The state with one of the cheapest rates for gasoline is now one of the highest for electric vehicle registration.
Starting this month, electric vehicle drivers in Texas will have to pay a $200 registration fee annually to offset road tax avoided by not paying at the gas pump — but the fees may be well above what would have been paid if the vehicle was an internal combustion engine.
The tax rate for gas is 20 cents per gallon, below the national average of 29 cents. About eight states have a lower gas tax rate.
In short, drivers pay for their road use at the pump through gas taxes. That money goes towards state road repair and maintenance. But since EV drivers don’t need to visit their local gas station for fuel, they’re not paying that tax.
Some say that these new fees are meant to disincentivize the use of electric cars. Politico reported that the fees EV drivers will pay will be double what gas drivers will pay in gas taxes annually, citing consumer advocate groups.
Texas is now one of about 30 states imposing registration fees on EVs. About half the fees are punishingly high, according to research by Consumer Reports.
Saskatchewan became the first province to require that EV owners pay a new annual road-use fee of $150.
“There are already real and perceived barriers for consumers,” Dylan Jaff, a policy analyst on sustainability for Consumer Reports, was quoted by Politico. “So making that burden more difficult — putting on these added layers of cost … for some consumers, it just makes them shy away from making that transition.”
States claim they’re losing money as more drivers go electric. But only 9 per cent of Americans have an electric vehicle, according to the Pew Research Center.
California, which has a 58 cent per gallon tax rate on gas has an annual EV registration fee of $175.