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An Active FTC Announces it is Seeking Public Comment on the Alternative Fuels Rule: Potential Developments Impact EV Charging Stations
By Abby Risner on October 20, 2023

FTC WebsiteWith significant investment in the electric grid and more electric vehicle (EV) charging offerings, the FTC is signaling its intent to further address EV charging stations.  Yesterday, the FTC issued a press release announcing that it is seeking public comment on the Alternative Fuels Rule.  The rule currently requires labels on fuel dispensers for non-liquid alternative fuels, such as electricity, compressed natural gas, and hydrogen.

The FTC is seeking comments “on the overall costs, benefits, necessity, and regulatory and economic impact of its Labeling Requirements for Alternative Fuels and Alternative Fueled Vehicles,” and the comment period is expected to extend until mid-December 2023 (date to be confirmed once officially published).  Among other topics, the announcement is focused on seeking comments on issues related to electric vehicle charging stations.

Currently, the rule requires public EV charging stations to disclose the following information on each dispenser in view of the consumer: the common name of the fuel, kilowatt capacity, voltage, whether it is alternating or direct current, and whether it is conductive or inductive.  The FTC is interested in receiving comment on, among other topics, questions related to any research on consumer information available at charging stations, how that information should be displayed, and in what format. The comment form (which will be available here) includes other  questions about labels for electronic vehicle charging stations providing charging to consumers.

The rule has not been reviewed for 10 years.  This new request comes following the FTC’s requests for public comment on other topics, including franchise agreements and franchise business practices and on updating the Green Guides.  Often it takes at least a year for the FTC to issue updated rules from the time comments close, and sometimes public comment periods are extended.

As many energy companies and franchisors incorporate EV charging, they will want to consider submitting comments as well as monitoring the outcome of the FTC’s new review. 

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