Electric vehicle owners visited the EV roadshow when it stopped in Fayetteville, Ga., Aug. 18, 2022.

Electric vehicle owners visited the Clean Energy Roadshow when it stopped in Fayetteville, Ga., Aug. 18, 2022.

Credit: Amanda Andrews / GPB News

The Georgia Senate is going over the latest bill aimed at regulating electric vehicles in the state. The Georgia House and Senate passed similar measures before Crossover Day and now the priorities have been merged into one bill, Senate Bill 146.

The bill would have three major changes on electric vehicle charging: Charging stations would bill customers based on kilowatt-hours, the Department of Agriculture would regulate the chargers, and it would charge an excise tax on the sale of electricity.

Anne Blair is a senior policy manager with the Electrification Coalition. She said the excise tax could be a solution to the lost gas revenue, but not on top of an existing yearly fee.

“It should not be in addition to a flat fee for EV drivers," she said. "You know, we pay three different taxes right now in addition to the vehicle purchase tax.”

The latest version of the Senate bill would tax EV owners 26 cents per 9 kWh, but wouldn’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2025. A representative for the Georgia Sierra Club raised concerns with the Senate Committee on Regulated Industries and Utilities. The group is requesting the excise tax be delayed until 2028 so further studies can be conducted.

Georgia Senate Majority leader Steve Gooch said during the committee meeting it’s important to get the regulations in place now.

“The $135 million federal grant that's coming through GDOT this year for the RFP for these contractors to deploy these charging stations they need to know what the technology has to be retrofitted for,” Gooch said.

The grant requires a certain number of chargers be available in key corridors with standards for speed and car compatibility. To meet those standards Georgia must build several more charging stations and upgrade existing stations that also follow the new state regulations.