Federal Bill DRIVE Includes Electric Car Fees

AUG 8 2015 BY MARK KANE 96

Chevrolet Volt

Chevrolet Volt

Roads (and bridges) are often maintained through taxes. Noticeable electric car sales (between 0.5-1% in the US) and improving fuel economy of conventional models decreases revenues from taxing fuel, but everybody wants to drive on decent roads.

Some states already detected problems and are considering (or have already begun) taxing EVs (Washington state introduced an EV fee three years ago, California is considering an annual fee now). Things are moving quickly and the U.S. Senate is preparing its own solution.

“Several states including Oregon have considered taxing vehicles by the mile. Now, the United States Senate has proposed a use fee that specifically includes electric vehicles as part of a transportation bill that Congress is trying to pass before July 31, when current funding of the Highway Trust Fund runs out.”

On the table is DRIVE – Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act.

DRIVE will include EVs in the equation:

“Extends new user fee to electric vehicles: The DRIVE Act ensures all users of the roads and bridges pay their fair share with a new federal share program initializing new state controlled user fees.”

We understand that taxes on maintenance of public roads should be covered by road users, so maybe some fees will be a fair solution.

But there is something wrong with the current strategy, because government encourages us to buy EVs (federal tax credit or state incentives). It would be much simpler to pay the EV’s fair share through reduction of one of these incentives, at least for another 5-10 years. Thousands of EV owners are getting up to $7,500 in tax credits and thousands in state incentives, yet they have pay $100 or so every year? Where is logic in that?

Source: Plug In Sites – EV Charging Stations

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96 Comments on "Federal Bill DRIVE Includes Electric Car Fees"

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Why don’t they just increase the tax on gas. That will do two things: generate revenue and encourage people to move to EV.

Also they can increase cigarette tax to help pay for the roads.

The gas tax is for the purpose of maintaining the roads, and since for decades fuel was the only way to propel vehicles, the easy equitable way to spread that cost was gas tax.
Taxing cigarettes to pay for roads isn’t equitable, neither is raising gas tax to cover the EV drivers. Everyone who uses the roads should pay their share.

If “Everyone who uses the roads should pay their share.” – Why are not Oil Companies themselves billed for Highway Maintenance – based on the amount of fuel THEY sell? Since the Oil Companies are the culprits for making it so easy to travel on the roads at step one! Also – Roads are deteriorated (Destroyed) by City Maintenance Departments putting down Salt each winter – which – while it keeps the road clear, to a limited extent, also corrodes Bridges, Decks, and even Road Surfaces, in the process! Should Cities be billed based on the number of Tons of Salt they apply each year on the Roads? Or – Since just about all freight & shipping is billed based on the standard value of a ‘Ton-Mile’ why not use – Ton-Miles for All Vehicles Billing? You drive a Hummer 20,000 Miles – you pay more for your 6,000 Lb Beast – than a F-150 Driver in his 4,000 Lbs Beast for the same miles driven; and a Tesla Driver (Heave EV) pays more than a LEAF or iMiEV Driver for the same miles driven! Then – Big Heavy Haulers like Super Lift Tow Trucks, Cranes, Cement Trucks, Etc.; would… Read more »


Sorry, Robert. Your long comment is not making any sense.
– The point of previous comment was to charge every road user. Then, you ask why not charge only the gas companies?
– Hummer driver does indeed pay more for each mile he drives, as its mpg sucks (what, 6-7 mpg?). I’m not promoting Hummer, just pointing out how flawed your argument is.

Its not quite as flawed as you make it out to be but what else is new?

I don’t find it hard to understand at all either.

We definitely need to talk to all our representatives about EVs. Most people do not understand or do not want to know about EVs. A lot of people get wrong info from Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Our repre sentatives are the same. However we the EV owners can tell a real outcome. How we do not pollute, we do not help OPEC, EVs do not have fuel explosions in accidents. Also no exhaust so no fires from igniting grass when on side of road. We can leave A/C on when parked. Lots of ICE vehicle owners leave cars running in parking lots, side of roads, fields, driveways, etc. Why should EVs be taxed when they are helping the environment in so many ways. Also EVs do not drip oil like engines do. All our representatives should be driving an EV. Rick Perry drives a Tesla. Our president and vice president should be driving Tesla,s as much as they talk about environment

Maybe they can insert monitors in the cigarettes that will fine smokers from throwing those awful things out of their windows onto the ground, polluting our earth.

