Get ready to fork over more money for getting that Tesla.
In a move that’s riling some EV owners, the state of Texas will start hitting them up for extra money in September. Each year, electric cars owners in the Lone Star State will have to pay a $200 fee for the privilege of driving on smooth, well-maintained public roads. Another $400 fee will be imposed every time someone buys an EV.
Supposedly, this annual fee is to supplement the lack of gas tax revenue. That money is supposed to help maintain the roads, although governments are guilty of raiding the coffers for all kinds of pet causes. But with Teslas and other electric cars gaining in numbers, the threat of extracting the gas tax money out of them by force is now materializing into reality.
An argument is brewing about whether or not these fees imposed on Texas EV owners are fair and if the money will be used for maintaining roads. Personally, we find this hilarious since governments impose fees, or rather additional taxes, on people all the time and yet when Tesla owners are asked to shell out more, suddenly it’s a miscarriage of constitutional rights. If only these people would spread that logic out further, we might actually get somewhere.
As for the amount for the annual fee, that comes from a report in 2020 claiming it’s the average lost in gas tax revenue per EV owner, says The Texas Tribune. Some believe the data used for that study is faulty, including pointing out that many electric car owners have retained their internal combustion vehicles so they can actually drive from one part of the humongous state to another. That’s actually hilarious.
Certain EV advocates believe there should be a miles-driven tax on Teslas and the like. We’ve always considered the government tracking how many miles you drive each year/month could easily be used to track where you go and when, creating a number of privacy concerns, but not everyone agrees.
But proponents of the EV fees say electric cars are adding to the wear and tear on public roads, so they should contribute to their upkeep. After all, if someone drives their Tesla the majority of the time, they are spending less on gas and so aren’t contributing as much in fuel taxes. What’s more, EVs are in general heavier than traditional cars, so they’re possibly doing more damage to roads in Texas and elsewhere.
Even those who agree with there being an annual fee worry that making EVs more expensive to own will discourage their continued adoption. After all, many people bought a Tesla to save on fuel costs, a move we question the financial savviness of, but fully support individuals’ freedom to buy the vehicle they want.
Images via Tesla