Rabb, Hanbidge resolution calls for electric vehicle impact study in Pa.

HARRISBURG, May 12 – To better understand the impact that electric vehicles are having in Pennsylvania, state Reps. Chris Rabb and Liz Hanbidge are urging a statewide study with a House resolution they officially introduced last week.

House Resolution 861 was first posted by Hanbidge and Rabb in March and has gathered bipartisan support. It recently was referred to the House Transportation Committee.

The resolution would direct the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to study the costs and benefits of electric vehicles of all kinds on the commonwealth’s infrastructure, environment, employment, transportation methods and economy.

Rabb, who, like Hanbidge, drives an electric car and has previously called for more fast-charging infrastructure for these vehicles, said the use of electric cars is “a win-win” for Pennsylvania.

“The use of electric vehicles means cleaner air, and it’s important to study the specific costs and benefits that these vehicles will have here long term,” said Rabb, D-Phila.

Technological advances and government incentives have helped the popularity of electric vehicles, which studies show can emit significantly less greenhouse gas than gasoline-powered vehicles.

Despite the positive environmental impact, the use of electric vehicles shortchanges the state motor vehicle tax, which is levied on gasoline. That fund is used to improve transportation infrastructure, which electric vehicles use alongside gas-powered vehicles.

A bill introduced in May 2019 – H.B. 1392 – seeks to charge annual electric vehicle fees to alleviate any discrepancy from funds used to repair and maintain state roads and bridges. The bill currently resides in the House Appropriations Committee.

“Before we move forward with any such legislation,” said Hanbidge, D-Montgomery, “it is vital that we fully understand the impact that electric vehicles have on our state. That is why Rep. Rabb and I, along with a bipartisan group of co-sponsors, are seeking quick action on these studies. Electric vehicles are here to stay, and we need to find out exactly what that means for Pennsylvania.”