Hybrids, EVs Causing States to Ponder New Road Taxes

Joanna Schroeder

According to an article on Fox News, several states, with the latest being North Carolina, are looking at how to tax hybrid and electric vehicle (EV) owners. The states are trying to recoup road funding, earned via taxes at the pump.

Politicians are taking the stance that all drivers, no matter what they drive, are responsible for helping to maintain the roads they use as well as build new ones. Whereas hybrid and Nissan_LeafEV drivers along with other alternative fuel vehicles say this is the wrong approach to promoting U.S. energy independence with sustainable infrastructure funding.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), gas taxes comprise nearly 40 percent of all state highway revenues and more than 90 percent at the federal level. However, the Institute on Taxation on Economic Policy says revenues are not keeping up with rising construction costs, falling 41 percent in real value at the federal level since they were last increased 18 years ago. State are facing the same problems.

Some say the solution is to overhaul the gas tax system to miles traveled but this approach has not been well received.

“I think so far what we’re seeing is the trend seems to be either an additional annual fee or some type of registration fee seems to be much more popular than the miles-driven tax, because that is a newer technology and raises some privacy concerns,” said Kristy Hartman, a transportation and environment analyst at the NCSL in the article.

The fix in North Carolina was to include an additional $100 annual registration fee for EVs and $50 for hybrid cars. This should raise an estimated $1.5 million each year. Proposed by the Senate, it is awaiting its fate in the House.

In the meantime, while advocacy groups admit that all cars should contribute in some way, they are fighting back against the states, including North Carolina in search of better solutions.

Alternative energy, Electric Vehicles