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Lawmakers look to remove EV charging stations from civil penalties

An electric Ford truck charges in a garage.
An electric Ford truck charges in a garage.

The Senate Commerce and Energy has voted to remove civil penalties for electric charging stations.

The bill was requested by the Public Utilities Commission. It would exempt electric vehicle charging stations from overcharging fines.

Christie Fiegen is the Chair of thePUC. She said the PUC is in support of the bill because it also updates an old statute.

“We want to make sure we remove EV charging stations from a potential civil fine. And the other item, in 1938 the statue was developed. We do not regulate water, heat, refrigeration or air. So, we are taking that out to make sure that it is current practices,” said Fiegen.

Sen. Casey Crabtree sponsored a similar bill in previous legislative session. He said the bill helps car dealerships and gas stations to not be viewed as utilities.

“The intent of the original bill, to remove a charging station from having all of the requirements that a normal utility would have and liabilities that are associated with that," said Crabtree. "Clearly separating those is a smart idea. And one that is widely supported by both the actual retailer who would be doing this, as well as the utilities.”   

The committee passed the bill unanimously. Senate Bill 23 now heads to the senate floor for consideration.

Evan Walton is an SDPB reporter based in Sioux Falls. Evan holds a Master’s in English Literature from Southern New Hampshire University and was honorably discharged from the United States Army in 2015, where he served for five years as an infantryman.