Reps. Lofgren, Massie, Eshoo & Woodall Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Bring Electric Car Recharging Stations to Federal Facilities

May 9, 2014
Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Reps. Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Thomas Massie (KY-4), Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18), and Rob Woodall (GA-7) introduced bipartisan legislation today that would allow federal agencies to construct power charging stations for employees with electric vehicles at no cost to the taxpayer.  The EV-COMUTE Act (Electric Vehicle Charging Offers Modern Utility Terminals for Employees Act) is modeled after an initiative at the U.S. Capitol that has proven successful for commuters with electric cars to pay a fee to use the charging stations that offsets the costs for both the construction and use of the stations.
"I was surprised to learn that Members of Congress can recharge their cars when they are at the House of Representatives but my constituents who work at other federal offices are actually barred from having charging facilities at their federal workplace," said Rep. Lofgren.  "I myself drive an electric car and I know they are an important part of improving efficiency and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.  There's really no reason why government employees shouldn't be able to pay to charge their vehicles while they work and that's what this straightforward bill does." 
Rep. Massie, an MIT graduate who uses solar power at his Kentucky home and drives an electric car daily in Washington DC, said, "In my personal and public life, I consistently support an all-of-the-above energy strategy for the United States.  I'm proud to cosponsor this legislation because it will expand transportation options for many Americans at no cost to taxpayers."  Rep. Massie serves on both the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Science, Space, and Technology Committee.
"The EV-COMUTE Act takes a successful clean energy initiative in place at the U.S. Capitol and expands it to federal agencies nationwide, allowing commuters to plug in their electric vehicles at work for a small fee," said Rep. Eshoo. "As the nation's largest employer, the federal government should lead by example in offering workplace charging. Silicon Valley is home to thousands of electric vehicle owners, yet the more than 5,000 federal employees in my congressional district have no access to charging facilities at work because of a quirk in existing law. This legislation is a small but commonsense step in our global battle against climate change and will help keep the U.S. a leader in clean energy deployment. As the saying goes, ‘from our house to yours.'"
"The free market should be guided by consumer choice, and this bipartisan legislation lifts an arbitrary restriction that currently limits transportation options for federal employees," said Rep. Woodall.  "This common sense change will expand consumer choice for thousands of Americans at zero cost to the taxpayer, and I'm excited to work with my colleagues to make it happen."
Despite the growing popularity of electric vehicles, federal employees currently don't have access to use of paid charging stations at their workplace parking facilities.  In fact, agencies are currently prohibited from constructing or even entering into contracts with charging service providers under current law.  The EV-COMUTE bill would allow federal agencies to construct and operate battery recharging stations in parking areas used by federal employees. Specifically, the bill would:
Authorize federal agencies to maintain on a reimbursable basis a battery recharging station for the use of privately owned vehicles of federal employees and others authorized to park at federal facilities.
Authorize agencies to enter into contracts with vendors to construct, operate and maintain battery recharging stations. 
Authorize agencies to charge appropriate fees to individuals who use the charging stations to ensure the recovery of costs incurred for the installation, construction, operation and maintenance of the stations.
In 2012 Congress passed legislation similar to the EV-COMUTE with broad bipartisan support to bring electric vehicle charging stations at the U.S. Capitol for lawmakers and their staffs.  Click here to read the EV-COMUTE Act.  
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