Federal employees will soon be able to charge their electric vehicles at federal facilities thanks to a provision in the massive $305 billion highway bill agreed to yesterday by House and Senate conferees (background docs available here), and which is expected to be approved by both chambers as soon as this week.
Section 1413(c) of the bill, officially titled “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act” or the “FAST Act” clarifies that federal agencies, or the General Services Administration (GSA) on request of a federal agency, “may install, construct, operate, and maintain on a reimbursable basis a battery recharging station (or allow, on a reimbursable basis, the use of a 120-volt electrical receptacle for battery recharging).”
To avoid subsidizing EV drivers, the GSA or agency is required to charge fees “in such amount as is necessary to ensure [recovery] of the costs such agency incurs in installing, constructing, operating, and maintaining the station.” Fortunately, agencies appear to have a lot of leeway in implementation, which is a good outcome because different circumstances will require different solutions.
Prior to this bill there was no clear process for employees to pay the government for electricity or chargers, with the result effectively being a complete ban on workplace charging at government offices. Now that agencies are authorized to be reimbursed, we should be seeing a lot of activity due to years of pent-up demand.
The FAST Act resolves a problem that has vexed federal employees and agencies for years, and we in the EV industry are excited that Congress recognized the problem and provided a solution.