Shopping centres in the US debate charging station legislation

In the US, the International Council of Shopping Centres (ICSC) is debating measures before the New Jersey Assembly that would require developers to provide electric vehicle charging stations at new shopping centres. According to the news article on the ICSC website:

This legislation passed the Appropriations Committee this month and now goes to the full Assembly. The measures are part of a five-bill package creating tax incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles and the installation of charging stations. One bill would require them at rest areas along certain state highways. ICSC opposes the bill mandating installations at new shopping centres and another bill that bars issuance of shopping centre development permits unless at least 5 percent of the parking facility includes these stations.”

While the ICSC supports the intent of the legislation in improving the environment and provide a service to consumers, it disagrees with the forced mandate to include the charging stations in all new developments – they claim that this is something that should be done voluntarily by shopping centre management.

We agree with the ICSC position:  there needs to be greater clarity as electric vehicle sales increase as to how and by whom the recharging stations will be managed, what the costs are, how they will be financed, etc. If a switch to electric vehicles is to be encouraged, it would seem counter-productive to burden the cost of parking for these vehicles with the infrastructure to provide the recharging unit. On the other hand, property owners may not (at least at this stage) be prepared to underwrite the investment required. Interesting food for thought….

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