For Immediate Release
Today, the Pennsylvania Senate Transportation Committee approved State Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf’s SB 83 which would authorize the operation of low speed electric vehicles on certain roadways in the Commonwealth.
A low speed electric vehicle, also referred to as Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV), is any four-wheeled electric vehicle with a top speed of at least 20 mph, but not greater than 25 mph. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation currently prohibits NEVs on state roadways because they fail to meet state safety inspection requirements for a passenger vehicle.
SB 83 would allow the operation of NEVs on roads with a speed limit of 25 mph or less. The measure gives discretion to the Secretary of Transportation and local governments to approve travel on selected roadways under their jurisdiction with a posted speed limit between 25 and 35 miles per hour. However, it also gives them the authority to prohibit the operation of these vehicles on any roadway under their jurisdiction.
Under the bill, NEVs must comply with the rules of the road and safety provisions. Electric vehicles would be equipped with federal safety requirements such as headlights, turn signals, windshields, and seat belts.
“NEVs are very environmentally friendly and produce no emissions,” said Senator Greenleaf. “They can provide for cleaner air and less noise and traffic congestion. NEVs provide a more cost effective means of transportation and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”
NEVs are currently street-legal in 46 states. SB 83 is modeled after the New Jersey legislation which was signed into law in 2006.
SB 83 may now be voted on by the full Senate.