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Houghtaling Introduces Bill to Prohibit Timed-Use and Per-Charge Pricing for Electric Vehicle Charging

(TRENTON) – As the demand for electric vehicles increases and charging infrastructure expands across New Jersey, Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling (D-Monmouth) has introduced legislation to ensure drivers of electric vehicles (EVs) are billed fairly for charging services.

“When a driver goes to a gas station to fill up, they are charged for the amount of gas they need. That isn’t the case for drivers of electric vehicles, who are often forced to pay based on how long their car is connected to a charger,” said Houghtaling. “It’s only fair for EV drivers to be billed similarly to those who drive gas-powered vehicles, based on the energy they need, not the time connected to the pump.”

Electric vehicles charge at different speeds. A variety of factors play a role in how quickly a vehicle charges, from the size of a battery to the temperature outside. Some cars may need to be connected to a charger for longer than others, resulting in some drivers paying more under a time-based charging system.

The measure introduced by Houghtaling (A-5303) would prohibit timed-use and per-charge pricing in the sale of plug-in electric vehicle charging services in New Jersey. It would also prohibit “excessive price increases,” defined as a price that exceeds the average price of EV charging offered by retail dealers in the same region by 20 percent.

Charging services would be permitted to be sold on a per kilowatt hour rate (kWh), just as gas and diesel are sold by the gallon. This type of pricing ensures every driver pays the same rate, regardless of the model or charging capabilities of their car.

Additionally, charging services may be offered on a subscription fee basis or another reasonable method as determined by the Board of Public Utilities.

“Consumers considering making the switch from gas to electric-powered cars may be deterred by unreasonable charging prices,” said Houghtaling. “We need to do all we can to encourage the use of electric vehicles as a means to combat climate change and build a healthier future, including creating a more equitable pay system for charging.”

The legislation now goes to the Assembly Speaker for further review.