Indiana Considering $150 Annual Fee For Electric Cars

JAN 7 2017 BY MARK KANE 84

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Chevrolet Bolt

Indiana is on track to join ten other states (Wyoming, Colorado, Virginia, Nebraska, Missouri, Washington, North Carolina, Idaho, Georgia, Michigan) with special fees for electric cars, designed to include EVs in road maintenance expenses.

$10 per barrel fee?

$150 fee if not uses those

Fees for conventional cars also are going up.

The new fee for electric vehicles (if passed) will be $150 annually, plus general registration fee of $15.

“In the Indiana House Republicans legislative plan released on Wednesday, one representative proposed a $150 annual fee for electric vehicles registered in Indiana.

Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) filed the bill. It would also implement a $15 annual fee on all vehicles registered in Indiana.  If you owned an electric vehicle, you’d pay a total fee of $165 per year.”

While this is a subject that has often popped up in many states and many countries in the past, and is sure to continue to in the future, we tend to feel that is an unwise decision at the moment.

Should electric vehicles ultimately pay a fee?  Of course.  Is $150 the right number?  We can’t say for sure.

However, given the fact there is over 50 different incentive programs currently running at the regional level to encourage EV adoption, and a $7,500 federal credit in place to help convince US citizens to give EVs a try, to run a ‘nickel and dime’ program at the state level (due to the very small amount of EVs actually on the road in Indiana – by our tally through November just 1,210 all-electric vehicles are registered in the state) we feel is counterproductive to the wider message the government is trying to spread about adopting plug-in vehicles.

source: via Green Car Reports

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84 Comments on "Indiana Considering $150 Annual Fee For Electric Cars"

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It’s now $204 here in GA

To put that into perspective a 5,700 lb. Infiniti QX80 driving 12,000 miles a year at 16 mpg would pay about $195 a year in state gas tax ($0.26 a gallon).

Our i3 BEV weighs in at half the curb weight of the QX80 at 2,800 lbs. but pays more in equivalent taxes for 12,000 miles. So in essence we are paying twice as much road tax per lb. of curb weight as the worst most polluting SUVs while getting 8 times the MPGe.

Now if you take the average Toyota Camry owner that gets 28 mpg over 12,000 miles a year and still weighs more than our i3, they will pay only $111.

No matter how you look at this it is clearly punitive and intentional by the representatives of the GA legislature.

Also you will see a pattern if you look at which states are implementing these oversized EV road taxes and which party controls the majority in their state government.

Don’t forget federal gasoline tax 18.4 cnt/gal that funds Highway Trust Fund, that provides money for highways in Georgia too. And isn’t the state tax 31.17 cnt/gal by now in Georgia? Both would be $0.50/gal. It is equivalent to 12000 miles/($204/$0.50/gal)=29 mpg car, quite average.

You may point that Prius driver would pay around half of it if he/she drives 12,000 miles per year. But what better than fixed tax can you invent really, a hassle of running around and checking/verifying how many miles each battery car did last year would cost more than it is worth. Tax on electricity isn’t possible either, as electricity is not just for car charging. Anyway it is “mouse nuts” only compared to $7,500 federal income tax credit that is still here.

Of course by 2019 the federal tax incentive for EV and PHEVs will be gone for most of the big automakers anyway. Tesla, Nissan and GM are already in the 110,000-120,000 range of sales. The imbalance in gas tax however will remain. As far as having 2 totally separate road tax systems for multiple powertrains it will only get less fair and confusing.The number of powertrains and MPGe numbers are become so numerous and complex at some point they will be forced to figure out a new system using vehicle weight and miles driven. Otherwise you end up with an i3 and a heavier Camry paying the same while an all gas burning Prius pays almost half as much while a Volt driver will pretty much pay $0 in road tax. Then down the road you will have drivetrains like a Voltec-like plugin F-150, that hardly ever uses gas and paying no gas tax but is also exempt from the EV road tax, tearing up the roads while weighing twice as much as an i3 who is paying full tax like an average gas car. It makes no sense. Especially as ICEs are slowly replaced with both PHEVs and EVs… Read more »

I’m in the same boat in Michigan now. Luckily I renewed my Volt’s plates at the end of December, just before the EV fee went into effect. It’s a $135 fee here IIRC.