The funding of national road & highway infrusturcture needs an overhaul. A major issue since the first public highways were constructed in the 1930’s has been lack of maintenance budget “index to inflation”. Back when every vehicle used gasoline as an energy source, it made sense to tax energy at the source (i.e.: the pump). Now we have many energy types being used to power vehicles: ethenol, natural gas, compressed/liquid natural gas, diesel, propane, and recently electricity. It gets even more complicated as mixes of the various energy types are more commonly used. e.g.: gasoline + ethanol in most vehicles (90% gas + 10% ethanol), or hybrids that mix gasoline + electricity Perhaps the easiest way to create a fair system is a monthly reporting of milage traveled. Random audits of odometers at time of maintenance, sale, or emissions checks could correct inaccurate reporting. A fee based on distance traveled, indexed to inflation would be evaluated and adjusted each year. (some of proposed using dongles, but this encroaches on personal privacy, opening another set of complex issues) As a measure to ensure vehicles operate efficiently, a tax on emission if over a certain amount based on class of vehicle. This… Read more »

Hear, hear.

Brian_Henderson said:

“Perhaps the easiest way to create a fair system is a monthly reporting of milage traveled. Random audits of odometers at time of maintenance, sale, or emissions checks could correct inaccurate reporting.”

I’m very glad to see others suggesting that road use taxes should be based on mileage; that is, odometer readings. I’ve been “preaching” this for years!

But there’s no need for monthly reporting. The fee would be paid annually when license plates are renewed, and for those states which require annual inspection, checking the odometer reading could easily be made part of that process. It would only take an auto mechanic a few seconds to write down the odometer reading, so this isn’t much of a burden on the public.

For States without a requirement for annual vehicle inspections, I suppose as you say we’d have to rely on self-reporting, perhaps with random checks by the staff at the State office where license plates are renewed.

The odometer idea, while being simple, doesn’t really work because of gas taxes across state lines. And people are largely not open to a GPS device to handle the detection.

Gas Taxes – Like Now – When I Drive from Canada in My ICE – (Kia Soul) from Ontario to Wisconsin – I live out of the Country – But use the roads (nearly each year) in the USA from Detroit to Chicago to Oshkosh, & Back – What is the billing Mechanism going to be for that reality? Or – like Last year – Toronto – Buffalo – to PA – WV – NC & SC – to GA and to FL – all the way to Key West, and Back: How would that be billed? (Sure – last year I still had the 2004 Prius for the Florida Trip, but that got sold to a Co-Worker who needed a car quick in February – so now I just have the Soul – while I wait for the Tesla Model 3!) Some Insurance Companies use an OBD2 Device Plugged into your car to track mileage, and offer discounts based on factors they monitor, so the Tech already exists to use such devices for monitoring this! The Fuel Tax Still gets me at the pump, and in the state where the Fuel is sold – so that works easy. If… Read more »

Except that Hybrids and EV’s Benefit their OWNERS and they BENEFIT YOU.

– Decreased demand means they LOWER Gas Prices for You.
– They don’t use High Pollution Canadian TarSand oil.
– They don’t use Terrorist Funding Saudi oil.
– They give you cleaner air.
– They help build a Local Solar Business Community in your county, because it’s very profitable for an EV owner to put up Solar Panels.
– Improves US balance of Trade payments, by keeping American Money in America.
– They help slow down Global Warming caused Rising Food Prices, because one of the US breadbaskets, California is in a severe drought. This is the economics of Global Warming, it’s going to be World War III about food.

In Economics you place INCENTIVES to get benefits, and Disincentives for things that hurt you. Like:
-High pollution SUVs, and overpowered trucks, burning dirty fuel, like gas and diesel.

