The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released vital research that describes a framework for electric vehicle (EV) taxation to support transportation infrastructure. Through a small tax on the electricity that is used in transportation, the report identifies an approach to efficiently connecting the growing number of US electric vehicles with highway trust fund (HTF) revenue streams.
At present, electric vehicles do not contribute substantively to state and federal highway trust funds. In fact, there are numerous programs that subsidize the use of electric vehicles, thus exacerbating the infrastructure investment deficit. ATRI’s analysis quantifies this revenue loss at more than $4 billion over the next 10 years.
The report suggests that US electric utilities are well equipped to begin collection of a per-kWh charge of 2.1 cents for transportation-related electricity consumption in the coming years. Using a phased approach, utilities would identify, measure and tax electricity that is used for transportation, starting first with electricity that is dispersed through public charging stations and residential smart chargers.
This research comes on the heals of ATRI’s outstanding report on the costs and inefficiencies of a National Vehicle Miles Traveled Tax (VMT). This report also examines state-level electric vehicle registration fees. While registration fees are promising, these fees have no direct nexus to vehicle use.
“This analysis demonstrates how an electricity tax can easily emulate all the key components of a fuel tax. Moving forward with an efficient utility-based approach will help EV owners support the infrastructure that they use every day,” said Paul Enos, CEO of the Nevada Trucking Association.
The report can be downloaded in full by clicking here.
This research comes at the perfect time as White House recently established a string of executive orders which sets the goal to make half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 zero-emissions vehicles, including battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, or a fuel cell electric vehicle. As well as promoting the use of electric vehicles, the Executive Order also kicks off development of long-term fuel efficiency and emissions standards.