If charging a flat fee for vehicles is so great, then why don’t we just eliminate the gas tax and make everyone pay a flat fee. They could calculate it based on weight/mpg/etc. Now those people who drive 250,000 miles/year will make out, and those who drive 5,000 miles/year (like my mom) will be out of luck.

“…a hassle of running around and checking/verifying how many miles each battery car did last year would cost more than it is worth.”

Isn’t it a strange coincidence that when a serial EV basher like zzzzzzzzzz writes a post here, he always advocates the wrong approach, even when it doesn’t seem to be directly connected to the competition between gasmobiles vs. PEVs? It’s almost like he intentionally looks around for the worst possible choice, and argue for that… 🙄

In States where you have to get a State certified inspection of your car every year, recording the odometer mileage would be extremely simple, and would add virtually no time to the inspection. It would be one more field to fill out when renewing your license tags for the year, but is that really a big deal?

I don’t think so. A road use tax based on mileage would actually be fair… unlike most taxes.

The brave Tesla-Pravda keyboard warrior and one tru-zealot Pu-Pu is here, bashing all the imaginary enemies and conspirators against holly Elon :/

“States where you have to get a State certified inspection” – but many states don’t have it, or don’t have practical and cheap means to check odometer against tampering.

It is already illegal to tamper with an odomometer. You don’t have to “check/verify” mileage. You just have owners declare it and pay the tax on their mileage annually. If they feel the need then pass a law stating the penalties for this case of tax evasion.

Are the people of Indiana that untrustworthy?

All I see in your comment is 1. Anyone who disagrees with me is a Tesla fanboy (because that’s how you argue, right?) and 2. The nanny state doesn’t trust citizens to faithfully and accurately declare their mileage

Also zzzzzzzzz I’m already paying a 7% tax on my fuel to Georgia Power. So essentially I’m getting double taxed on my fuel.

And my 450 pound Zero SR pays the same as your 2800 pound i3. So electric motorcycle riders get seriously screwed by this tax.

I agree. There will have to eventually be a road tax based on vehicle weight class and mileage driven.

It will only get worse with more types of vehicles transition to PHEV or EV.

That is annoyingly high.

Really – when did it go up from the $200? I hate that stupid tax — it has killed EV adoption in GA and certainly any future investments from EV manufacturers.

We just got ours for February renewal. Last year they were talking about lowering the tax after getting bad press over the out of proportion cost. I guess they decided to raise it instead.

I live in GA and I paid the $200 last April. I turned in my Leaf 2 months ago and got another one and had to pay another $200. So now I have paid $400 for this year. Then I will pay another $200 in just a few months. GA does not pro-rate at all.

So yes GA is taking advantage of EV user.

I’m surprised you guys (or someone else) don’t organize a petition and campaign aimed at lowering the fee and educating the public and politicians on the subject.

Or at the least, get a bunch of people to write the politicians approving of this theft. 🙂

There was a big stink over it over a year ago and was reported in the media. The legislature responded that they were working on a more fair tax and would adjust it.

They haven’t

GA legislature kill the $5000 State Tax Credit and then put the $200 Fuel tax on us all in 1 quick sweep.GA was breaking EV sales records and I believe we even was the number 1 EV sale state for a very, very short time. Once the $5000 tax credit was removed and the $200 fuel tax added sales dropped about 90%.

Gasoline engine’s get same or better fuel mileage as my Prius here in Idaho The DMV charge $ 75.00 extra for license plates for Prius I’m singled out not fair

The thing that killed EV adoption in Georgia is the end of the $5,000 tax credit they used to offer.

