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Electric vehicle advocates lobby state lawmakers

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Electric vehicle advocates want financial incentives for buyers and state support for more charging stations.

Among those attending the webcast, several car dealers and Don Hall who heads the Virginia Auto Dealers Association. He urged the state to provide rebates to encourage purchase of cars that don’t pollute and free drivers from fears of rising gas prices.

“I took my 92-year-old father-in-law for a ride in the car the other day," Hall recalled. "He’d never been in an electric car, and he said, ‘What do you do when you drive by gas stations? I guess you just wave at them,’ and I said, ‘I do.’”

He said the transition to electric vehicles should win support from Democrats and Republicans, because it creates jobs – a view shared by Senator Jennifer McClellan.

“This transition is going to happen whether Virginia is at the front of the pack or the back," she explained. "We may as well be at the front.”

And she predicted the Clean Cars bill approved during Ralph Northam’s term in office would survive.

“All 21 senators who voted for it are still there, and I feel confident that we can hold the line and prevent any bills that would undercut or gut it.”

But she said the new governor and a House controlled by Republicans would need to hear from people who support electric vehicles – to persuade them to expand the Commonwealth’s own fleet of EVs, to promote their purchase by the public and to provide new charging stations using federal money now available to the state.