Does your state charge you to drive an EV?


At least thirty-one states do

The federal government has a number of financial incentives to reward you for driving an electric vehicle (EV). But most states now charge residents an extra fee if they drive an EV, hybrid or even a high-mileage gasoline-powered car.

At last count,  at least 31 states imposed these extra fees on high-mileage vehicles, ranging from $50 in Colorado, South Dakota and Hawaii to up to $200 in Texas.

Why, you might ask? Because states depend on the tax on gasoline to pay for road construction and maintenance. 

The more people who drive EVs, hybrids and high-mileage vehicles, the less gasoline is sold and the smaller the tax collection. States figure they need to make the money up somewhere so most have targeted motorists who use little to no gasoline.

It creates an interesting paradox. While the U.S. government wants you to drive an electric car, most states want you to keep buying gasoline.

The states that charge EV drivers

Some states levy the additional tax only on EVs but others include hybrids, which often get 50 miles per gallon or more. Here is the list of states that charge residents for driving vehicles that use less gasoline.

WyomingColoradoSouth DakotaWashington
IdahoUtahNorth DakotaNebraska
Alabama MississippiKentuckyNorth Carolina
IndianaMichiganWest VirginiaVirginia
South CarolinaWisconsinOhio

Proponents of the fee on EVs point out that owners of these vehicles qualify for federal tax incentives of up to $7,500 and therefore can afford to pay extra to register their vehicles. However, not all do.

The Inflation Reduction Act extends the tax credit only to vehicles produced in the U.S. Owners of the 2023 Audi Q5 e Quattro Plug-in Hybrid, the 2021–23 BMW 330e Plug-in Hybrid, the 2021–23 BMW X5 xDrive45e Plug-in Hybrid, the 2023–24 Genesis GV70, the 2021–23 Nissan Leaf, the 2022–23 Rivian R1S, the 2022–23 Rivian R1T and the 2023 Volkswagen ID.A are excluded.

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