Moving Forward Act: Helping us help you

August 25, 2020 10:28 pm
Photo by Architect of the Capitol

Who says Congress can’t get anything done? On July 1st, the House of Representatives passed the H.R.2 – Moving Forward Act sponsored by Peter DeFazio (D-OR), a colossal $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill that, we’re pleased to say, boasts numerous policies intended to advance the cause of electric mobility. The 2,300-page behemoth is a bit of a mish-mash, so we’ve taken the liberty of going through it ourselves and summarizing the parts that are most critical to the EVCS mission. Here are some ways the bill benefits us and our clients:

– Encourages the creation of new charging infrastructure. Several provisions authorize the establishment of added incentives that we can utilize, not only to increase charging installations, but also to do it more effectively. This includes rebates associated with EV charging that target state and local governments, technical support for property owners who want to implement EV infrastructure in new buildings, and grant programs to improve installation safety and connectivity in rural or otherwise underserved communities.

– Deploys additional EV charging stations along major transportation corridors. We’ve consistently maintained that the lack of accessible charging stations along large roads and freeways has been a major obstacle to mass EV adoption, one that we aggressively started tackling with our purchase of the West Coast Electric Highway in June. However, this bill establishes a grant program that will facilitate a massive increase in charging installations along such corridors nationwide, greatly increasing the mobility range of EV drivers. 

– Renews defunct and increases current EV tax credits. Plans to renew a tax credit for EV buyers sunsetted in 2019 and consumer purchase incentives from manufacturers like GM and Tesla have similarly expired. But with this new bill, buyers of pre-owned EVs would receive a tax credit equaled to 30% of the sale price up to $2,500, which should further incentivize our already growing user base. Also, the cap on federal tax credits for auto manufacturers would increase from the current 200,000 to a hefty 600,000, a move designed to ensure the US electrical grid’s capacity to handle the increase in EVs.

– Increases investment in the electrification of public transit and postal delivery. The federal DOT would shore up a currently underfunded program that assists local transit agencies in replacing dirty, old diesel buses with cleaner, more efficient electric buses. Moreover, the bill would require, at minimum, 75% of all new vehicles purchased by the US Postal Service to be electric and would provide funding to local school districts who want to purchase EV school buses. Fleet operators and municipalities are among our biggest clients and, as such, crucial to the overall expansion of EV infrastructure.

– Establishes environmentally conscious protocols for state and local authorities. Local governments and metro planners will be required to evaluate the impact of greenhouse gas emissions when investing in transportation projects should they wish to continue receiving federal funds. Projects that facilitate low-carbon mobility like the EV infrastructure we build will likely be a beneficiary thanks to its focus on safe and efficient roads, air quality improvement and other eco-friendly benchmarks.

The question now is whether the bill will pass the Senate, which received it on July 20th. According to Skopos Labs, an analytics firm backed by Thomson Reuters that uses AI and machine learning to evaluate policymaking, the bill has a 93% chance of being passed into law. We find that to be pretty encouraging news.

See further analysis at GovTrack here: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/116/hr2

The bill itself can be found here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/2

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