The state House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation Wednesday aimed at helping Georgia begin to prepare for the widespread adoption of electric vehicles by motorists across the state.

House Bill 406 would set the stage for building a network of federally funded EV charging stations along major highway corridors. While utilities are expected to own and operate some of those stations, most likely would open up at convenience stores and other retail locations.

The bill calls for EV owners to pay for the electricity that powers their vehicles by the kilowatt-hour rather than by the amount of time they spend at the charging stations.

Motorists using the EV charging stations would pay an excise tax on the electricity they buy in addition to the current $210 annual fee EV owners pay. The tax revenue from EVs would help offset the gasoline tax revenue the state Department of Transportation stands to lose during the coming years as more motorists switch to electric vehicles.

“Our goal is to ensure Georgia’s roads and bridges are adequately funded,” said Rep. Rick Jasperse, R-Jasper, the bill’s chief sponsor and chairman of the House Transportation Committee.

The portion of the legislation that would put the Georgia Department of Agriculture in charge of inspecting public EV charging stations would not take effect until the beginning of 2025.

“We’ve got to get an opportunity for the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Revenue to scale up,” Jasperse said.

The bill now moves to the Georgia Senate for consideration.

Dave Williams writes for Capitol Beat News Service

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