Why not just redirect the gas subsidies to infrastructure maintenance.
Why the hell is the US still subsidizing the foreign crude?!?!?!?!?

Like Trump said, our government is run by idiots.


Trump is wrong. The Government is run by manipulated idiots put in office by U.S. Oil Cartel money. The main function of these Teabillies is to slow down or stop energy innovation as long as possible.

“The Government is run by manipulated idiots put in office by U.S. Oil Cartel money.”


The reason big problems don’t get fixed in the USA is corruption. It’s so rampant we don’t even call it corruption; we call it “lobbying”, and accept it as normal and reasonable.

The reason big problems don’t get fixed is that the super-rich corporations and billionaires with vested interests use lobbying to prevent the national and State legislatures from fixing the problems, and to rig the financial and tax systems for their benefit. They’ve been very successful at doing so, as witnessed by the very rich now controlling the vast majority of wealth in the USA while the middle class keeps getting poorer.

Billionaires like, you know, Donald Trump.


I can’t play Bridge anymore. Thanks a bunch, “The Donald”.


Well at least you aren’t blaming Obama for that.

As long as the sport utes (based on weight and miles traveled.) are paying 10x to 100x what I am… I am willing to pay my fair share. If not… forget it.

I’m already paying an extra “vehicle weight” tax every year on my Dodge Ram even though I barely drive it 100 miles a month and not even on the highway…..

Why do you even have this vehicle? It sounds like you’re paying more in insurance than the vehicle is used.

If you need a pickup occasionally, try renting one. I use the Home Depot pickup for non-Home Depot stuff all the time. $20 for 4 hours.

That tax is a couple hundred dollars, BTW.

Jeff Songster said:

“As long as the sport utes (based on weight and miles traveled.) are paying 10x to 100x what I am… I am willing to pay my fair share. If not… forget it.”

Why? Do SUVs weigh 10x as much as your car? Unless your “car” is a scooter, that seems highly unlikely.

Not to defend the average SUV driver’s wasteful consumption of gasoline, but low-MPG vehicles are already paying more in road-use taxes, because gasoline is taxed by the gallon and they buy more gallons per mile driven.

Furthermore, most roads are built to handle heavy trucks, and it’s the heavy trucks plus weathering and erosion which do nearly all damage to roads. The weight difference between a typical car and an SUV isn’t going to make an appreciable difference on road wear-and-tear, because roads are built to handle much heavier vehicles.

Agree. Heavy trucks do almost all road damage. One can argue whether the societal benefit of trucking goods justifies the subsidy paid by everyone else to maintain the roads. Regardless, society needs to find a way to pay for under-maintained roads in this country.

And part of these heavy trucks are trucks used to gas delivery at gas stations all over the US to feed ICE’s cars. Thus, electricity to EV is delivered by cables, so EV would have to pay less of these taxes than ICE’s cars!

So, EV’s would take off the road more trucks delivering gas. In other words, buying an EV means Less Road Damage.

You can’t tax miles driven without turning into an ugly police state. But you can increase tax on gas to further incentivize moving to EV in the short and mid term and then increase registration fees for everybody when EV’s become more mainstream. Europeans always wondered why gas is not taxed properly in the U.S.

Reporting my odometer reading once a year is the same as an ugly police state?!?

Enforcing accuracte reporting will lead to it. And what’s next – electronic reporting – first the mikes only but then reporting your own speeding too?

Who’s going to audit?
That means MORE State Employee’s for Repubs to bitch about.

The gas tax needs NO AUDITORS.

“The gas tax needs NO AUDITORS.”

You actually think nobody is auditing the gas stations? I guess what you meant is the gas tax doesn’t need individual consumers to be audited — sure, OK. But so what? It has many other problems, such as the one this article is about. And an odometer-based mileage tax could be collected at the same time as your annual car registration — no new paperwork or bureaucracy. Yeah, you’d have to audit some small sample of odometers to keep people honest, but it’s just not that hard to audit an odometer — it’s not like auditing even a simple tax return. You have to be able to read one number and compare it to another. That’s it. Shouldn’t be too hard.

