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Published on September 14th, 2019 | by Johnna Crider


Many States Are Punishing Drivers For Owning An Electric Car

September 14th, 2019 by  

A new study by Consumer Reports show that many states are seemingly punishing electric vehicle (EV) drivers for owning an EV.

Electric vehicles are a great way to save money on gas, but many states are seemingly punishing you for trying to save money on gas and help the environment. The new Consumer Reports report shows that several states are applying taxes to electric vehicle drivers at rates that are much higher than what an average driver pays in gasoline taxes.

The new Consumer Reports analysis points out that this approach is not only ineffective, but it punishes the drivers for choosing a zero-emissions vehicle. The reasoning behind the higher taxes are to make up for the fact that electric vehicle drivers are not paying gasoline taxes (because they drive electric vehicles).

In Louisiana, The Advocate reported back in April about legislation being proposed to raise our state gasoline taxes to help with the roads. Considering that Louisiana is well known for its horrible roads, one has to wonder where all the previous tax money is going to. It’s well known that when driving, you know the moment you cross the border into Mississippi or Texas — the roads are much smoother.

Louisiana drivers pay 38.4 cents per gallon in taxes, with 20 cents going toward in-state charges. Under the new legislation, the state gas taxes would rise by 18 cents per gallon equaling to provide $540 million per year.

In regards to the electric vehicle taxes, Louisiana State Representative Stephen Carter introduced a gas tax proposal that, if accepted, would also make owners of electric vehicles pay a fee of $300 per year just for owning one. EVLA reports that this would make Louisiana the state with the country’s highest EV tax.

This just shows how people, in general, may view EV owners. If you own a clean and efficient car, you should be taxed double. This mentality is toxic. We need corrupt anti-cleantech governments to stop punishing people who make our world better. Also, the more people buy EVs, the more affordable they will become in the future.

“The misperception that electric vehicles are just for rich people who can afford these ever-increasing fees is a big problem,” Max Baumhefner tells Consumer Reports. Baumhfner, a staff attorney of the climate and energy program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, also points out that, “These increasingly onerous fees undermine the fundamental economics of electrifying the transportation sector.”

In Louisiana, the stated reasoning is that electric vehicle drivers should pay their fair share of the road and bridge improvements. While I would agree with this — everyone should pull their own weight tax-wise — I do not think it is fair to electric vehicle drivers to pay double what the average gas driver pays every year, especially since our roads have always been horrible. Since these taxes would be added onto the taxes EV drivers are already paying in Louisiana, this would mean they would be doubled taxed for owning and driving an EV.

Louisiana isn’t the only state with outrageous EV taxes — and doesn’t even make the list of 26 states that Consumer Reports covered.

“People should be allowed to choose a vehicle that is safe, reliable and better for the environment without being punished,” Consumer Reports’ manager of cars and energy policy, Shannon Baker-Branstetter told Consumer Reports.

A Consumer Reports map shows that existing and proposed EV fees in 26 states are up to 3 times higher than the annual gases tax would be for the average new car in 2025. The existing fees in Arkansas and Wyoming force EV owners to pay the equivalent of the gas tax paid by a vehicle that gets 13 miles per gallon. Missouri and Arizona have the highest proposed fees, which would force EV buyers to pay the equivalent of the gas tax paid by vehicles that get 9 to 10 miles per gallon.

This data seem to reflect that not only are EV owners being punished for trying to do their part in driving safely, using sustainable energy, and embracing driving electric, but it seems like states are financially taking advantage of EV drivers for seemingly being rich. One of the most common myths about Tesla is that its cars are not affordable. One can now lease a Model 3 starting at $399/month — which is very competitive with the market for those looking for a brand new car. Total cost of ownership, if you buy, could well be lower than total cost of ownership of a Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Toyota Camry, or Honda Accord
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About the Author

Johnna Crider is a Baton Rouge artist, gem and mineral collector, and Tesla shareholder who believes in Elon Musk and Tesla. Elon Musk advised her in 2018 to “Believe in Good.” Tesla is one of many good things to believe in. You can find Johnna on Twitter

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