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Colorado Lawmakers to Introduce Electric-Car-Charging Bill

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2012 Chevy Volt

2012 Chevy Volt.

Colorado lawmakers State Senator Lucia Guzman and Representative Crisanta Duran plan to introduce a bill to give home owners associations (HOAs) and others incentives to build electric-car-charging stations, as Lynn Bartels writes in The Denver Post.

Bartels writes that the idea for the legislation came about after HOA officials told a resident named Linda Campbell that she was not permitted to park her new electric car (a Chevrolet Volt) in the garage outside her townhouse, or plug it into a nearby outlet, because they were afraid it would start a fire. Campbell thought the HOA’s actions were surprising, as she lives on downtown Denver’s western edge in a community that brags about its access to light rail and buses, Bartels writes.

Officials lifted the ban after Campbell hired a lawyer whose research showed that gasoline-powered cars are actually more likely to start garage fires than electric cars, Bartels reports. Campbell, a community volunteer who works with nonprofit groups, turned to state legislators to protect other residents who did not have outlets near their parking spaces, Bartels writes.

Bartels quotes Rep. Duran:

‘We’re trying to figure out a way to use something like a fuel infrastructure tax credit to incentivize HOAs and other entities to build electric-car-charging stations,’ Duran said. ‘We don’t want to mandate their construction.’

The legislation is still in draft form, and lawmakers have been searching how other states handle the issue.

For example, Bartels writes, Hawaii has several laws addressing electric cars, including one that requires public parking lots with at least 100 spaces to reserve one space for electric cars.

A commentary by Molly Foley-Healy on the site of Colorado Homeowners Association Law, says HOAs ought to examine how and where charging stations could be built, how to provide residents with their use, how to handle the associated costs, and whether there are any safety issues involved.

Campbell told Bartels that when she bought her Chevy Volt at the start of 2012, she was not interested in “all the cool features” the salesman showed her, but rather with helping the environment and climate change. “I don’t have a specific ‘We have to do X, Y and Z,’ she said. “There are many, many different ways states are approaching this, to facilitate the transition to electric cars. I’m just trying to get things moving.”

Back in November, this blog reported that Colorado is bucking the trend in which sales of electric vehicles have been lagging:

Although Coloradans rank among the top buyers of electric vehicles (EVs), according to Edmunds.com (as HeraldOnline.com reports, and as this blog wrote about), a new study shows that EVs remain a tiny percentage of the U.S. market. That will only change when automakers can lower prices and demonstrate to consumers the economic benefits of EV technology, says J.D. Power and Associates, which conducted the study.

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