Electric Vehicles Getting Hit With Higher Fees at the State Level

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【Summary】All owners of gasoline-powered cars have to worry about is the gas tax, but electric-vehicle owners are subjected to high fees at the state level that are possibility discouraging consumers from making the switch.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Nov 21, 2019 4:30 AM PT
Electric Vehicles Getting Hit With Higher Fees at the State Level

Electric vehicles are much more expensive than gasoline-powered cars when it comes to the initial purchase. Unfortunately, it looks like states are charging EV owners fees that are much higher than what drivers behind the wheel of an equivalent gasoline-powered vehicle. The fees could potentially be deterring consumers from making the switch to the environmentally friendly vehicles.

States Charging EV Owners High Fees
As Consumer Reports outlines in a report, nearly all of the 50 states in the U.S. have gasoline taxes that car owners pay that helps go toward transportation projects. Since electric cars don't have any components that use gasoline, owners don't have to pay the gas tax. Unfortunately, legislatures are using the opportunity to slap EV owners with extra fees .
The outlet's own research revealed that of the 26 states that have specific EV fees, 11 charge owners more than what similar gasoline-powered car owners pay in gas taxes. Three of them go as far as charging EV owners twice as much. This isn't just a trend, as Consumer Reports claims that out of the 12 states that are considering fees for EV owners, 10 states have plans to charge EV drivers more than what gasoline-owners pay for gas taxes. Seven have plans to charge more than double.
"People should be allowed to choose a vehicle that's safe, reliable, and better for the environment without being punished," said Shannon Baker-Branstetter, manager of cars and energy policy at Consumer Reports. Baker-Branstetter claims that fees on electric vehicle drivers aren't fair, as families are trying to save money on gas by going with an EV, and don't solve a state's dilemma when it comes to road spending shortfalls.

More Starts Are Implementing Fees
For states that currently have fees, Arkansas, Wyoming, Mississippi, and Alabama charge EV owners the most. Fees for those states are 198 percent, 197 percent, 158 percent, and 127 percent, respectively, more than its gas tax. To put that into perspective, EV owners in Arkansas will pay $200 annually to drive an EV. Missouri, Texas, and Arizona are planning to put EV fees into place, and they won't be cheap. Compared to gas fees in the states, Missouri's will be 314% more, Texas' will be 212% more, and Arizona will be 275% more.
There's some controversy on why states charge EV owners so much in fees. According to states, EVs damage infrastructure and roads more than gasoline-powered cars because they weigh more. Robert Atkinson, an economist at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, isn't buying the weight argument. He claims that regardless of size, cars, SUVs, and even pickup trucks only cause a minimal amount of road damage. The main problems are heavy-duty trucks, like 18-wheelers. Needless to say, Atkinson believes that any EV fees should be lower than gas taxes for gasoline-powered cars.
There are a few issues with gas taxes. As CNET  points out, the extra fees on electric cars are only accounting for 0.04 percent of a state's road budget because of the small number of EVs on the road. Oddly enough, states that have lower fees get more back, as more consumers adopt EVs. Instead of adding fees, one would like to see states have better rebates for EVs.

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