As the tally of states offering support for plug-in electrified vehicles (PEVs) has grown, so has the list of those now levying some form of tax or fee against them.
Yes that’s right, in their wisdom, state legislators mirroring a nationwide thrust to defray PEVs’ extra expense have on one hand given, and on the other hand taken away.
In other cases, a few mainly take while giving little if anything meaningful to the buyers of plug-in electrified vehicles.
A major rationale for the seeming contradiction of policy has included that conventional car drivers pay gas taxes which support road maintenance and repair, and plug-in cars otherwise use these roads without paying as much if any gas tax.
Some lawmakers have recognized the issue, and have floated alternatives to the gas tax that once built the Interstate Highway system, but a trend has been to simply charge fees so plug-in car owners pay a perceived fair share. Actually, the fees are low enough that they may not compensate for lost gas tax revenues.
In any event, 10 states and counting have tacked on expenses to owners of plug-in or other alternative-fueled vehicles. In 2015, four states added their names to the list making it the most active year to date, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Of course all U.S. citizens are potentially eligible for a $2,500-$7,500 federal tax credit for purchase of a new PEV. And, in states most in sync with the federal government’s goals, legislators have been willing to kick in extra dollars as a rebate, credit, or in cases exemption from sales tax.
One of the best deals includes the CHEAPR plan in Connecticut where buyers can get up to a $3,000 instant rebate, and several states offer as much as $2,500 and more, with other healthy incentives besides.
That said, following in alphabetical order is the list current through February 2016 of states charging fees.
You want irony? Here’s irony. Colorado leads the nation with one of the most generous state alternative fuel programs allotting as much as $6,000 for qualified electric cars, but it does kindly ask for fifty bucks of it back.
Specifically, H.B. 1110 (2013) requires electric vehicle owners annually pay a fee of $50 over and above normal vehicle registration fees.
In a similar circumstance, but maybe worse is the Peach State, which in 2013 had been Nissan’s New Best Friend, with the Atlanta market surpassing the San Francisco Bay area in monthly Leaf sales.
Well, things have changed, and H.B. 170 (2015) repealed a state tax credit of $5,000 while imposing a $200 annual fee on all non-commercial electric vehicles on top of standard vehicle registration fees.
The state of Idaho does not offer much more than an exemption for eligible electrified vehicles from vehicle inspections, while levying fees on the same.
To wit, H.B. 312 (2015) created a $140 annual fee for all-electric vehicles and $75 on certain hybrid vehicles. As per usual for these state fees, this is in addition to normal vehicle registration fees.
The home to the Detroit auto industry also allows for inspection exemptions, and has some programs to subsidize electric vehicle charging equipment, but denies its residents any plug-in tax credit or rebate, while charging them if they want to drive them.
In this case, H.B. 4736 (2015), which is to begin Jan. 1, 2017, imposes an annual $47.50 fee on hybrid vehicles up to 8,000 pounds and $117.50 for hybrid vehicles weighing over 8,000 pounds.
This legislation further includes an annual fee of $135 for electric vehicles under 8,000 pounds and $235 for those over 8,000 pounds. These fees are indexed to the gasoline tax and are in addition to standard vehicle registration fees.
The Show Me state has an alternative fueling infrastructure tax credit, exemption from inspections for eligible vehicles, but no meaningful tax credit or rebate for PEV purchases.
What it does have is S.B. 619 (1998), which requires owners of certain alternative fuel vehicles, including electric ones, to pay an annual decal fee. For passenger motor vehicles, the fee is $75. Non-passenger vehicles are subject to increased fees which are calculated based on the type of vehicle. This is over and above standard vehicle registration fees.
Nebraska also gives no tax credit or rebate, but does have a Dollar and Energy Saving Loan Program which offers low-cost loans for various alternative-fuel projects.
Nebraska also has L.B. 289 (2011) requiring a $75 annual fee to register an alternative fuel vehicle that operates on electricity or any other source of energy not otherwise taxed under the state motor fuel tax laws. This fee is in addition to standard vehicle registration fees.
North Carolina has an HOV lane exemption for solo travel in a PEV, and offers exemption from inspections. Further, an alternative fuel tax exemption says under the retail sale, use, storage, and consumption of alternative fuels is exempt from the state retail sales and use tax.
Also in state is H.B. 97 (2015) which increased a former electric vehicle registration fee (under S.B. 402 (2013), from $100 to $130 per year. This fee is in addition to standard vehicle registration fees.
As in the case of other states, Virginia has an HOV lane exemption, and exemption from emissions inspection (we know, all you zero-emission vehicle owners are relieved).
Virginia also imposes S.B. 127 (2014). This law requires that alternative fuel vehicles and all-electric vehicles — hybrid vehicles are excluded — registered in Virginia pay annually pay a vehicle license tax of $64. If the jurisdiction receiving the revenues from this fee do not use the funds for transportation purposes, the fee within that jurisdiction will fall to $50 in subsequent years. This is in addition to standard vehicle registration fees.
Washington has a list of programs to help alternative fuel including electrified vehicle owners along.
It also has H.B. 2660 (2012) mandating that electric vehicle owners pay an annual vehicle registration fee of $100. The fee will expire if the legislature imposes a vehicle miles traveled fee or tax in the state. This fee is in addition to normal vehicle registration fees.
Wyoming’s Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities (YTCC) does offer a rebate of $5,000 toward the purchase of publicly accessible EVSE, but individual consumers are not offered anything.
On the other hand, H.B. 9 (2015) requires a one-time $50 fee for a decal on electric vehicles.
No, wait, scratch that. It is not one time. In 2016, Wyoming enacted H.B. 2 clarifying the legislative intent was that the fee should be levied every year, so the $50 fee is annually.