“Enforcing accurate reporting will lead to it.”

I hate to break it to you, but we already have accurate reporting requirements, subject to audit, for financial information. It’s called “the income tax”. Reporting your odometer reading once per year when renewing your car registration is nowhere near being in the same league as the income tax reporting requirements, and would be sufficient. Just as with the income tax, a significant fine for misreporting would be sufficient to deter cheating, no real-time electronic nanny required.

If you really think that accurately reporting your odometer once a year is too much to ask for, the likelihood of our ever agreeing on anything is probably nil, but anyway get back to me after you’ve repealed the income tax, re-instituted the gold standard, etc.

I once lived in a rural area that had self reporting of electric meters. You read your digital meter, subtracted last months reading (from a post card) and looked up the amount on a sheet. There were a few that under reported their usage, then moved out. Others fudged the numbers then got a big bill when it was read once a year by the EMC (electric company).

Any self reporting will have someone cheating.

“Any self reporting will have someone cheating.”

Well, sure. In fact, any system of taxation at all, including the fuel tax, will have someone cheating or gaming it, see for example http://www.wsp.wa.gov/crime/fueltax.htm

If a system of taxation has to be immune to any form of cheating or gaming to be considered, we’d have no taxation at all. (Some people would like that.) In fact, the system just has to be good enough in practice.

skryll said:

“You can’t tax miles driven without turning into an ugly police state.”

In many States, perhaps most States, before getting a license plate for a car, or for annual renewal of the plates, you must get your car certified at a State-authorized inspection station, where they check to see that your turn signals, your headlights, and your brakes are all functioning correctly. Does that make each such State a “police state”? And if the State starts requiring that such inspections include an odometer reading, does that suddenly make such States “police states”?

Hmmm… no.

Think about what your saying.
Say you drive a lot, your next inspection you’re going to have an inspection bill AND a Road Tax Bill. IF that gets high, you’re more inclined to look for a criminal loophole.

So, you’re going to need more policing, and more auditing. Do you want your cops on this kind of duty? Or patrolling your neighborhood.

Seriously?!? It would be the same as anything else – if the state doesn’t get taxes from you once per year based on each vehicle registered to you, then they know who to bill the penalties to. No additional beaurocracy, no additional police, etc. And, you can’t get away with avoiding registration because you need a license plate to drive. People who try that today are caught at times. Also, failure to get an inspection is already on the books and enforced. There will be no difference with adding an annual tax on mileage driven.


The one thing I can see as problematic about a mileage tax, that I haven’t seen mentioned elsewhere, is that it’s an annual big bang fee instead of being levied in small imperceptible chunks all year. For people who can’t – either for psychological reasons or grim fiscal reality – manage their finances properly, this could be a problem. I don’t think this drawback is sufficient to take the idea off the table, however.

Taxing fuel as a special use tax is silly anyways. The argument is that the people who use the roads pay for them, but that’s ridiculous because we all use the roads whether we drive personal vehicles or not. Every product that we have, every meal we eat, and every service we depend on (both public and private) use the roads. That means that it’s “not fair” that people who walk or ride bikes don’t pay their share. Instead of trying to implement yet another tax (with the additional administrative expense of collecting it), we should tax gas at the normal sales tax rate and then slightly increase sales tax across the board. If you were really bent out of shape about not “sticking it to the users”, consider that the biggest consumers would be paying the most in additional sales taxes. By the way, it would still make it more expensive to drive an SUV than a car because SUVs are a lot more expensive, so it’s still a use tax.

John Hansen said:

“…it’s ‘not fair’ that people who walk or ride bikes don’t pay their share.”

They’re already paying (a lot of) their share, indirectly. Road use fees are imposed on freight trucks, increasing the cost of shipping via freight truck… which increases the cost of goods. OTOH it’s been argued, I think convincingly, that heavy freight trucks do more damage to the roads than they pay in annual fees, but the way to address that unfairness is by increasing the fees, not by imposing another tax on those who don’t depend on a personal car for transportation.

The way to deal with an unfair situation is not by increasing the already burdensome level of bureaucracy.

