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Fossil fuel industry is pushing for new electric vehicle fees in several states, says report


Concrete efforts to slow down electric vehicle adoption are taking form. Last week, we reported on the oil and biofuel industries forming an alliance to lobby against electric vehicle incentives and now the same industries are being linked to other efforts to undermine EVs.

A new report links the fossil fuel industry to a series of new legislations being introduced in several states in order to impose fees on electric vehicles.

Those yearly fees are being introduced under the pretext to make up for lost revenue from the gas tax. Several states, like Michigan, have already implemented them, but since the start of the year, six more states have introduced legislations to do the same: Indiana, South Carolina, Kansas, Tennessee, New Hampshire, and Montana.

Some of those fees can cost electric vehicle drivers up to $180 per year.

As we explain in a recent piece ‘Yearly “EV fees” to replace lost gas tax revenue are less reasonable than they seem‘, those fees are misguided and they certainly are not compensating for lost gas tax revenue.

Using the same principle as the gas tax, those fees should be applied to the cost of electricity, which is already taxed. And if the goal is to have EVs pay for the damages they do on public roads, the same idea should be applied to the damages gas-powered cars do to the environment, which is actually much more measurable than the damage passenger cars do on roads.

Most lost revenue from the gas tax are related to the increase in fuel efficiency over the last decade and not to the few hundred thousand EVs on the roads out of the more than 250 million vehicles in the US today.

Now where things are getting interesting is that those new efforts to introduce those electric vehicles fees are being linked to the fossil fuel industries and especially, the multimillion-dollar lobbying campaign against electric vehicles launched by the Koch brothers last year.

We didn’t know for sure what legislation those lobbying efforts would lead to, but it seems like we could have a winner.

In a recent report, Gina Coplon-Newfield, Director of Sierra Club’s Electric Vehicles Initiative, linked the recent money being spent by those groups to the legislation being introduced this year:

“Reportedly, for more than a year, Koch Industries has spent nearly $10 million dollars, and plans to do so every year, on a campaign to boost petroleum-based transportation fuels and attack government support for electric vehicles. This campaign was presumably created because of the risk EVs place on the oil and coal industry. American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a right-wing state legislation machine funded by the Koch brothers and several other multinational corporations, introduced in December of 2015 a resolution to discourage states from providing subsidies for EVs at their States and Nation Policy Summit.”

What do you think? Is the fossil fuel industry behind those bills and are those fees the right approach to lost gas tax revenue? Let us know in the comment section below.


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