Higher Road Use Fees than ICE Drivers Pay
When it comes to gas tax and other fees for funding road repairs, every motorist should pay a fair share.
In most states, the money comes mainly from gas taxes – state and federal. To help make up for the fuel taxes drivers of EVs don’t pay, 26 states have imposed annual EV fees and seven others have proposed EV fees awaiting legislative approval.
In 11 of the states with existing EV fees, the annual charge is actually more than the average driver of a gas or diesel-fueled car or truck would pay each year.
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A recent study by Consumer Reports shows that as internal combustion engines get more and more fuel efficient, the inequity will grow. Greater efficiency means they will burn less gas or diesel per year and their owners will pay less gas tax while the fees on EVs remain unchanged.
That means, Consumer Reports figures, 18 states will be overcharging EV owners by 2025.
In two of those states – Arkansas and Wyoming – the annual fees charged EV drivers by 2025 will triple the average paid through gas taxes by ICE drivers. Today those two states charge EV drivers more than double the amount ICE drivers pay.
Put another way, EV drivers in those two states are paying fees equal to what the driver of a 13 mpg ICE pays.
EV Fees Going Up
Missouri, Minnesota and Arizona are proposing new EV fees that would raise the inequity in those states even higher.
Minnesota, which now charges $75 a year, less than the average ICE owner pays in gas taxes in that state, is considering raising the annual EV fee to $250, or more than twice the average annual gas tax. It would be the highest EV use fee in the nation.
Missouri is close behind, with a proposal to raise its $75 annual fee to $210 – more than three times the average annual gas tax payment in the state.
Arizona has no fee but wants to impose a $198 annual road use charge on EV owners – just under three times the state’s average gas tax bill.
In Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and North Dakota, current annual fees for EVs are 1.5 to 2 times the amount paid by ICE drivers – and the imbalance is slated to continue increasing each year through 2025.
The Consumer Reports analysis argues that annual EV fees in 11 states are “punitive” right now and have the effect of dampening consumer interest in clean-mission plug-in vehicles.
Annual increases in ICE fuel efficiency will boost the inequity until 17 states are in the “punitive” column by 2025.
A Change of Mind
In one of those states, however, some legislators have had a change of heart as a homegrown EV industry has developed.
Ohio, which now charges an annual EV fee that is about 75 percent more than the average ICE driver is paying in gas taxes, has become the home of Lordstown Motors – builder of an electric pickup truck. Ohio is also home to Workhorse Trucks, developer of electric commercial vehicles.
The state presently charges EV owners an annual road use fee of $200.
But a new bill awaiting action in the Ohio legislature would cut that to $100 for EVs and $50 for plug-in hybrids.
For those who’d like to communicate displeasure over the EV vs ICE road use fee inequity in their states, here’s a list of the “punitive” states, and their EV fees, as identified by Consumer Reports:
- Alabama ($200),
- Arkansas ($200),
- Georgia ($214),
- Idaho ($140),
- Mississippi ($150),
- Missouri ($75).
- North Dakota ($120),
- Ohio ($200),
- Washington ($225),
- West Virginia ($200),
- Wyoming $200).
And here’s a list of states considering EV fee proposals that would be higher than the average annual gas taxes paid by ICE drivers in those states:
- Arizona ($198),
- Kansas ($150),
- Minnesota ($250),
- Missouri ($210),
- New Hampshire ($111),
- North Carolina ($230),
- Oklahoma ($150),
- Texas ($200).