The Tax on Petrol is too low increase this and the whole country will reap the rewards.

Way to obvious for US politics.

We EV drivers need to get in front of EV fees, or we’re going to wind up with some really bad policy. We need to start immediately letting our elected representatives know that they only fair way to do it is through a usage fee, where you pay based on miles driven.

The gas tax as structured is a proxy for miles driven. When all cars got similar (bad) mileage, the proxy worked, but as mileage standards go up, revenues will go down. The solution is that you pay based not on how much gas you bought, or not some amount pulled out of thin air, which is happening now with EV’s, but based on your miles driven. An annual odometer check would be simple.

Everyone will manipulate their odometer. It’s very easy.

If you want to tax something, that is related to driven distance and that can be much better controlled at central dealer systems, tax tyres!

Counter-Strike Cat said:

“Everyone will manipulate their odometer. It’s very easy.”

That’s already a felony, to prevent people from committing fraud when selling used cars. I’m not saying it would never happen, but it’s ridiculous to suggest there would be an epidemic of people committing a felony just to reduce the amount of a $100-200 annual fee.

This ain’t broke, and it doesn’t need fixing.

Everyone??? The vast majority of people would prefer to pay the tax instead of figuring out how to manipulate the odometer, much less break the law. Your idea about tires is interesting but a little scary. Taxing tires might create another commodity for criminals to bootleg and smuggle. The last thing the United States needs is another illegal commodity on the streets.

Truck tires are already taxed based on their weight by the Federal government as part of federal highway user fees.

0-40 pounds, no tax
Over 40-70 pounds, 15 cents per pound in excess of 40
Over 70-90 pounds, $4.50 plus 30 cents per pound in excess of 70
Over 90 pounds, $10.50 plus 50 cents per pound in excess of 90”


Sven – very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Why not remove the tax exemptions for pickup trucks? After all, most of them are used as normal cars anyway.

As I mentioned above, I actually several hundred dollars a year “weight tax” on my truck.

+100 (And I used to drive a pickup)

“Thousands of EV owners are getting up to $7,500 in tax credits and thousands in state incentives, yet they have pay $100 or so every year? Where is logic in that?”

Bureaucracy isn’t about efficiency or even logic. It’s just about increasing the sphere of influence and the budget of the agency in question.

Federal Government under Democrats promote the General good.

State government under Republicans promote the Corporate good.

Utter Bull. Look at Dettoit and Baltimore. 40+ years of Democrat rule. Utter failures wrt to general good.

Neither corporate or the general good happened in those cities. His view still stands.

Paying road taxes by the ton-mile makes sense. The push for 100% zero emission vehicles is getting stronger all the time, California is pushing for 25% of new cars to be zero emission by 2025, 100% of new cars by 2030 and 100% of ALL cars by 2050. Other states are going to follow California’s example just like they have done in the past. We better get use to paying a non-gas road tax. Texas already has a single sticker registration system so the state already pulls your vehicle inspection information. Texas already obtains the information they need to calculate a ton-mile tax. Maybe one of reasons Texas started the single sticker vehicle registration was so the state could start charging us all by the ton-mile. Anyone that thinks we are not going to see a non-gas road tax in the very near future is naive. Any EV owners that thinks they shouldn’t have to pay a road tax is socially irresponsible. We use the roads, we should be willing to pay for the wear and tear we put on them. If you don’t like having to pay a road tax you can always ride a bus.

I don’t think the majority of EV drivers feel they should pay zero for an infrastructure tax, but they do feel that they should pay less than gas guzzlers who pollute more. A combination of miles driven, vehicle weight, and vehicle emissions seems most fair. Perhaps a certain flat fee per mile, with an increase based on weight and emissions would be most fair. Alternatively, maybe electricity should be taxed accordingly if people prefer to tax based on fuel source instead of miles driven (it’s not like there’s zero tax on electricity anyways).

Pay less then gas guzzlers? No. You pay road use per weight, since you already pay less for your “fuel”.

