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Va. becomes 1st ‘Zero Emission Vehicle’ state in the south with passage of 4 bills

An electric car charging station is positioned outside the Science Museum where Virginia State...
An electric car charging station is positioned outside the Science Museum where Virginia State Senators are meeting for their 2021 legislative session in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)(Steve Helber | AP)
Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 5:33 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WVIR) - The 2021 session of the General Assembly has passed four new pieces of legislation that will make it easier and cheaper to build and buy electric vehicles in the commonwealth, making Virginia the first “Zero Emission Vehicle” state in the south.

One bill, HB1965, implements low-emissions and zero-emissions program that requires manufacturers to send more electric vehicles to auto dealers in Virginia. Another, HB 2282, will focus on expanding access to electric vehicles for low-income, minority and rural communities, while also ensuring access to more charging stations across the state.

Stuart Gardner with the Charlottesville-area nonprofit Generation180 says this is a major step in the right direction for the commonwealth.

“This is a historic step for Virginia. These four bills send a clear message that Virginia is serious about tackling vehicle electrification,” Gardner said.

Two bills, which include a rebate program for electric car buyers, as well as the replacement of diesel schools and other heavy equipment, require more funding. Generation180 says the 2022 General Assembly will need to identify those funding mechanisms.

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