Ralph Northam says Virginia will spend $3 billion over the next five years to install a system of electric vehicles to cut greenhouse gas emissions, a big win for electric car advocates.
Northam signed the bill Tuesday and will sign it into law when it becomes law.
The bill is designed to encourage manufacturers to build electric cars in the state, a move that the state’s electric car industry has long opposed.
It also expands the scope of state programs designed to provide incentives to manufacturers to develop electric cars.
The electric car program is expected to create more than 3,000 jobs over the coming decade.
“The Virginia General Assembly is committed to creating an industry that will deliver real economic benefit to Virginians,” Northam said in a statement.
“With this investment in electric vehicles, we are setting the stage for a new, clean and safer environment for our citizens.”
State transportation officials, including former governor and former U.S. secretary of transportation Anthony Foxx, said electric cars would bring a significant boost to Virginia’s economy and help reduce air pollution.
The bill also expands Virginia’s state-wide EV tax credit.
“This investment is an economic driver, it will create thousands of good paying jobs and a generation of jobs for our state’s future,” Foxx said.
Foxx said he hopes the legislation also helps reduce traffic congestion.
The state has already installed a $1.9 billion EV charging station at Route 1, a popular cross-country route between New York City and New Jersey, and is working to install the next one on Route 2.
The state will begin charging vehicles at the end of 2018.