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01/28/2021

Retail Fuel Community Wants to Help Biden Administration Develop Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

EV charging spots

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The retail community wants to help President Biden with his efforts to confront climate change, which include boosting electric vehicle (EV) acceptance in the United States.

On Jan. 27, NACS joined with other organizations that represent the retail fuel industry — including NATSO and SIGMA — to offer assistance in helping the government achieve its goals. Among the goals is eventually replacing the U.S. government fleet with EVs.

In a letter to heads of the U.S. Transportation Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy and the National Climate Advisor, the groups noted that "fuel retailers … are prepared to invest in any transportation energy technology that their customers desire. With the right alignment of policy incentives, the private sector is best equipped to facilitate a faster, more widespread, and cost-effective transition to alternatives — including electricity — in the coming years."

Pointing to science as the foundation for transportation climate policies, the organizations advised the Biden Administration to do the following:

  • Establish performance goals without mandating specific technologies to allow for the benefits of innovation and technology development.
  • Develop competitive market incentives to ensure a level playing field and provide long-term consumer benefits.
  • Harness the existing infrastructure to help commercialize new technology, maximize diverse investments and achieve near-term and long-term emission reduction goals.
  • Set consistent, uniform national policy so that the market has certainty to help it invest, and state policies do not create inconsistent or counterproductive measures.
  • Ensure fair treatment so that all households are not forced to subsidize alternative energy users.

In addition, the letter warned against adopting policies "that at first blush appear to be quick and easy solutions [but] tend to have the unintended consequence of undermining retailers' incentives to invest capital in alternative fuels."

According to the organizations, some counterproductive policies would include:

  • Allowing EV charging infrastructure at interstate rest areas, which would discourage off-highway fuel retailers from investing in charging infrastructure, while sending a message to prospective EV drivers that they will need to refuel at often desolate rest areas rather than the off-highway travel centers, convenience and fuel retailers that offer the amenities they expect.
  • Forcing ratepayers to underwrite electric utilities' investment in EV chargers or to subsidize the cost of charging EVs.
  • Prohibiting fuel retailers from selling electricity to individual consumers.

To read the six-page letter, click here.