According to an analysis by Consumer Reports, several states are charging electric vehicle owners fees that are higher than what drivers of similar gas-powered vehicle owners are paying in gas taxes. Some experts and consumer advocates fear that this finding may discourage individuals from transitioning to electric and ultimately become detrimental to advancing environmentally friendly technology.
Currently, several states charge gas taxes to provide funding for transportation and infrastructure projects. While electric vehicle owners don’t pay gas taxes, state legislatures are looking for other ways to implement fees to make sure all vehicle owners pay for roads, says Consumer Reports.
The analysis shows that 26 states currently charge EV fees, 11 of those charge more than what is charged to their gas-powered counterparts. And the trend is slated to continue as there is potential for more states to impose fees greater than two times what gas powered vehicle owners pay.
“People should be allowed to choose a vehicle that’s safe, reliable, and better for the environment without being punished,” says Shannon Baker-Branstetter, manager of cars and energy policy at Consumer Reports.
The report adds that some states such as Missouri are proposing to increase existing fees to even three times what the owner of a gas-powered vehicles currently pay. In Illinois, a proposed $1,000 fee was struck with public outcry resulting in a reduction to $250, which is still $100 more than what is charged to a gas-powered driver.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has been vocal in supporting “equal tax treatment for all vehicles.” The council is seeking elimination of tax credits and increasing user fees of EVs so that all drivers share in the cost of using public roadways.
According to CR, ALEC describes itself as a group advancing policies for limited government, free markets, and federalism.