Greenleaf’s Legislation Permitting Low Speed Electric Cars Sent to the Governor

Today (10/8/14), the Pennsylvania Senate gave final approval to State Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf’s measure to permit low speed electric vehicles on certain state roadways.  First passed by the Senate in March, SB 83 was approved in the House on Tuesday, and today the Senate concurred on House amendments sending the bill to the Governor.

The legislation would allow small electric cars, commonly known as Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs), on certain roadways with a posted speed limit of 25 mph or less.  At the discretion of local governments and the Secretary of Transportation, the cars could be permitted on roads with posted speed limits between 25 and 35 mph.

NEVs would be required to be registered, licensed, and insured like passenger vehicles.

“We need to be looking to implement alternative transportation and fuel sources wherever we can,” said Senator Greenleaf.  “Within certain communities, these types of vehicles are ideal and there is no reason why they shouldn’t be allowed.  NEVs are inexpensive to run, convenient, and reduce carbon emissions.”

Senator Greenleaf became interested in this issue in the early 2000s, first introducing legislation in 2004.

“We’ve been at work on this initiative for a long time,” said the Senator.  “It’s going to help change how we travel throughout our neighborhoods.  With the increased cost of traditional transportation, I believe that many suburban communities and urban neighborhoods are going to be increasingly NEV friendly.  I think this could have a very positive effect on small businesses, as it can localize people’s shopping habits.  NEVs even have the potential to reduce traffic congestion and reduce the need for road repair and maintenance.”

SB 83 now awaits the Governor’s signature.  The legislation would become effective in May of 2015.

Contact: Aaron Zappia