San Francisco and Los Angeles are known for their fog and smog, respectively, but at least the some folks representing the state of California want to make sure the view is crystal clear for plug-in drivers looking to juice up their vehicles.

The EV Open Access Act, or SB454, was recently passed by the California Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee. The bill guarantees plug-in owners "same access" to publicly accessible charging stations as conventional car owners have to gas stations. That means no special access card, password or secret handshake required, just a credit card like any other corner station. It also means pricing transparency when it comes to disclosing charging rates, advocate group Plug In America says.

That California took the lead here is no surprise. Californians have bought more than 35,000 plug-ins – more than a third of all the plug-ins in the US – since 2011. As of the end of last month, the Golden State was home to 1,276 publicly accessible charging stations, or more than a fifth of the country's total, according to the US Energy Department.

Read Plug In America's press release below.
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PLUG IN AMERICA BOOSTS OPEN ACCESS FOR EV CHARGING

- SB454 Clears Key California Senate Committee -

Sacramento, CA, May 3, 2013-Plug In America today announced that SB454 - the EV Open Access Act, introduced by Sen. Ellen Corbett – has passed out of the California Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee by a vote of six to four. SB454 allows consumers with plug-in cars the same access to charging stations that gas stations provide gasoline cars.

"This bill will ensure that plug-in drivers can charge everywhere and will know what it will cost," said Jay Friedland, Plug In America's Legislative Director. "Public charging spots must be readily accessible to the public and not constrained with access cards or network membership requirements."

SB454 requires that all public charging stations which require payment accept a simple credit card transaction--to streamline the current system of multiple proprietary access cards--or provide access with a phone call. The bill also requires pricing transparency so that drivers know costs associated with particular charging stations. Since 2010, the charging industry has made significant progress installing EV charging infrastructure with help from $115 million in federal grants and over $20 million in funding from the state of California via AB118 funds from the California Energy Commission and local air districts. Fortunately, most public stations deployed by the EV charging industry already have the capability of point-of-purchase price notification to consumers.

"A sustainable vehicle charging infrastructure is an important part of the road to electric transportation. Greater consumer confidence in public charging will speed acceptance of EVs by ensuring that drivers will know how much charging will cost them," Friedland added. "A straightforward, sound set of principles that builds off the best practice standards already being set by leading charging companies will strengthen and increase the size of the market, especially as the number of vehicles continues to grow at an accelerating pace."

Sales of electric vehicles have grown from just a few hundred in a month in 2008 to over 7,000 sold in the month of April 2013. In California over 35,000 plug-in vehicles have been sold since the end of 2010 - more than a third of the US market.

About Plug In America: Plug In America is the preeminent advocacy organization advancing the plug-in vehicle market. The nonprofit organization works to accelerate the shift to plug-in vehicles powered by clean, affordable, domestic electricity to reduce our nation's dependence on petroleum and improve the global environment. For more information: http://www.pluginamerica.org.


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