Since the start of the new year, Plug in America has been alerted to a number of bills in states that would impose road usage fees for EVs. As reported this week by the New York Times, fees are cropping up throughout the country. Just when EVs are starting to gain more traction among all consumers, and more states are considering supportive policies (purchase incentives, car pool stickers, and charging station rebates, for example) to increase adoption, it frustrates us to have to step back from our positive momentum and address road blocks like fees. These are annoying thorns in advocates’ sides, yet, if left unaddressed, could cause some serious damage to EV adoption.
In fact, fees simply hinder the adoption of EVs. And while EV drivers should eventually pay our fair share of the wear and tear for using the roads, that time is not now. Legislators need to realize that until EVs reach a certain threshold of all light-duty vehicles on the road in a state, they shouldn’t be incentivized on the one hand and punished on the other. Fewer than 1% of drivers nationwide will not make up the deficit of funding needed to repair roads and balance state budgets. EVs provide more of a win-win for every state right now than any alleged lost revenue from gas taxes. Plus, road usage fees for EVs would be a double tax, since drivers already pay electricity taxes to power their vehicles.
…until EVs reach a certain threshold of all light-duty vehicles on the road in a state, they shouldn’t be incentivized on the one hand and punished on the other.
But on the bright side, these road fees are our wake up call. We anticipated that getting to mass deployment of EVs on the road would involve some battles, and now we know that those battles are here. EVs are now perceived as a legitimate threat to the status quo.
If you live in California, despite all the forward momentum in the state to put more EVs on the road, SB 1 and AB 1 would seek to impose a punitive road usage fee on EV drivers. SB 1 would impose a $100 fee, and AB 1 a $165 fee. Make your voice heard by clicking here to contact your California Senator and Assemblymember and SAY NO to road usage fees NOW.
For those of you that live in Oklahoma, we have an active action alert right now.
Please contact your Oklahoma State Senator and oppose HB 1449 as it heads to the Senate. This bill would impose a $100 fee on EV drivers, nearly triple the amount for gas car drivers.
We’ll continue to monitor these road usage fees in all states and send out action alerts when we need your help to keep EV momentum going strong. Stay tuned for more.