EV owners in Texas, USA could soon be asked to pay an annual fee of up to $400 as a replacement for gas tax.

USA’s road and vehicle infrastructure projects are said to be partly funded by collecting gas tax from vehicle owners. However, with many people now shifting to EVs, state legislators are now working on ways to integrate electric vehicles and alternate fuel vehicles into their funding structure.

In line with this, the state of Texas could soon introduce an annual fee for EV owners as a replacement to the gas tax they are exempt from. According to reports, Texas could soon collect an annual fee of up to $ 400 from owners of electric vehicles.

As per the proposed bill, owners will be asked to pay an annual EV fee between $ 190 and $ 240. There will also be an additional charge of $ 150 for owners who drive their EVs more than 9,000 miles in a year and an annual surcharge of $ 10 to fund an advisory council for charging infrastructure.

Reports suggest that if the bill is passed, it would be implemented in the state from September 1, 2021. The fees would apply to over 300,000 vehicles, raising $ 37.8 million for the State Highway Fund (SHF) in FY2022. Other states are also looking to implement a similar annual fee for EV owners.

However, an EV advocacy group found that many states also have a registration fee for electric vehicles, ranging between $50 – $200. This, when added with the proposed annual fee for EVs, ends up being a higher amount than what conventional vehicle owners pay to support infrastructure development.

As an alternate, EV advocates suggested the states look at Road Usage Charges (RUC) instead – a way to charge vehicle owners for the actual miles they drive in a given year. A few states in the USA are said to be currently running pilot programmes and conducting research to check if collecting RUC works for them.

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