Thanks unlucky, you took the words right out of my mouth. The $200 (now $204) annual fee doesn’t impact EV adoption significantly, the loss of the $5k tax credit does. And to address the reason it went up this year, it is tied to inflation JUST LIKE THE GA GAS TAX IS NOW. So the gas tax actually goes up just a tad every year as well. This was part of the transportation package passed by GA two years ago that INCREASED the gas tax and tied it to inflation and CAFE standards to make sure the gas tax goes up every year to maintain the transportation infrastructure spending in the state at current levels adjusted for inflation. This is why the Sierra club supported the bill, despite the $200 EV tax. Is the system perfect? No. But I would think most environmentalists (ie most of those posting on this site) would give GA some props for raising the gas tax and implementing a system to increase that tax every year. FYI I believe the Volt pays the $200 EV tax in GA because the Volt is eligible for the free ride in the toll lanes program like Leaf, Tesla,… Read more »

The Volt doesn’t have to pay the $204 tax if you choose not to get the AFV plates that give you access to the toll roads.

I live in Virginia. Have a Volt. Do not have to pay the states $60 EV tax. 🙂

This will certainly need to be addressed in the future. In Australia we collect some of our road tax via the sales of the fuel. EV do not use fuel, so they miss that tax, but there are few EV does not make any real difference yet. This tax accounts for how much you drive, rather than flat rate which does not account for how much you drive.
Once ev’s are more widespread, maybe the cost will need to be included as part of the electricity costs, or maybe as part of the insurance costs, but undoubtedly it needs to factor in the amount of driving that is done, otherwise there will be a huge shortfall or huge inequality in the tax for road repairs.

See my above post about how these EV road use taxes are punitive in the US states that have implemented them.

Flat fee is easier for states from a collection point of view. My state is $130. To me $100 would be better since the cars are using the roads and do need to contribute their share.

Other possible methods that would be more fair for lower mileage driving would be to tax on the actual miles driven. In my state this occurs annually at state inspections, so it would be pretty easy. Of course if you drive many miles outside your state, that may make it unfair too. It’s hard to find a totally fair way to pay road taxes.

Right, there’s no totally fair option that’s also practical, but I agree a mileage tax would be “good enough”. There seems to be this concept that it would be onerous or intrusive, but I think self-reporting of odometer annually at registration renewal time would be sufficient. There would have to be sufficient penalties to make false reporting unattractive, but that’s not complicated.

As an automotive engineer who’s made his living in the energy and emissions arena for 36 years now, I prefer not to get bogged down splitting hairs over the notion of “fair.”
There’s an old quote, usually attributed to Gandhi: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, and then you win.” Watching the benighted resistance to EVs shrivel to this level of impotence, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that we’ve reached Stage 4 of that progression.

We won’t be at stage 4 until gas stations start closing for lack of business. We’re pretty clearly at stage 3 now IMO.

MTN Ranger said:

“Of course if you drive many miles outside your state, that may make it unfair too.”

But drivers from other States drive in your State too, so doesn’t that to some extent balance out? Not completely of course, but I would guess in most States the difference isn’t that big a percentage of all road miles driven by all passenger vehicles. (Heavy trucks are already paying other road use fees, and are regulated much more closely, so we don’t need to count those.)

And what about a fee for polluting the air for fossils?

That’s expected and a social norm. Us rebels must be punished.

Oh, the pollution from gasmobile tailpipes is “grandfathered in”. It’s only newer, more environmentally friendly tech like PEVs (Plug-in EVs) which must be penalized with unfairly high taxes! 🙄

Only fined $64 plus a $30 processing fee annually to drive an EV in Virginia!

That’s only because the governor at the time of passage got it reduced from $100 (or maybe $120 – I forget).

I note in the linked article that “Hybrids would not be categorized as an electric vehicle.” This could create a perverse incentive for people to buy PHEVs over BEVs — buy the PHEV to avoid the EV tax, and then drive it purely on electric and also avoid the gas tax.

I think “hybrids” refers to ICE-only hybrids like the Malibu Hybrid, not PHEVs. If it has a plug, it would likely be subject to the EV tax.

In GA a PHEV like a Volt is not taxed unless you opt to get the Alternative Fuel Vehicle tags that allow you to use express lanes. If you choose these tags you pay the full $204 tax for EVs.

I don’t think many people would change their mind on what to buy over some $50 difference for taxes per year :/ Especially long distance commuters that have economic incentive to pay few thousand dollar premium for hybrid over plain ICE, their millage would likely to be high anyway.

I thought all these Republicans took a pledge to never raise taxes.

