The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) last week voted against proposed standards that would have effectively prohibited many small-format retail fuel outlets from offering electric vehicle (EV) charging at their locations.
The proposed additions to the fire code would have required an arbitrary, significant amount of space between any chargers and fuel pumps or property lines, effectively making many current and planned chargers in violation of local fire codes. NATSO, along with a coalition that includes the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) and SIGMA, opposed the proposed changes that were ultimately rejected.
NATSO has long opposed the proposed regulations, and filed an emergency basis as a Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) to NFPA, saying the proposal could prevent existing gas stations from diversifying into EV charging stations. The additional requirements that were ultimately voted down last week were largely unsubstantiated by data and would have needlessly hindered investments in EV charging.
NATSO argued, “Fuel retailers have a vested interest in ensuring the safety of their customers and employees and want to be a partner with other stakeholders in making sure the EV charging experience is as safe, convenient, and efficient as possible.”
The revised proposal was overwhelmingly voted down during NFPA’s 2023 Technical Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada. Though certain NFPA committees do have the ability to propose similar regulations in the future that restrict EV charging, the vote represents a resounding denial from the NFPA voting body of the standards as proposed. Thank you to those NATSO members who registered to participate and traveled to the meeting to oppose the proposal.
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