The Democratic congresswoman who pushed the Green New Deal to prominence aims to build a national network of high-speed chargers for electric cars under legislation unveiled on Thursday. Tesla Inc. (TSLA) shares surged.
Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Andy Levin, a Michigan Democrat, said the bill -- dubbed the EV Freedom Act -- would establish a network of chargers along public highways within five years. The measure is unlikely to pass in an election year with Republicans controlling the Senate.
The bill doesn’t yet have any Republican backers and the potential cost hasn’t been calculated, Levin said during a press conference in Washington.
Tesla (TSLA) erased declines to surge as much as 8.3% to $795.83 in New York after the plan was reported earlier Thursday, before retreating to $744.53 at 2:38 p.m. Investors had put Elon Musk’s carmaker, by far the largest seller of electric vehicles, on a wild ride the past few days. The stock on Wednesday fell 17% after more than doubling so far this year.
Tesla closed at $748.96, up $14.26, or 1.94%.
The bill, which would require the Energy and Transportation departments to develop the details of a charging network, faces long odds in becoming law, said analyst Pavel Molchanov at Raymond James Financial Inc.
As with other climate-related bills pushed by House Democrats, “there is no realistic prospect of this EV proposal getting anywhere in the current Senate,” Molchanov said. “While EV infrastructure expansion will certainly continue, it will be led by a combination of state-level policies and private-sector investments, rather than federal mandates.”
Levin, a former green-energy entrepreneur, said in an interview the proposed legislation would be a blueprint should Democrats win the Senate and White House in the 2020 election.
“We need to be able to act rapidly when we have full control of House, Senate and White House,” Levin said.
Ocasio-Cortez, whose progressive climate plan galvanized the debate over strategies to combat climate change, said the transportation industry must be transformed to reduce its reliance on carbon fuels.
The legislation “embodies the core principles of what the Green New Deal is all about,” Ocasio-Cortez told reporters at the press conference, referring to her broad proposal for measures to shift the nation away from fossil fuels. It “opens the door for electric vehicles not to just be in the realm of the wealthy, but accessible to everybody.”
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