A reasonable fee is ok, but this punitive nonsense that makes EVs pay way more per pound than gas vehicles is ridiculous.

The Republicons did take a pledge of no new taxes. That’s why this is a “fee”. It’s not the same thing as a tax :/

It’s not a tax, it’s a “revenue enhancement”. 🙄

Grover Norquist is a putz. Legislators signing a pledge to some no-tax troll . . . that sounds like treason to me. The legislators work for US not Grover Norquist. Stop licking Grover Norquist’s balls you pathetic wimps.

This fee or tax or whatever you want to call it on EVs simply makes sure drivers of EVs pay for using the roads just like drivers of gasmobiles do. As for your notion of a “per pound” calculation it simply isn’t practical. For example, go ask your neighbor how much gas tax he paid per pound on his vehicle last year. He would likely look at you like you have a third eye and scratch his head. But ask him what the gas tax per gallon is and he might be able to answer (although most people don’t even understand that).

Just because one’s neighbor is dumb is no reason to avoid making better laws.

At time of registration your car or truck would be listed in a certain vehicle weight class that your neighbor wouldn’t even have to think about.

Then your neighbor would summon all of their mental strength to write down their correct current odometer number (honesty would be relied upon under the same fear of heavy fines or jail time like when you lie on your taxes) to pay their road taxes for their registration.

Sad to see this happens in US as well, in Denmark they changed the rules a year ago. Such that EVs pay 100$ a year for “green tax duties”. While a diesel car would pay as low as 40$ a year.
Great way to look at the future, right? 🙂

I don’t know all Danish taxes, but diesel at pump in Denmark is some 1.14 Eur/l, or around $4.5/US gal. Wholesale price before taxes is about the same as in the US. So over $3/gal just taxes. Vs some $0.12/kWh excise tax for electricity.

There is no point to nitpick about some $60/year, it is irrelevant compared to other much bigger taxes.

Hmmm, this is in theory just supposed to replace the State gas tax, right? Not Federal plus State. Or anyway, that’s how those supporting the measure defend imposing a new tax on a very specific group of taxpayers.

The State gas tax in Indiana is 18¢ per gallon. If we take the average of 28 MPG for a gasmobile these days, and the average mileage for a car in the USA, 15,000 miles per year, then we get (0.18 x 15,000 ÷ 28 =) $96.43.

So anything up to $100 might be considered reasonable. A $150 “tax” — I think the term “fine” would be more honest — is almost certainly a result of Big Oil lobbying, pretty clearly intended to discourage PEV sales.


“Hmmm, this is in theory just supposed to replace the State gas tax, right? Not Federal plus State. ”

Pu-pu like true zealot only considers “fair” when he gets money. When he needs to pay back as everybody else, the same thing becomes “totally unfair” :/
You can’t complaint that it is unfair to pay extra to state compared to other car owners when other owners pay the same extra to federal fund that you don’t pay. Especially that either fed part of the tax or state part of the tax end up being used mostly for the similar purposes.

Nope, it replaces both the state and fed tax.

No, the state doesn’t pass that money to the Federal government. They are just taking more than their fair share since Feds could eventually come and create an annual Federal EV tax.

Federal highway funds are allocated to the states based on the amount federal gas tax collected by each state. Since BEVs don’t pay any federal gas tax, states with BEVs get short changed when federal highway funds are allocated. The greater a state’s BEV penetration, the more they get screwed when federal highway funds are allocated.

Part of the annual fee would makeup for lost federal highway funds.

Except something like 15% of federal gas tax goes to mass transit projects. And in my state since we have for all practical purposes 0 mass transit GA makes out bigly if they take that 18.4 cents equivalent directly without having to lose 15% of it to mass transit nationwide

Ridiculous. Since when are states in the business of passing laws to deal with loopholes in federal gas tax law. Wrong jurisdiction buddy. Hoosier.

Gasoline in Indiana is also subject to sales tax. Electricity is not.

7% sales tax. About $3/gallon, that’s about another $0.20/gallon in tax.

Now you have $0.38/gallon. That’s $204/year for the vehicle you speak of.

This is in line with that cost.

And saying everything has to be a big oil conspiracy is silly. States like revenue. They don’t have to be beholden to big oil to seek revenue. And heck, Indiana is not much of an oil state and more of an ethanol state anyway.

