Peters & Portman Bipartisan Bill to Save Taxpayer Dollars on Federal Vehicles Passes House

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Rob Portman (R-OH) applauded House passage of their bipartisan bill to help save taxpayer dollars by updating policies to help federal agencies adopt electric vehicles, which are more energy efficient than traditional gas-powered vehicles. The Charging Helps Agencies Realize General Efficiencies Act (CHARGE Act), which Peters championed through the Senate last yearwould direct the General Services Administration (GSA) to allow vehicle charge cards to be used to pay for electric vehicle recharging at commercially available charging stations.

“I applaud the House for passing my commonsense, bipartisan legislation that will save taxpayer dollars in the long run by ensuring the federal government is ready to adopt more electric vehicles into its fleet,” said Senator Peters. “Electric vehicles have the potential to be more energy efficient and more cost-effective than gasoline-powered vehicles. The President should sign this bill as soon as possible to ensure the federal government can take full advantage of electric vehicles that will save money for Michiganders and Americans across the country.”

“If federal employees are required to pay for gas with travel charge cards, they should also be allowed to ‘fill up’ at a charging station when operating an electric vehicle,” said Senator Portman. “I’m pleased that the House passed this bipartisan, common-sense bill so that federal agencies can adopt more energy-efficient electric vehicles and I look forward to the president signing it into law soon.”

“2.3 million acres of my home state have burned from hundreds of fires this year, we’ve already reached 1°C of global warming, and we’re expecting another monster hurricane to hit our southern coast any day now. I’m thrilled to see the CHARGE Act pass the House and move one step closer toward becoming law,” said Congressman Khanna (D-CA-17), who led the CHARGE Act through the House. “My thanks to Senator Peters for introducing it and pushing it through the Senate. We can’t waste any more time in taking every possible action toward building a more sustainable, greener, cleaner future for our energy consumption.”

The GSA is responsible for Fleet Services Cards that federal agencies use to cover the costs of small-dollar repairs and refueling of government-owned and leased vehicles. Currently, electric vehicles are not covered in this service. This bill will enable agencies that acquire electric vehicles to use the existing charge cards to pay for recharging, facilitating the federal government’s adoption of more efficient and affordable electric vehicle technology.