The American Transportation Research Institute released research that describes what it calls a workable framework for electric vehicle (EV) taxation to support transportation infrastructure.
By applying a small tax on the electricity used in transportation, ATRI says this approach can efficiently connect the growing number electric vehicles in the United States with other revenue streams that support the highway trust fund.
At present, electric vehicles do not contribute substantively to state and federal highway trust funds. In fact, there are numerous programs designed to subsidize the use of electric vehicles, thus exacerbating the infrastructure investment deficit. ATRI’s analysis projects this revenue loss to be more than $4 billion over the next 10 years.
The report concludes that electric utilities in the U.S. are well equipped to begin collection of a per-kilowatt hour charge of 2.1 cents for transportation-related electricity consumption in the coming years.
Using a phased-in approach, utilities would identify, measure and tax electricity used for transportation – starting first with electricity that is dispersed through public charging stations and residential smart chargers, ATRI argues.
“States have recognized that electric vehicles are responsible for a growing void in gasoline tax revenues,” the ATRI researchers point out. “More than half of states have pursued existing mechanisms, particularly additional registration fees, for capturing this revenue.”
Other methods include a mileage tax and taxing transportation electricity in ways similar ways to gasoline, but few states have pursued this option.
“This analysis demonstrates how an electricity tax can easily emulate all the key components of a fuel tax,” said Paul Enos, chief executive officer of the Nevada Trucking Association. “Moving forward with an efficient utility-based approach will help EV owners support the infrastructure that they use every day.”