 which are related to advancing the adoption of a new generation of electric vehicles in Texas.

Rodriguez stated, “Texas has more to gain from electric vehicle technology than almost any other state. The promotion of clean, efficient energy is a top priority of mine. Given our expansive highways and growing cities, this technology just makes sense for Texas.”

“Electric vehicles are economical to drive, with low to zero emissions, these cars can make meaningful reductions in tailpipe emissions particularly in urban settings. I am committed to helping ensure that as many Texans as possible can embrace these vehicles and see Texas families’ pocketbooks and our state’s environment and energy security enhanced,” he added.

Rodriguez said, “Texas leads the nation in installed wind generation capacity for electricity. Since electric vehicle charging is likely to occur during the evening when wind generation is at its peak, electric vehicle charging smartly aligns to encourage greater consumption of renewable energy. Electric vehicles are a win-win for Texas.”

HB 3308 provides encouragement to early adopting electric vehicle purchasers in Texas by providing access to High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes regardless of the number of occupants in the vehicle, unless such use would impair the receipt of federal funds. HOV lanes are created to both lessen congestion and remove concentrations of emissions from urban areas; electric vehicle drivers and owners will be contributing to congestion mitigation by improving air quality and conserving fuel. The proposed legislation will serve as an incentive to see electric vehicles embraced and frequently used by drivers in high traffic corridors of our state. Vehicle owners will purchase a decal from the state identifying the vehicles’ eligibility to be in HOV lanes with fewer passengers.

HB 3310 will expand the use of funds presently intended and in place to improve air quality under the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Texas Emission Reduction Program (TERP) toward a purchase “credit” of new hybrid electric or all-electric light duty passenger vehicles. As proposed, HB 3310 calls for a limited $2500 credit, or rebate, payable to a consumer purchaser or fleet purchaser of new electric vehicles. The proposed legislation would assist in funding assistance for up to 2,000 such vehicle purchases in FY 2012 and 2013. The proposal requires no new taxes or revenues; TERP funds are generated as part of the existing state vehicle inspection process in certain urban counties.