Sen. Howard Marklein’s EV Bill Passes Nearly Unanimously

Legislation allows gas stations, retailers to sell electric vehicle charging

Madison, WI – Sen. Howard Marklein’s (R-Spring Green) bill to enable gas stations, retailers and other private businesses to begin participating in the electric vehicle charging industry passed with nearly unanimous support in the State Senate on Tuesday, January 16, 2024.  The vote was 30-2.

“In a great show of bi-partisan agreement, nearly all of my colleagues in the State Senate voted for my bill to enable the private sector to participate in the future of electric vehicle charging,” Marklein said. “Whether you like the idea of electric vehicles, or not, I think it is important to allow the private sector to address consumer demands and allow the market to determine the future of the industry. I appreciate the collaboration behind this bill.”
Senate Bill (SB) 791 primarily allows private sector businesses to construct and sell electricity by the kilowatt hour.  Current law says that anyone who sells electricity in Wisconsin must be regulated as a utility.  This change will also enable Wisconsin to capture nearly $78 million in Federal funding that will be distributed to private-sector businesses to help construct electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
The bill also creates an excise tax of $.03 per kilowatt hour to contribute to the state’s Transportation Fund, which pays for road maintenance and construction in Wisconsin. This creates parity for electric vehicle charging with the gas tax for people who charge outside of their homes. 
“More than 40 stakeholder groups participated in the development of this legislation,” Marklein said. “This bill was an exercise in compromise in order to reach our goal: to allow the private sector to meet the demands of the marketplace.”
The legislation is now before the State Assembly.