In GA I pay a 7% sales tax on electricity as well as a number of other fees for plant construction recovery costs, etc. So my fuel is already being taxed but isn’t being used for roads. Then I get a second tax on my fuel ($204) for road tax.

It would be like if they decided that gas cars would have to pay a new tax called a gas delivery network tax that added an extra tax for the damage that fuel trucks add to the roads for using them to deliver the fuel to the stations. And yes the gas tankers would also have to pay this tax on top of their own gas tax.

That’s what I’m paying. A tax for my fuel delivery over the power lines then a second tax for road construction and maintenance.

Asking for a new tax with a new name is an absurdity. Gas trucks already pay taxes for what they do to the roads by paying gas tax and registration fees (which are much higher for trucks than cars).

If you want higher tax on gas just ask for a gas tax raise.

Indiana is considering a significant gas tax raise.

FALSE. Indiana taxes electricity bills (kWh and fixed fees) at 7% too. Don’t spread falsehoods. Hoosier.

Okay. Great. So electricity is taxed in Indiana.

At 3.5 mi/kWh a car going 15,000 miles in a year would use 4250kWh. That’d be $850 in electricity (let’s say). 7% tax on that is $60.

So you’re still going to pay $210 for an EV ($150+$60). For a gas car you’d pay $204/year under the current tax rates and gas prices.

The figures are still similar. This does not seem unreasonable.

A senior driving a 50 MPG Prius 5k miles per year would pay $28 in state gas tax under this proposal. A senior driving an EV the same distance would pay $150 in replacement fees. Clearly this proposed law is discriminatory against low mileage EVs.

I get $38 actually (including the sales tax). I think you did your math wrong.

Any time one tax is flat fee and another is distance based there will be a curve of who wins and who loses.

You could look at it another way. It’s biased TOWARDS EVs are driven a lot. If you drive 40K miles a year in an EV you pay far less tax than you would with most gas cars.

I could say this tax is unfairly advantaging EVs!

But this is pointless really. The figure is reasonably close to what a gas car would pay generally. This is what would be expected in a state where they are looking to put this tax in place to preserve their revenues. And that is what Indiana is doing.

It’s not an “anti-EV” effort, it’s just the state putting in new taxes to keep their revenue flowing.

My math is correct. 5000mi./50 MPG (Prius) x $.28/gallon = $28 state gas tax. Why would you include sales tax in comparison when EV drivers in Indiana pay sales tax on electricity? Face the facts, it’s discrimination against low range/mileage EVs. Courts will snack this down, under equal protection violations, if passed. Live in denial.

They are trying to increase the gas tax by .10 as well if you all read the news at all.

We (the US Gov) have spent about 5 trillion over the last 15 years or so to defend our addiction to oil. That works out to a tune of over $2.00 per gallon of gasoline. It is time for people to pay for what they want. Raise the federal tax on gas by $2,00/Gal to cover this and another $0.25 to cover related health care expenses.

Yep. If we did that then the EV industry would surge. And better yet, we would become completely free from foreign oil imports since our domestic oil production would probably cover our sharply reduced oil demand if we all switched to EVs.

But sadly, it is politically impossible. Because yahoo ‘murica reasons.

Well a $2 increase on the federal gas tax is unlikely, but don’t give up on any increase at all. You have a President Elect who is proposing a $1 Trillion infrastructure package and he needs to fund that somehow. I believe it has been over 20 years since the federal gas tax was increased. It seems this is an area the reds and the blues can work together on. Pass a big infrastructure bill for Trump that includes funding via a significant increase in the fed gas tax. Maybe $0.25 per gallon or a bit more.

Meh. People looked at his infrastructure plan and it was nothing but a scam. It was just tax-cuts for real estate developers (no surprise there, eh!). Any public infrastructure had to be paid with fees like toll roads.

Scam policies from con man.

Should we not start taxing by co2 output rather than fixed rates. For example an EV produces around 40g/co2 per mile where as F150 produces around 400g/co2 per mile. Similar to the UK system. Fixed amount per vehicle. BTW I am a Volt driver but I accept that I do need to pay my share.

