California To Charge EV Owners $100 Per Year Through Road Repair Law

California is ready to repair its roads through a $100 zero emission vehicle fee and sizable increases to fuel taxes and vehicle fees.

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law SB1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. The end goal is raising $52.4 billion over the next decade to repair roads, freeways, and bridges and investing more in transit and safety.

Of that $52.4 billion, about $200 million will come in through an annual $100 zero emission vehicle fee starting on July 1, 2020. That changes the structure from an initial legislative proposal charging a one-time $100 registration fee and annual registration fees ranging from $25 to $175 per year based on the price of the car at acquisition.

Now, battery electric, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell vehicle owners will see an annual fee.

Most of that increased state tax revenue will come from fuel fee add-ons that will noticeably raise the prices of gasoline and diesel for drivers.

Diesel taxes will go up another 20 cents from the current 13 cents per gallon on Nov. 1, 2017. That’s forecasted to raise $7.3 billion for the state.

For those buying diesel vehicles, the sales tax will be go up another 5.75 percent on that same date. The state expects that sales tax increase will bring in another $3.5 billion.

Gasoline will be go up another 12 cents a gallon from the current 30 cents per gallons, also kicking in Nov. 1 of this year. That could bring in another $24.4 billion.

Vehicle owners will be charged another fee that should raise another $16.3 billion for the transportation program. That annual transportation improvement fee hasn’t been broken out yet, but will be based on the vehicle’s value and will start in Jan. 1, 2018.

The remainder of the $52.4 billion will be spent on $706 million going to California’s General Fund loan repayments.

Road Repair and Accountability Act funds will be spent on a long list of projects. Some of the largest expenditures include $15 billion in “Fix-It-First” local road repairs, including fixing potholes; $7.5 billion to upgrade local public transportation; and $4 billion in bridge and culvert (tunnels and drains for water) repairs.

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The Caltrans state highway agency will be making major repairs to the state’s infrastructure including 17,000 miles of pavement, 500 bridges, and 55,000 culverts over the next decade. Repairing local streets and repairs will also receive support.

California has been known for offering owners of plug-in electrified vehicles generous incentives for making that purchase, along with the perk of having HOV carpool lane access diamond stickers. PEV advocates will be watching to see the impact of the $100 annual fee on purchase decisions.

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