ALEXANDRIA, Va.—This week, after a 19-hour markup, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure passed H.R. 3684, the INVEST in America Act, by a mostly partisan vote of 38 to 26, with two Republicans voting in favor of the bill. The surface transportation bill authorizes $547 billion to fund the nation’s roads, bridges and highways and included several electric vehicle (EV) and clean energy transportation programs.
In advance of the committee markup, NACS sent a letter to members of the House Transportation Committee outlining several concerns relating to EV charging infrastructure that were included in the bill. H.R. 3684 includes language that allows EV charging at rest areas by providing an exemption from the ban on rest area commercialization for EV charging. Though an amendment to remove this provision was published with a list of amendments to be offered during markup, it was withdrawn en bloc with a group of other amendments that were not considered.
In addition, the legislation authorizes an alternative fuels corridor grants program, which provides an incentive to build EV charging infrastructure along these designated corridors. While some improvements were included to the program to promote private sector investment and competition in the EV charging market, NACS is working to improve the bill language so it helps foster a competitive private market and level playing field.
Several amendments of interest to the convenience and fuel retailing industry were offered, including an amendment that would have prohibited funds going to states that ban the sale of vehicles with internal combustion engines, which was rejected by voice vote, and an amendment to create an apprenticeship program for commercial drivers under the age of 21, which was withdrawn.
H.R. 3684 is expected to be on the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote the last week of June, according to a statement from House leadership.
The Senate Committee on Environment Public Works passed its version of a surface transportation bill in late May, but the Senate hasn’t announced when the bill will come to the floor for a vote.