The electric vehicle market in California could see significant changes if two bills introduced by a Bay Area state senator become law.
Senate Bill 680, one of the bills from state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, would limit sales of electric vehicles to the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, which would make California the first state to limit the price of EVs, according to a release from Skinner.
The other, Senate Bill 233, would require all electric vehicles sold in the state to incorporate bidirectional charging technology, which allows a vehicle’s charged battery to be used as an outgoing power source.
The state began a partnership with the federal government and industry stakeholders in 2022 to build infrastructure to make it easier to monetize such two-way power generation, known as vehicle to everything, or V2X charging, according to a U.S. Department of Energy news release.
V2X charging has two categories, V2H, which enables a vehicle to power a house or building, and V2G, which allows a vehicle to send excess power directly to the local power grid, according to the California Department of Energy.
Skinner said part of the motivation for SB 233 is that not many EVs utilize the technology.
Only two models, the Nissan Leaf and the Ford F-150 Lightning, have both capabilities, although other models allow a third type — V2L, which uses a different type of technology to power small household appliances, according to cars.com.
California has outpaced the national rate of sales of electric vehicles, often called EVs, by threefold in 2022, but Skinner said the vehicles are still out of financial reach for many people.
“One problem is that while EV prices are starting to drop, they’re still too high for most consumers. SB 680 will ensure that EVs are more affordable by barring auto dealers from jacking up prices. And SB 233 will make EVs more attractive to consumers by enabling them to use their car batteries to power their homes,” Skinner said. She added that the language of SB 233 would be finalized in the coming weeks.
California will phase out the sales of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035 if it meets the timeline laid out in a 2020 law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to transform the auto industry in the state to try to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the future.