Federal DRIVE Act would charge EV drivers a new fee

Feds Looks To Make Up Highway Shortfall From Lower Gas Taxes

Federal lawmakers are ginning up a bill called the DRIVE Act that would ask electric vehicle drivers to pay more in fees than they do now in order to make up for the fact that they're not paying gasoline taxes, Plug In Sites says. Since the bill is a whopping 1,030 pages long, green advocates might also fear the loss of more rainforests from printing a few copies out. It's not pretty.

The US federal government is trying to budget for the future once Highway Trust Fund dollars are used up at the end of the fiscal year ending July 31, Plug In Sites says. And some senators are pushing for a so-called "user fee structure" to ensure EV drivers are paying for their share of highway repairs. The dollars brought in through the DRIVE Act, or at least this one part of it, will be used for expected highway repairs during the next six years.

With the number of plug-in vehicles in the US and our average fuel economy on the rise, both the federal government and states have been faced with the prospect of declining dollars from gasoline taxes. And that's led one state, Oregon, to test a road-usage fee program in which in-state driving was tracked using on-board software. Washington State passed a special $100 annual fee in 2012 that was charged to the states' electric-vehicle drivers.

In the meantime, folks looking to read a copy of that DRIVE bill (and who have a ton of time on their hands) can click here. And then get some coffee.

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