HARRISBURG, Pa. - If the future of cars is electric, Senate Bill 596 is trying to prepare us for that future.
"If the state doesn't take the lead, we're not gonna have electric vehicles out there like we should be able to," said state Sen. Lisa Boscola.
The bill creates an infrastructure plan that aims to make charging stations as readily available as gas stations. The state would work in conjunction with electric distribution companies-like PPL and PECO -which will be overseen by the public utility commission.
"When you invest in charging stations and infrastructure, and you're creating jobs - building jobs, and you get a return on that dollar back," Boscola said.
And the bill is bipartisan.
Senator Bob Mensch, a Republican, is the sponsor of the bill, with Senator Boscola, a Democrat, as a cosponsor. The bill passed its initial Senate vote unanimously.
There's no price tag yet on the state's investment. The goal is to get as much money as possible from the private sector and the state will fill in the rest.
" We don't want the taxpayers to be the only ones that have to foot the bill for these charging stations," Boscola said.
A vote is expected soon in the House.