- Simone Braithwaite
(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) –Governor Newsom signed AB 970, a bill by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty which will establish strict timelines for local governments to review permit applications for charging stations. By spurring development of EV infrastructure, AB 970 will help California achieve its ambitious climate goals and clean our air.
In California, transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas pollution, accounting for 39 percent of emissions. Additionally, four in ten Californians live in close proximity to a freeway or busy road, resulting in an increased risk of cancer, asthma, and other health hazards. Replacing gasoline cars and trucks with zero emission vehicles is important to cleaning California’s air quality and keeping communities healthy.
With the need to replace gasoline vehicles with electric cars, there is a need for more infrastructure making it appealing for Californians to purchase EV vehicles. In 2015, the Legislature passed AB 1236 by Assemblymember David Chiu to streamline the permitting process for building EV charging stations. However, most local governments have established conditions for permit approval that are not authorized under AB 1236, or they have failed to adopt an ordinance to streamline the review of permit applications altogether.
“The health of Californians are important and in order to keep everyone healthy we have to start thinking about how we can reduce air pollution and climate change. Electric vehicles is a way to do that,” said Assemblymember Kevin McCarty. “Having the proper infrastructure will be key in meeting our air quality and climate goals by 2030, and my bill is a step in that direction.”
“If we are going to meet our zero emission vehicle goals, we must have the charging infrastructure in place to do so,” said Assemblymember David Chiu. “Thank you Governor Newsom for signing this bill and to Assemblymember McCarty for taking leadership to ensure we expand access to electric vehicles.”
"Streamlined permitting of electric vehicle charging will smooth the road to zero emission transportation for California,” said Coalition for Clean Air Policy Director Bill Magavern. “We thank Assemblymembers McCarty and Chiu and Governor Newsom for this step toward cleaner air and a safer climate."
"This law implements fixed timelines to expedite California electric vehicle charging station permitting, which will help all of us to expand the availability of EV chargers in the state,” said CEO of Electrify America Giovanni Palazzo. “We are so thankful that Assemblymembers McCarty and Chiu demonstrated the wisdom and leadership necessary to shepherd this legislation into law. By addressing the permitting issues holding back private investment in EV charging, AB 970 will help create jobs and lower air pollution across California. As the largest open network of ultra-fast charging stations in the United States, Electrify America is proud to have supported this legislation.”
Currently, 76% of local jurisdictions have not created a streamlined permitting process as outlined in AB 1236. The consequent delays from slow permitting have resulted in higher building costs, and fewer stations being built.
AB 970 resolves non-compliance with the law by establishing clear timelines for local governments to review permit applications. California must take immediate action to build out the charging infrastructure in order to meet our air quality and climate goals.
Kevin McCarty represents California’s 7th Assembly District, which include the cities of Sacramento, West Sacramento and unincorporated Sacramento County. McCarty serves as Chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance