Electric Vehicles and Zero Emission Transportation Related Bills Introduced in the 2019-2020 Legislative Session

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February 22, 2019 marked the deadline by which bills could be introduced for the first half of the 2019-2020 California Legislative Session.  More than 1,800 Assembly Bills and nearly 800 Senate bills were introduced; among them, legislation focused on the electrification of vehicles and the infrastructure for charging them.

Below is a list of some of the key bills Stoel Rives’ Energy Technology Working Group will be monitoring throughout the Legislative Session.  We note that some bills do not contain language beyond the “intent of the Legislature.”  These bills are set forth separately below under the heading “Legislative Intent.”  In addition, some bills identify non-substantive, technical revisions.  However, we will continue to monitor these bills in case of substantive amendments.

Key Upcoming Dates:  Lawmakers will begin Spring Recess April 12 and reconvene April 22.  The last day for bills to be passed out of the house of origin is May 31, 2019.

AB 40 (Ting, D)   Zero-emission vehicles: comprehensive strategy.
Status: Introduced December 3, 2018; referred to Assembly Committees on Transportation and Natural Resources January 24, 2019.
AB 40 would require by no later than January 1, 2021, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to develop a comprehensive strategy to ensure that the sales of new motor vehicles and new light-duty trucks in the state have transitioned fully to zero-emission vehicles, as defined, by 2040, as specified.

AB 753 (Garcia, D)  alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program: fuels: fueling infrastructure.
Status:  Introduced February 19, 2019; referred to Assembly Committee on Transportation February 28, 2019
Existing law establishes the California Alternative and Renewable Fuel, Vehicle Technology, Clean Air, and Carbon Reduction Act of 2007, which includes the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, administered by the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission (Energy Commission), and the Air Quality Improvement Program, administered by CARB.

This bill would require the Energy Commission to make available at least 30 percent of the moneys available for allocation as part of the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program for projects to produce alternative and renewable low-carbon fuels in the state, as specified, and projects to develop stand-alone alternative and renewable fuel infrastructure, fueling stations, and equipment, as specified.

AB 983 (Boerner Horvath, D)  Transportation electrification.
Status:  Introduced February 21, 2019; referred to Assembly Committees on Utilities and Energy and Communications and Conveyance March 7, 2019.
Under existing law, the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical corporations. Existing law, enacted as part of the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015, requires the PUC, in consultation with the Energy Commission and CARB, to direct electrical corporations to file applications for programs and investments to accelerate widespread transportation electrification to reduce dependence on petroleum, meet air quality standards, achieve the goals set forth in the Charge Ahead California Initiative, and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. That law requires that the programs proposed by electrical corporations seek to minimize overall costs and maximize overall benefits. The PUC is required to approve, or modify and approve, programs and investments in transportation electrification, including those that deploy charging infrastructure, through a reasonable cost recovery mechanism, if they are consistent with the above-described purposes, do not unfairly compete with nonutility enterprises, include performance accountability measures, and are in the interests of ratepayers. This bill would, among other things:

  • require an electrical corporation to work with local agencies or regional planning agencies in its service territory with responsibility for planning electric vehicle deployment to determine where to install new electrical charging stations along local transit corridors;
  • authorize an electrical corporation to file an application with the PUC by December 31, 2020, with the support of the local or regional planning agency, for the infrastructure investments required to support electrical charging stations at transit corridor entry and exit points or other locations;
  • require the application to prioritize the installment of charging stations in disadvantaged communities, as defined;
  • require the PUC to review, modify, if appropriate, and decide whether to approve an application filed by an electrical corporation and supported by the local or regional planning agency;
  • authorize an electrical corporation to propose a cost allocation methodology that allocates costs in a reasonable manner and would require the PUC to approve the cost allocation methodology if the commission finds that the application would minimize overall costs and maximize overall benefits and is in the interests of ratepayers;
  • require that the charging stations be installed by the utility workforce, or by workers who are paid the prevailing wage for all program-related work.

AB 1100 (Kamlager-Dove, D)  Electric vehicles: parking requirements.
Status: Introduced February 21, 2019; referred to Assembly Committee on Local Government March 11, 2019
The Planning and Zoning Law, among other things, requires the legislative body of each county and city to adopt a general plan for the physical development of the county or city and authorizes the adoption and administration of zoning laws, ordinances, rules, and regulations by counties and cities. AB 1100, as introduced, contains other existing laws and, in summary, would:

  • require a parking space served by electric vehicle service equipment, as defined, and a parking space designated as a future electric vehicle charging space, as defined, to be counted as at least one standard automobile parking space for the purpose of complying with any applicable minimum parking requirements established by a local jurisdiction; and,
  • require a van-accessible parking space served by electric vehicle service equipment and a van-accessible parking space intended as a future electric vehicle charging space to be counted as at least two standard automobile parking spaces for the purpose of complying with any applicable minimum parking requirements established by a local jurisdiction.