“Pay less then gas guzzlers? No. You pay road use per weight, since you already pay less for your “fuel”.” – Wait – are Electric Vehicles as Cheap to buy as GAS (ICE) Vehicles suddenly? EV’s Might bay less for the ‘Fuel’ but – since they paid 25% – 50% or More compared to their ‘Gas Equivalents’ (That’s what a lot pf folks complain about – EV’s are so Expensive to buy!) – Then – you might have noticed – they already paid more in Tax on the Vehicle at the Purchase! Only in some places to EV’s get ZERO Taxes on them, but I sure doubt that the $7,500 Federal Tax Rebate is enough to make the Tesla Model S a Tax Free purchase – in effect – since it is really a rebate on the Earnings Tax you are already paying, and not a Rebate on the Consumption Taxes you are paying – as I understand it! (Sure a $7,500 Rebate against the Spark EV, or an iMiEV, might sound like a great deal, and for sure it is helpful, I think you still pay taxes on the EV Purchase, Right?) People (including Politicians and Bureaucrats) who think… Read more »

I think the model s costs not more than a comparable car and the Leaf with the 7.500$ Debatte is equal priced to comparable cars.

For sure you pay taxes if you buy, but not more than for other cars. For example, the eGolf is only 3000€ more than a a similar equiped ICE Golf.

The reason why no one/ far too less buing EV is the crippled range. That is the reason why only Tesla sells in reasonable numbers compared to competiors.

Toll roads?

Our national road system has been a huge boon to the national economy; a great benefit to everyone. Toll roads work against that great benefit, by discouraging travel on such roads, and are regressive taxes to boot.

I like toll roads. Just put cameras up, and get a bill at the end of the month. This already works in several places in the US.

Quick/easy/no self reporting

(And no, I’m not scared of “big brother”, and I don’t wear a tin-foil hat)

Toll roads are specifically prohibited unless they were toll roads before they became part of Federal Hwy system or a toll road from the beginning (private road or public private partnership).

Tolls suck. Be careful what you ask for.

The government can too easily raise the tolls to astronomical levels in order to fund their self-made budget shortfalls and to fund completely unrelated projects (ie paying for the construction of the new World Trade Center). In NYC, to cross the Hudson River via any tunnel or bridge it costs $14, going up to $15 by year end, because the NY/NJ Port Authority has a monopoly on NYC bridges and tunnels. But only 20 miles upriver where the Tappan Zee Bridge is at least 7 times longer, because the Hudson River is 7 times wider, yet the toll is only $4.50. A little further up the Hudson River, the Bear Mountain Bridge and the 5 other bridges that cross the Hudson cost only $1.50 in tolls.



Couldn’t they just as easily raise the rates based on odometers?

One thing better about tolls vs. odometers is that the money would go directly to the roads that are used the most, instead of into some big general fund.

I disagree that toll “money would go directly to the roads that are used the most, instead of into some big general fund.” If the rules prohibit toll revenue from being diverted to other funds or for other purposes, then the politicians will just change the rules or laws that prohibit it, with no big outcry from the general public.

If your reply to everything is going to be “the corrupt government will just….”, then don’t bother replying.

It would make more sense to tax vehicles based on average emissions; externalities should have a cost, while their reduction should be encouraged.

Has anyone else noticed that this article is sponsored by BP? Check the second paragraph, second line and the letters “EV”.

I have zero problem with EV’s paying for road taxes.

Everybody should pay their way.

Which is why gas cars should pay a pollution tax on top of the highway tax, and drop the subsidies for gas.

Isn’t it interesting that the Republican Congress is so very quick to take care of this minor, tiny inequity of EV’s not paying highway taxes, while ignoring for decades those others?

Gas should have a high tax and and cars with high emissions should pay more, pretty simple

Here is an idea, how about coming up with a strategy that takes a holistic approach. I mean it amazes me how our government will, as the writer cites, give tax credits for EVs and then want to tax them for road usage. If the goal is reduce carbon emissions, then support clean energy. That means a carbon tax that would fund many things, including roads. The simplest immediate answer is to continue to tax petro. In fact, we should have increased that tax as fuel prices dropped. People are accustomed to the higher price, it drives more income to fix roads, you can plow some of the revenue into continued support of EVs/technology, and it continues to drive lower consumption of fuel. Perfect answer and then, as we hit that critical mass around EV’s, you find another way to fund road maint.

