"An Act relating to registration and operation of low-speed vehicles. "
"This legislation has been modeled after federal requirements and laws instituted by other states ..."
- Rep. Thomas
As new motor vehicle technologies are developed, our legal structure must sometimes be modified to account for these changes. In recent years a number of manufacturers have designed and produced several models of small low-speed electrical vehicles that have come to be known collectively as Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEV). NEVs have become popular in Europe and increasingly in North America. 36 states have already enacted legislation to permit and encourage their use.
These vehicles typically are limited by design to a top speed of 25 miles per hour and have a range of . . . . . depending on usage. They are powered by a bank of traditional lead-acid or sealed gel cell batteries. NEVs offer numerous advantages over gas powered vehicles, such as vastly improved energy usage, zero emissions, no necessity of anti-freeze for cooling, space efficiency in parking, and significant potential cost savings for private, commercial and government applications.
Unfortunately, under current law, the State of Alaska cannot license NEVs and as a result Alaska has yet to realize any of the benefits these new vehicles offer. Therefore HB 403 has been introduced to rectify this situation and encourage private citizens and municipalities to utilize NEVs. This legislation has been modeled after federal requirements and laws instituted by other states to govern the registration and use of NEVs in a safe and effective manner.