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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