Jan 12 2023
09:34 am

From a Tennessee Advisory Committee on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) report summary dated Dec. 15, 2022.

"Because the practical effect of the state’s EV registration fee is to serve as a substitute for the gas tax by collecting revenue for road funding from vehicle owners who don’t purchase gasoline—and therefore don’t contribute to road funding through the gas tax—

the Commission recommends the state

* increase the EV registration fee to better offset the revenue lost from state fuel taxes that those vehicle owners do not pay,
* share EV registration fees with local governments in the same proportion as the gas tax, and
** apply a reduced EV registration fee to plug-in-hybrid vehicles and share this revenue with local governments in the same proportion as the gas tax."

There is a 68 page detailed report on "Electric Vehicles and Other Issues Affecting Roads and Highway Funding".

From a June 6, 2021, Memorandum on "Electric Vehicles and Other Issues Affecting Road and Highway Funding",

"Commission staff calculated that a vehicle in Tennessee getting 24 mpg over 12,000 miles per year provides $135 in state fuel tax; at
30 mpg the amount falls to $108 (–20%). Improving to 40 mpg would further reduce revenue to $81. Even if there were no new electric vehicles at all, Atlas projects a 15% decline in fuel tax revenue by 2030 (not adjusted for inflation), as overall fuel economy increases by 25%."

I had no idea Tennessee charged buyers an electric vehicle fee. Of course, I've never purchased an EV. A $100 fee does not seem so bad nor does an increased fee of $300.

The info might be in the documents I've linked to, but I'll ask since I haven't seen the answer. Do EV users get charged a state fee when charging their cars at charging stations not at their homes?

WhitesCreek's picture

I don't guess ecologically

I don't guess ecologically advantageous cars will get any credit for not killing the planet, because...Potholes!

Factchecker's picture

Electric rates are higher at

Electric rates are higher at public charging stations than at home, though I don't know what the breakdown is.

My main argument against extra EV fees (it's already $100/year) is that environmental benefits of EVs, by reducing the pollution from that would be produced by a comparable ICE vehicle (externalized as social costs), most likely in my opinion outweigh the EV costs in road use/damages.

Smart and progressive governments in most states and at the federal level know this and are pursuing aggressive policies to incentivize purchases of EVs for the sake of the net benefits to society and the economy.

When MAGA-governed states like Tennessee pursue these contrary, punitive and regressive policies--effectively new taxes like they used to denounce, they're clearly misguided and merely trying to "own the libs" they see as granola crunchers who voted for Brandon. IMO they're really too stupid to even realize that many affluent conservatives are buying EVs, and doing so mostly from MAGA icon Elon Musk's company.

One of the reasons for buying an EV is to reduce fuel costs, not fight politicians who are trying to make it a zero sum game by erasing their benefits for political sport.

I also question whether overall average MPG is increasing, if you don't count EVs. And to the extent it is, it's no thanks to the MAGAs running our state government.

Factchecker's picture

P.S. If the state's reasoning

P.S. If the state's reasoning was sound, why wouldn't they come up with a way to increase taxes on miscreants driving high MPG vehicles? Don't Priuses, for example, pay considerably less in road taxes than, say, pickup truck drivers? One could argue they do far less damage to the roads, and I would agree with that, but that is apparently not part of the state's reasoning. Maybe there's a hybrid vehicle tax coming?

If the state really thinks its economic future lies in more road building, which also implies that buying more gas and diesel fuel is a good thing for Tennessee, why doesn't it come up with state incentives, tax rebates, and so on to aid its citizens in buying fuel guzzlers so valuable to the coffers of the state?

And if buying more energy is good, EV users buy more electricity, but theirs is domestically produced within the state and a far cleaner fuel.

A Tennessee gas and diesel guzzler rebate would truly fit what our state government has become. Bottoming out in the right-wing's Race to the Bottom.

bizgrrl's picture

Yes, those are good arguments

Yes, those are good arguments against an EV fee. Is it possible that the money savings and planet savings from having EVs on the roads takes longer than necessary road maintenance?

I am one that thinks we are building too many new roads.

Blue states that charge EV fees,

Vermont is considering a fee based on mileage

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