How can people in Maryland be required to install EV charging stations to their new homes when the grid might not be able to handle it?

November 20 – As of October 1, 2023, anyone who builds a new home in Maryland may need to include an Electronic Vehicle charging station. 

House Bill 830 requires new housing to include the charging station in the garage, carport or driveway. It would be single-family detached homes, duplexes and townhouses that are subject to the provisions of the International Residential Code. 

That means the construction is not more than three stories above grade plane height with a separate means of egress. 

An EV-Ready Parking Space refers to a parking space that has “electrical panel capacity and full circuit installation of a minimum 40 ampere, 208/240-volt circuit, raceway wiring, a NEMA 14-50R receptacle, and circuit overcurrent protection devices.”

What on earth could that do to the cost of a new home? 

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM said, “The bottom line here is these greenaics are coming for whatever’s left in your wallet between what’s happening with housing and interest rates, then you’ve got inflation. There is a real struggle out there.”

Paul Frey, president of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce wondered, “The question is then, for apartments, how many charging stations do you have to have if you’re building an apartment complex? That’s going to be curious, fighting over parking spaces, fighting over charging stations, I’m not sure how it’ll work. But again, just this constant barrage of making you do things that maybe you don’t want to do and there’s still I think there’s some middle ground there and unfortunately we’ve got folks telling us what they want us to do.” 

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM added, “That is really unbelievable. They’re really going to control so many aspects of your life based on this idea that we’re in a climate crisis. Even Bill Gates came out and said, would you stop calling it a climate crisis? Again, I accept that there’s manmade climate change, but it’s an evolving understanding of both what the impact is and how we can affect it and to start mandating down to this micro level of EV charging stations when the technology could change rapidly in the future that could make even things that are installed now obsolete quickly. It’s just insane to me that they are insisting that you have to have these things. It really is controlling what you can do.”

Frey pointed out, “Remember the BlackBerry? Talk about evolving technology and so why force people? If you want to put one in, it’s definitely less expensive to do it while you’re building a house. If you choose not to and then you have to put one in later, that’s your choice to pay a little bit more money. The lack of choices is a little bit disconcerting.” 

Ryan wondered, “What does that do to your insurance rates too, because, as I understand it, some of these folks want these cars parked outside because they catch on fire.”

Fry said, “Too much too soon. We don’t have enough data.”

Ryan asked, “What about that rental property owner that if I’m going to build a new rental building of some sort that I’ve got to put all these charging stations in here and what kind of kickback do they get?”

Bev Stitely of Saunders Tax and Accounting pointed out, “We don’t have enough electric vehicles in the infrastructure, but it’s already in the tax code, too. There already is a credit for putting a charging station in, 30 percent of the cost of the charging station is a tax credit that you can take on your return. Remember there’s a difference between deductions and credits, a $1,000 deduction reduces your income by $1,000. So if you’re in the 22 percent tax bracket, that’s $220 on your bottom line of your tax return, but $1,000 credit is $1,000 difference on the bottom line of your tax return. So credits are better than a deduction. From the Inflation Reduction Act, we have some new energy credits for electric vehicles. So that has changed and starting in ‘24 they change even more because now it’s while you’re at the dealership. So when you buy that new electric vehicle, you can get a $7,500 credit, which instead of taking it on your tax return in ’24, you can apply it to the cost of the vehicle, so it’ll come right through them, which now means with the car dealer that you’re dealing with, you’re going to have to qualify for it. So it’s based on your income limits. So if you’re single, you have to show that modified adjusted gross income is under 150,000, married filing joint under 300,000. So now we’re going to have to be sharing our tax information with our car salesman.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM noted, “In effect you’re making other taxpayers pay for your electric vehicle. This is what I think people don’t necessarily understand, and you, yourself. I mean your taxes are going into that as well.”

“What a scam,” Ryan said. 

Stitely continued, “Then on your tax return for that year, you have to show that you had bought it and given the VIN number of the vehicle and then they will see did your income for this year really come below 300,000 for married filing joint couple or the 150? If you’re over then you’ve got to pay the credit back on your tax return because you didn’t qualify for the credit.”

Jansen said, “I think what bothers me is you think about a hard working person who maybe only makes $30,000 a year and they pay their taxes and they’re giving money in an odd roundabout way to somebody who makes $140,000 a year so they can have an electric car. It’s very bizarre.” 

Stitely added, “For the first time they’re now including used electric vehicles. Previously it was only on a new purchase. So now you can get a credit on a used one of $4,000 and the income has to be lower, 75,000 for single, 150 for married filing joint. The base price of the vehicle for the new one, for an SUV or a truck, the base price has to be below 80,000 and for a car it has to be 55,000. Used vehicles the base price must be below 25,000 and you have to do this from a dealership. You can’t do this on private sales for a used vehicle. It has to go through a dealership.”

Ryan said, “I don’t think that’s very fair either.”

These are federal tax credits. There is a Maryland credit, too. 

Stitely said, “I’m sure at some point down the road as electric vehicles become more popular, that may be a feature as you’re selling your existing house to have one of those there will be beneficial in making your sale as these become more accepted and more popular, but it’s going to take a long time.” 

Ryan said, “They’re not popular with the dealers. They’re not popular with consumers. The only way they get popular is by these kickbacks essentially. People are walking away from that in droves, but yet we’re still trying to cram this stuff down everybody’s throat.” 

Jansen cautioned, “I’d be careful buying a used electric vehicle. Those batteries, I’ve heard, have an average of 12 years and they’re very expensive to replace and they’re also hazardous to replace. We had a car catch on fire where they were trying to take the old battery of a car that somebody didn’t want anymore and caught on fire. That happened in Chambersburg.”