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Willing to Pay Extra Tax to Drive an Electric Vehicle? | The Energy Collective

A new trend in theelectric vehicle industry is emerging. Several states are proposing a gas tax on vehicles produced in 2015 or later that get 55 miles per gallon or more. Cars like the Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, and Toyota Prius are just some of the cars that will incur this per-mile fee.

Taxes on gasoline provide approximately 60 percent of the funding every state needs to complete necessary road projects. With more hybrids and electric vehicles on the road today, consumers are purchasing less gas, which results in states collecting less tax money. Consequently, new sources of funding must be implemented.

Officials believe that the solution is to charge a per-mile user fee for those who do not require as much gas. House Bill 2453 would charge 1.56 cents per mile, which is equivalent to the amount of gas taxes the average vehicle user will pay. At this rate, if an electric vehicle owner drives 15,000 miles per year, the annual charge would be $234.

In contrast to a traditional gas tax collected at the pump, determining and collecting a per-mile fee will be a challenging endeavor. On-board GPS equipment and cell phone applications are two options that would track and record the miles traveled on state roads, but many feel this is an extreme violation of privacy. One alternative is to require a mileage plug-in device on each vehicle which will not track the vehicle’s actual location. The downside is that, unlike a GPS, it would not be able to differentiate miles traveled on state roads and those traveled on private and out-of-state roads. A second alternative would be to simply charge electric vehicle owners a flat annual fee. Finally, some lawmakers are suggesting all cars receive an increase in vehicle registration fee, which directly contributes to the transportation fund.



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