Kentucky requires equal treatment for gas stations, EV chargers

By Adam Aton | 04/30/2024 06:33 AM EDT

Critics say the new law could keep chargers away from parks, high schools and other places where gas stations would be inappropriate.

Sunlight illuminates the Kentucky Capitol in Frankfort, Ky.

Sunlight illuminates the Kentucky Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky. Timothy D. Easley/AP

A new state law mandates that Kentucky cities and counties treat gas stations the same as public charging stations — a change critics say could cause unintended consequences.

The Kentucky Petroleum Marketers Association lobbied for the law, along with the American Petroleum Institute and other members of the oil industry, after the city of Lexington proposed overhauling its zoning ordinances to promote denser neighborhoods with a mix of housing and businesses. The proposed changes included new limits on where gas stations could go.

Several Republican lawmakers called the proposal discriminatory, and in response they passed H.B. 581, which forbids local governments from treating “retail filling stations differently than electric vehicle charging stations.”


Backers of the law say the purpose is to protect gas stations, not limit charging stations. They argue gas stations are worth protecting because restrictions on them would make gas more expensive — and that would ripple through the state’s economy.