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EVs and Charging Stations: Virginia Going Zero Emissions Under New Vehicle Legislation

AP Photo / Steve Helber

Virginia is about to become the first Southern state to enact zero-emissions vehicle legislation.

If you buy an electric vehicle in Virginia, you can get a $2,500 rebate under a bill lawmakers passed during the General Assembly session. Now, that bill along with several others are part of a package that supporters say makes Virginia the first zero-emission vehicle state in the South. Critics worry about the government offering incentives for people to buy certain kinds of products.

Stephen Haner is a senior fellow at the Thomas Jefferson Institute.

"Electric vehicles are great. Electric vehicles are coming. But I don't think electric vehicles should be mandatory," Haner says. "I think that's the direction California is going, and that's the direction these people want to go. They want to make it mandatory."

"It's the opposite of that," explains Stuart Gardner at Generation 180. He says these bills don't restrict internal combustion vehicles. They just make electric vehicles more available.

"The manufacturers; they’re experts at distribution. They're going to send those cars to the states where they’ve raised their hands and said we want to support electric vehicles," says Gardner. "So it's a great step forward for Virginia to say we're ready to support transportation electrification."

Lawmakers sent the governor four bills encouraging vehicle electrification by expanding charging infrastructure and increasing the supply and accessibility of electric vehicles.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.