Conservative States Are Piling New Taxes On EVs


Unchanged since 1991, Texas’ gas tax is one of the cheapest in the country. Now, its new EV fees are among the most expensive. That’s no accident, experts and advocates say. A growing number of mostly Republican-led states are adding speed bumps to electric vehicles — from new taxes on drivers using charging stations, to limits on how automakers sell EVs, to registration fees that critics call punitive.

A photo of a gas pump at a station in the US.

Such fees, Politico reports, are part of a growing trend that sees lawmakers in red states resist the Biden administration’s plans to cut carbon emissions from transportation by encouraging a pivot to EVs. In response to incentives like tax breaks as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, local governments are deploying new fees that could discourage anyone that’s on the fence about switching to a battery-powered car. Politico adds:

“It’s a barrier to adoption,” said Albert Gore, executive director of the Zero Emission Transportation Association, a trade group.

One of the big incentives for switching to an EV, other than the reduced tailpipe emissions you’ll spew out, is the cost saving that an electric car can give you over its lifetime. There are tax breaks when you want to buy a new EV, cost-saving at the pump and in some places they’re eligible to save on congestion pricing. But some conservative states have decided this isn’t fair on gas car drivers, so are dreaming up new taxes to impose on anyone hoping to get behind the wheel of an EV.

A photo of a sign at an EV charging point in the US.

States like Washington, Texas and Ohio have imposed fees on EVs.
Photo: Lindsey Nicholson/UCG/Universal Images Group (Getty Images)

For example, the new fees and taxes imposed by states like Texas could fall hardest on low-income people who can least afford it.

Lawmakers claim that the new fee is to make up for taxes lost at the pump, with supporters arguing that this means drivers of every vehicle type now pay their “fair share.” However, Politico reports that the fee is “nearly double” the average taxes paid when you fill your car with gas over the course of a year. The site explains:

Other states imposing such fees on EV drivers include Washington, Wyoming, Ohio and Arkansas, all of which charge EV owners at least $200 per year to run their cars.

Even EVs Can’t Get A Break From The Heat

Texas joins about 30 states that impose registration fees on EVs. About half the fees are punishingly high, according to research by Consumer Reports — including in some states where Democrats wield power.

You can read the entire Politico report here.

However, while the additional fees will, of course, be a burden to many EV drivers, the report concluded that even the highest taxes won’t make an electric car more expensive to run than its gas-powered equivalent.


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