(1) As a necessary and desirable step to spur public and private investment in electric vehicle infrastructure in accordance with section 1, chapter 459, Laws of 2009, and to begin implementing the provisions of RCW 43.19.648
, the legislature authorizes an alternative fuels corridor pilot project capable of supporting electric vehicle charging and battery exchange technologies.
(2) To the extent permitted under federal programs, rules, or law, the department may enter into partnership agreements with other public and private entities for the use of land and facilities along state routes and within interstate highway rights-of-way for an alternative fuels corridor pilot project. At a minimum, the pilot project must:
(a) Limit renewable fuel and vehicle technology offerings to those with a forecasted demand over the next fifteen years and approved by the department;
(b) Ensure that a pilot project site does not compete with existing retail businesses in the same geographic area for the provision of the same refueling services, recharging technologies, or other retail commercial activities;
(c) Provide existing truck stop operators and retail truck refueling businesses with an absolute right of first refusal over the offering of refueling services to class six trucks with a maximum gross vehicle weight of twenty-six thousand pounds within the same geographic area identified for a possible pilot project site;
(d) Reach agreement with the department of services for the blind ensuring that any activities at host sites do not materially affect the revenues forecasted from their vending operations at each site;
(e) Regulate the internal rate of return from the partnership, including provisions to reduce or eliminate the level of state support once the partnership attains economic self-sufficiency;
(f) Be limited to not more than five locations on state-owned land within federal interstate rights-of-way or state highway rights-of-way in Washington; and
(g) Be limited in duration to a term of years reasonably necessary for the partnership to recover the cost of capital investments, plus the regulated internal rate of return.
(3) The department is not responsible for providing capital equipment nor operating refueling or recharging services. The department must provide periodic status reports on the pilot project to the office of financial management and the relevant standing committees of the legislature not less than every biennium.
(4) The provisions of this section are subject to the availability of existing funds. However, capital improvements under this section must be funded with federal or private funds.