Electric vehicles (EVs) are staking a definitive claim in all transportation sectors, but some states are not ready to go without the taxes related to filling up with fossil fuels. More than half the country charges EV owners for making their way down road via battery-electric locomotion.
Texas recently joined a group of 33 states that are charging EV drivers as a way to reconcile the taxes they are avoiding at the pump. Starting September 1, EV owners will have to pay an additional $200 when registering a new EV or renewing their registration. Since they no longer need gas to power their vehicles, these motorists do not have to pay gasoline taxes, which go directly to the state highway fund to cover the cost of repairs and road construction.
The state has been looking into the issue for some time, releasing a report in 2020, Study on Imposing Fees on Alternatively Fueled Vehicles. According to the Texas Department of Transportation’s research, the state loses approximately $80 a year for every hybrid registered in the state and $100 for each EV. The report also called into question the reliability of the power grid if the state saw load increases by EVs charging during peak hours, especially if there is an increase in DC Fast chargers.
The new fee will not only cover the losses to Texas’ state highway fund, it will also reconcile the federal fuel taxes that EV owners no longer pay. Other states, such as California, Colorado, Illinois, and Nebraska, charge $100 or less to register EVs.
In Delaware, Governor John Carney recently signed more than a half dozen pieces of legislation into law, including a reduction in net emissions by 50% by 2030 and 100% by 2050, setting targets for purchasing electric school buses, and expanding the Electric Vehicle Rebate Program.
“Climate change threatens our tourism industry, our agricultural industry, the health of our citizens, and the financial well-being of our local, county and state governments,” said Governor Carney in a press release from early August.
This is an about face compared to a Wyoming bill from this past April that oddly mirrored California’s regulation requiring all new vehicles sold in the state starting 2035 be zero-emission vehicles. Wyoming’s bill, Senate Joint Resolution No. SJ0004, called for the phase out of EV sales within the state by the same year. The bill did not make it anywhere near the governor’s desk, dying in committee this past July.