EV charger destruction targeted by Wilson bill, approved by Senate

Longview senator would enhance scrutiny when electric vehicle charger parts are sold for scrap

OLYMPIA – A bill aimed at preventing EV charger destruction by requiring special scrutiny from scrap dealers cleared the Washington Senate Tuesday on a 48-0 vote. The bill now moves to the House for further consideration.

Sponsored by Sen. Jeff Wilson, R-Longview, Senate Bill 5542 requires the same level of scrutiny for electric-charger parts as already exists for other types of valuable metal scrap, like streetlights, wiring and guardrails. Sellers must provide identification, purchasers must record information, and scrap metal dealers must promptly notify law enforcement when they think they are being approached with stolen property.

Wilson, owner of an electric vehicle, said he is concerned that EV chargers will be targeted by metal thieves. “We need our power, and we need to make sure power is available when we pull up to a charging station,” Wilson said. “What would happen if you pulled up to a charger, and that cord is not there?”

About 20 million charges will be installed in the U.S. by 2030, he said.

The bill adds EV chargers to the definition of commercial metal property subject to strict record-keeping requirements. Items already covered by the rules include items that should raise suspicion, such as construction materials, metal fencing, signs and markers, irrigation equipment and metal decking.