BOISE — New commercial buildings would be encouraged to include charging stations for electric cars under a resolution introduced Thursday by the Senate Commerce and Human Resources.
Electric vehicles are a major consumer need but are only available to a select population, House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel, D-Boise, said.
“As certain parts of our state are getting denser and growing very quickly,” Rubel said, “we’re going to have a larger and larger segment of our population that are going to be shut out from being in the market for plug-in vehicles.”
The resolution makes no requirements but encourages new construction projects for multi-family and commercial buildings to consider adding charging stations for electric vehicles.
It also calls for stakeholders to assess the future of electric vehicle standards in the state.
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Rubel said adding the charging station to the construction plans would cost about $280, but adding it after the project is complete could cost more than $8,000.
“If it’s not incorporated on the front end in new construction, it’s incredibly costly and difficult to fix later,” she said.
“At the outset, it’s basically a small rounding error in a large construction.”
Sen. Mary Souza, R-Coeur d’Alene, opposed the resolution and said the free market should decide.
Sen. Janie Ward-Engelking, D-Boise, motioned to introduce the resolution and send it to the full Senate with a “do-pass” recommendation.
Republicans on the committee initially rejected the motion, disagreeing with the “do-pass” recommendation. Ward-Engelking clarified her motion and withdrew the recommendation.
The committee then approved introduction of the resolution and sent it to the Senate floor.