No. This is about EV users paying a fee to help support the costs to maintain roads since they don’t contribute via the existing gas tax. Has nothing to do with CO2.

“The money would go to the Community Crossings Matching Grant Fund, which awards communities around the state money for road projects.

The communities submit proposals to the state, which then makes decisions on where to allocate the money. If a project is approved, 50 percent of the money comes from the state. The local governments must provide the other 50 percent.”

Idaho extorts $140 for a BEV.
$75 would be a more than fair road tax. This is just fearful conservatives attempting to punish EV drivers for not fouling up our air, like everybody else.
I’m looking at you Governor Otter and our Esteemed Republican legislators.

How about a fee to help cover respiratory disease?
Cough, hack, cough.

That’s crazy. I’m sure demand for EVs in Idaho is just slightly above zero. It is not like they are really losing any money. That just sounds like an “F U liberal tree-huggers” law.

This seems pretty reasonable. It is in line with what a reasonable car would pay in gas tax.

Let the states charge their so-called road tax. Such amounts should hardly trouble the EV driver, for an electric vehicle will save its owner thousands of dollars in maintenance, repair and fuel costs over its estimated long, long life.

The EV revolution is indeed coming. And no lobbyist or legislature can thwart it.

You can trust one thing in politicians and governments in general. When there will be no cars around at all (neither electric nor gasoline), they will introduce a hefty mobility tax on walking boots…

Some Guy gets the award for best comment posted on this article! Indeed, no matter the state, the party, or whether they are Ds or Rs, ALL POLITICIANS want our money.

Nah, that is overly-cynical garbage.

In fact the reverse is true. Much of the gas-tax money is used to subsidize pedestrian paths and bike paths such that the walking is subsidized. Being overly cynical without reason is just stupid. If you just assume you will get bad policy then they will deliver bad policy. Make them do good things.

Isn’t electricity taxed in IN? Around here, electricity is government sanctioned monopoly, and their markup is about 10 times more expensive as gasoline in energy basis. Much of that money goes to line the pockets of politicians, which in turn approve rate hikes. They don’t call it a “tax”, just like IN doesn’t. But let’s face it, it’s a tax. Then EVs are paying far higher tax than some gas cars due to highly inflated electricity bill that goes to fund government (aka, politicians, government monopoly and such).

You might argue “gas tax is for the road”, but that’s nonsense. They’re taking in more money with EV electricity, take it out of profits from electricity companies and politician kick-backs. In the end, they all come from the same pot of money, they just choose to label it different to confuse people.

Ev drivers are paying double with these extra so called fees, which are actually a tax, though it’s state specific, for it could be argued that evs receive beneficial treatment in the road systems of some states, while it can be counter-argued that they benefit the environment as a whole by causing less damage to it, and to the roads.

My solution on the basic question as to how to tax evs for road usage would similar in model to the gas tax, just tax usage, not a set fee per vehicle. A calculated portion of taxes collected from electricity usage would go to the roads commiserate with the amounts of electricity used by evs.
In this way fees/taxes are current and not fluctuating wildly, and don’t change dramatically based on the whim of the current administration.

A highway surcharge? For what purpose?

EVs use narrower tires, are lighter than their gasoline counterparts, don’t emit heat, acidic/corrosive emissions and moisture that can damage the road surface. They don’t leak oil and antifreeze that can disolve the rars used in the surface material and make it slick.

Then there’s the environmental benefits over the life of the vehicle.

This seems like a regressive policy that only serves the old oil based industry.

Time to be progressive and looking ahead.

Actually, due mainly to Tesla EVs do not use narrower tires on average. And EVs aren’t lighter than their gas counterparts. They are usually heavier and again because of Tesla on average are quite a bit heavier.

I drive a Volt and the lifetime MPG sits at 39….so I still use gas and now I have to pay a fee while a 50MPG Prius does not? What’s going on here?

A modified version of IN HB 1002 passed back in April. It appears that the Volt and other plugin hybrids will fall under the hybrid definition, and the hybrid fee was reduced to $50. The “electric vehicle” fee is still $150, and the way it’s worded seems to cover any other kind of EV, including fuel cells.