AB 1411 (Reyes, D) Integrated action plan for sustainable freight.
Status:  Introduced February 22, 2019; referred to Assembly Committee on Transportation March 14, 2019.
Existing law requires CARB to submit to the Legislature a report with policy recommendations for increasing the use of light-duty, medium-duty, and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicles in the state that includes, among other things, recommendations as to how vehicle fleet operators can increase the number of zero-emission vehicles in vehicle fleet use.  Existing law creates the California Clean Truck, Bus, and Off-Road Vehicle and Equipment Technology Program to fund development, demonstration, pre-commercial pilot, and early commercial deployment of zero- and near-zero-emission truck, bus, and off-road vehicle and equipment technologies, with priority given to projects benefiting disadvantaged communities, as provided. If signed into law, AB 1411 would:

  • establish as a state goal the deployment of 200,000 zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and off-road vehicles and equipment, and the corresponding infrastructure to support them, by 2030;
  • require the PUC, CARB, the Department of Transportation, the Energy Commission, and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development to develop and update by January 1, 2021, and at least every five years thereafter, an integrated action plan for sustainable freight that identifies strategies relating to that state goal, with priority given to actions that significantly reduce air pollution in low-income communities, as defined, and disadvantaged communities, as identified by the California Environmental Protection Agency.

AB 1594 (Bauer-Kahan, D) Vehicular air pollution: Zero-Emission Vehicle Incentive Program.
Status: Introduced February 22, 2019; awaiting referral.
Existing law requires CARB, in conjunction with the Energy Commission, to develop and administer a program to provide grants to individuals, local governments, public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private businesses, to encourage the purchase or lease of a new zero-emission vehicle.  This bill would make a non-substantive change to that provision.

AB 1621 (Frazier, D) Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program.
Status: Introduced February 22, 2019; awaiting referral.
Existing law establishes the California Alternative and Renewable Fuel, Vehicle Technology, Clean Air, and Carbon Reduction Act of 2007, which includes the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, administered by the Energy Commission, and the Air Quality Improvement Program, administered by CARB. Existing law requires the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program to provide funding measures to certain entities to develop and deploy innovative technologies that transform California’s fuel and vehicle types to help attain the state’s climate change policies. Existing law requires the state board to give preference to those projects that maximize the goals of the program based on specified criteria.  This bill would make a technical, non-substantive change to those provisions.

AB 1655 (O’Donnell, D) Hydrogen-fueled vehicles.
Status: Introduced February 22, 2019; awaiting referral.
Existing law, until January 1, 2024, requires the CARB to annually aggregate and make available information on the number of hydrogen-fueled vehicles that motor vehicle manufacturers project to be sold or leased over the next 3 years and the total number of hydrogen-fueled vehicles registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles through April 30. Existing law, until January 1, 2024, requires the state board, based on that information, to evaluate the need for additional publicly available hydrogen-fueling stations, as specified, and report findings to the Energy Commission on the need for additional publicly available hydrogen-fueling stations, as specified. This bill would make technical, non-substantive changes to that provision.

SB 400 (Umberg, D) Reduction of greenhouse gases emissions: mobility options.
Status: Introduced February 20, 2019; set for hearing before the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality, April 3, 2019.
Existing law establishes the Clean Cars 4 All Program, which is administered by CARB to focus on achieving reductions in the emissions of greenhouse gases, improvements in air quality, and benefits to low-income state residents through the replacement of high-polluter motor vehicles with cleaner and more efficient motor vehicles or a mobility option.  Existing law defines specified terms, including “mobility option”, which means a voucher for public transit or car sharing for purposes of the program. This bill would additionally provide that “mobility option” also includes bike sharing and electric bicycles.

LEGISLATIVE INTENT BILL

AB 1238 (Cunningham, R) Electric vehicle charging stations.
Status: Introduced February 21, 2019; referred to Assembly Committee on Transportation.
Under existing law, PUC has regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical corporations and gas corporations. Existing law requires the PUC, in consultation with the Energy Commission, CARB, electrical corporations, and the motor vehicle industry, to evaluate policies to develop infrastructure sufficient to overcome any barriers to the widespread deployment and use of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles and, by July 1, 2011, to adopt rules that address specified issues.  Existing law further requires the PUC, in cooperation with the Energy Commission, CARB, air quality management districts and air pollution control districts, electrical and gas corporations, and the motor vehicle industry, to evaluate and implement policies to promote the development of equipment and infrastructure needed to facilitate the use of electric power and natural gas to fuel low-emission vehicles.  Existing law, enacted as part of the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015, requires the PUC, in consultation with the Energy Commission and CARB, to direct electrical corporations to file applications for programs and investments to accelerate widespread transportation electrification to reduce dependence on petroleum, meet air quality standards, achieve the goals set forth in the Charge Ahead California Initiative, and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to encourage business owners to build onsite electric vehicle charging stations.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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