Let just nationalize all forms of energy why tiptoe around it that is what you want. The the biggest crime syndicate on earth IE US government can control everything.

The Progressives in power will never pass up a chance to tax tax tax tax

Nothing is free…if you want to live in a low tax country move to Guatemala but don’t complain about lousy roads, bridges, highways, sidewalks etc… And don’t complain about traffic congestion, no product liability, poor public education, poor public transportation, poor healthcare, poor police and fire services, poor water and electricity service to your home and business. When are you moving?

The majority of the problem lies in that many of the transportation funds were raided to fund other politicos pet projects. Now they come forwardand say that there is an emergency and they raise taxes and fees to pay for transportation projects that were already paid for. We are paying for our transporation projects 2-3x. Thank your state politicos.

Ride a bicycle pay nothing

Its not helping to save envirment… When people began save nature tax..tax… increse tax for oil and encurage people turn to EV..

EVs are net GENERATORS of money for a state through the savings on gasoline expenditures.

80% of the retail price of a gallon of gas is for the crude which is typically NOT a value kept in the host state.

Driving on electricity shifts that 80% into 1st the pocket of the driver and then a portion of that into local spending by that driver.

Here’s a link to a example used in CA policy discussions:


The implication of the analysis is that the fuel tax should be raised, but that EVs be exempted until the fuel tax equals the benefit the EV is bringing.

Gasoline usage will continue to decline as vehicles become more efficient. If the goal is to maintain the roads, then stop taxing fuel. The paradigm should change to one that charges vehicles a road maintenance fee. Some highly travelled roads should also become toll roads to accommodate the higher rate they would need repairs. This can be done easily thru transponders. Even we really wanted to be forward thinking, make the transponders required equipment in ALL vehicles. If we had that, then you could actually make it fair or even go to a mileage based usage model!

I also have no problem with paying a road tax for my EV. This would be in lieu of the 50 cents or so in tax that is part of the cost of a gallon of gasoline. (I currently pay “registration” already what is that?)

But yeah, there should be a pollution or carbon tax which is only on gasoline (and not on end-users of electricity). If you buy it for your lawnmower, fires, or road vehicle, you pay that tax.

Electricity generation that causes pollution or carbon release, should also pay a tax. That way hydroelectric, nuclear, wind & solar get a little cheaper.

The other thing is these taxes should follow the rate of inflation or deflation. I understand that the current gasoline tax hasn’t done this for decades and is actually a lot less now in real terms than it was when it was enacted.

The first US state tax on fuel was introduced in February 1919 in Oregon. It was a 5¢/gal (1.3¢/L) tax. This is $0.68/gal in today’s money… so the tax on gasoline is actually less now than it was in 1919 !!!

There is of course already something like that. It’s called the Carbon Tax. It already exists in some parts of the world, and has been proposed in US legislation. But it will never see the light of day given today’s current political atmosphere.

I can live with a tax that affects all cars, but I see no reason to target EVs. If you want a registration fee all cars should pay it.

Tax all vehicles per ton/mile, no exceptions. Fix the roads and bridges.

Keep the gas tax too, raise it tied to inflation, repurpose it as an environmental clean up tax until ICEVs fade away. EAVs should do that within a couple decades.

But for now, if I’m billed $100 after receiving $10,000 in subsidies for my EV, it does, as this article says, effectively reduce my subsidy, so it’s not a problem.

After reading all these posts, I still keep coming back to pay per miles driven. Doesn’t seem like there’s a more fair system out there. Each class of vehicle pays a certain amount per mile. The reason they baked it into gas prices at the time was because that was the easiest course of action to take. Now there significant enough change that we need a new system.

Odometer fraud is the problem there.

As other comments have noted, no system is perfect or immune to cheating, including gas taxes. Odometer fraud is already a felony and there’s no reason to believe it would become a huge problem under a mileage system.