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California celebrates National Plug-In Day with legislation promoting electric cars

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The Courier, Alan Warren/ AP Photo

(Read caption) Visitors look over electric cars at the National Plug In Day in Houston at the EVgo Freedom Station. California Governor Jerry Brown signed six bills promoting electric cars as part of National Plug In Day this past weekend.

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California Governor Jerry Brown marked National Plug-In Day by signing six bills to promote electric cars.

The new laws created by these bills will enact or extend a variety of programs that promote the use of electric cars and alternative-fuel vehicles.

Assembly Bill 8 (AB 8) will provide $2 billion in funding for several green initiatives. 

Those include the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, a "Cash For Clunkers"-style program that incentivizes scrapping the dirtiest cars, and $20 million in funding for 100 hydrogen fueling stations.

Senate Bill 359 (SB 359) will fund four programs that encourage the purchase of cleaner vehicles.

That bill includes: $20 million for the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, $10 million for the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project, $10 million for the Heavy-Duty Vehicle Air Quality Loan Program, and $8 million for the Enhanced Fleet Modernization Program.

Two bills will extend High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane access for low-emission and zero-emission vehicles until 2019.

Bills AB 266 and SB 286 extend the white HOV lane sticker program for battery electric cars and the green sticker program for plug-in hybrids, respectively.

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Also helping to make plug-in drivers' lives easier is SB 454, which establishes the Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Open Access Act.

The Act calls for the creation of an open system for electric car charging payments, where drivers could simply drive up to a charging station and pay with a credit card--regardless of which charging station company they have an account with.

The final bill was also related to electric-car charging.

AB 1092 requires the California Building Standards Commission and the Department of Housing and Community Development to develop standards for charging infrastructure in multi-family housing and non-residential developments.

Taken together, the package of legislation keeps California among the front-runners in states working to promote electric cars and zero-emission vehicles.


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