If adopted, the tax would pay for road maintenance and fund grants for charging stations.
Florida Senate Committee on Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development passed a new fee on electric and hybrid vehicles, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. The committee also approved a proposal to create a network of electric vehicle charging stations throughout the state.
The fee, which must be approved by two-thirds of the state House and Senate, would levy an additional $135 to register most EVs and $235 for trucks and vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds. The funds collected would be go to the state transportation department and local counties to recoup lost gasoline tax revenue. Part of the fee will also fund grants to build charging stations.
“This is going to create a very large industry,” said state Sen. Tom Wright, who predicts that charging stations will one day be as plentiful as ATMs. “We’re going to be able to get electricity just like we get gasoline today.”
So far, 26 states have additional annual EV fees, ranging from $32.50 to $213.88, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. This year, Vermont, Washington, Texas, Oregon and Mississippi are considering EV fees. Most states with EV fees channel some of the revenue to road maintenance, the newspaper said.
Some advocacy groups urge lawmakers to institute fees tied to self-reported odometer readings rather than flat fees. “Electric vehicle drivers certainly want to pay their fair share,” said Jay Friedland, legislative director of Plug In America. “The danger you get into is if you treat electric vehicles in some radically different way than you treat the rest.”
“The shift to electric vehicles is going to be the biggest shift you and I are going to see over the next decade,” said state Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg), who sponsored the Florida bill. “Today, half a percent of vehicles on Florida roads are electric—at the end of the decade it could be 15% to 20% of all cars sold.”
The two Florida bills now move to the appropriations committee before debate on the Senate floor. The House companion bills haven’t made it to the committees yet.
Looking for more information on electric vehicles and the charging infrastructure needed to support them? Visit NACS’ Electric Vehicles page to get the latest on how to incorporate EV charging into your fuel retailing locations. Additionally, for more information on electric vehicle infrastructure, be sure to check out this Youtube video by the Fuels Institute and NACS.
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