California Clears Hurdle for Electric-Car Charging Stations to Sell Power

California regulators voted to make it easier for electric-car charging companies to sell power in the U.S. state that’s likely to be the biggest market for such vehicles.

Companies such as Coulomb Technologies Inc., Better Place and Ecotality Inc. can operate without being regulated as an investor-owned utility, the California Public Utilities Commission said today during its regular meeting in San Francisco.

The decision removes a barrier on reselling electricity at charging stations and may speed up the adoption of electric cars, which will help the state meet greenhouse-gas reduction targets, the commission said in a draft of its order.

California rules will force large automakers to offer electric vehicles starting in 2011. General Motors Co., Nissan Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and other automakers have said California will be among the first markets for their lithium-ion battery vehicles.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Chediak in San Francisco at

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