Some states have compensated for this loss of revenue by doubling the registration fees for electric vehicles, for example. Another approach is to increase tolls on roads and bridges, with every driver paying the same toll regardless of the type of car they drive.
There are proposals to add a tax on electric vehicle charging stations so that drivers pay when they fill up, in a spirit similar to what is done with gasoline-powered cars. The problem with this is that EV drivers primarily charge their vehicles at home. States would only levy this tax when drivers charge at public charging stations.
“Additional charges at check-in may be the easiest method to recoup some lost gas tax revenue,” says Kelly Funkhouser, vehicle technology manager at Consumer Reports.
The problem many EV owners face is that some states tax EV drivers at rates much higher than the average driver pays in gas taxes, thereby punishing drivers for choosing an alternative. zero emissions to traditional gasoline vehicles. That said, some electric vehicle drivers are eligible for a federal tax incentive of up to $7,500. You should check whether the electric vehicle you are considering qualifies. A single flat tax also does not take into account the distance a person travels, which means it is inherently unfair to owners who travel fewer miles, who are often older or on lower incomes. This will become more important as more EVs enter the used market, as older cars average fewer miles than newer ones.
It’s important for car buyers to check their local rules to see if taxes may be higher for an EV, as this will impact ownership costs.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that most electric vehicle buyers received a $7,500 federal tax incentive. Since the incentive is phased out for an automaker at certain sales thresholds, only certain EV buyers will receive the incentive.
This article was adapted from an episode of Talking Cars.