Pennsylvania Electric Vehicle Road Fee

Pennsylvania Electric Vehicle Road Fee

FYI, fellow Pennsylvania Model S/X owners. There is pending PA legislation (HB 1057) (referred to the House Transportation Committee), which provides for an annual fee in place of the alternative fuels tax on electricity which will be administered by PENNDOT. Here is the pertinent language:
§ 9032. Road use fee imposed on electric vehicles.
(a) Fee required for registration.--Concurrent with
submitting an annual vehicle registration application and fee to
the Department of Transportation under section 1301 (relating to
registration and certificate of title required), an owner of an
electric vehicle shall submit the electric vehicle road fee. The
following shall apply:

(1) Normal vehicle registration shall not be considered
complete without payment in full of the electric vehicle road
(2) The electric vehicle road fee shall be paid by each
new owner registering the vehicle with the Commonwealth.
(b) Computation of electric vehicle road use fee.--
(1) The department shall compute the electric vehicle
road fee for each major vehicle class defined in the CAFE
(2) The electric vehicle road fee shall equal the
average annual vehicle fuel tax within each vehicle class.
(3) The average annual vehicle fuel fee computation
shall be as follows:
(i) The vehicle average miles driven divided by the
miles per gallon equivalent per vehicle as determined by
the department.
(ii) The quotient under subparagraph (i) shall be
multiplied by the oil company franchise tax rate for
gasoline and the product shall be the average annual
vehicle fuel fee.
(4) The department shall annually determine the electric
vehicle road fee for each vehicle class, to be published in
the Pennsylvania Bulletin on or before December 15 of each
(c) Regulations.--The department shall promulgate
regulations to address new vehicle technology.

BTW the 2016 oil company franchise tax is 50.3 cents per gallon.

FelixMendeldog | 1 marts 2016

Sounds like that could be extremely expensive. What a dreadful idea. That’s makes it likely the government will make it happen.

Silver2K | 1 marts 2016

what a bunch of thieves

rxlawdude | 1 marts 2016

So is there an intermediate version of this law for cars that get 50mpg but don't plug in?

After all, those are responsible for less gasoline purchases, too.

Silver2K | 1 marts 2016

I bet the koch brothers are behind this idiocy

Run4Waffles | 1 marts 2016

You try to do the right thing and they want to slam you.

Let's promote being green. Ahhhhhh......

@rxlawdude +1

AoneOne | 1 marts 2016

First they give you $3K for buying a BEV. Then they want that money back.

cchouston | 1 marts 2016

The intent is to capture the revenue lost from the reduction in gasoline sales for use on road improvements, as that is what the oil company franchise tax is used for. In other words, the state's logic is that electric cars use the same roads that ICE vehicles use and should pay their share of the cost of road improvements. If you do the math, it won't be a killer.

EdwardG.NO2CO2 | 1 marts 2016

@cchouston, in principle it's reasonable but way to early. Big expense to implement for little return until a significant number cars are EVs are on the road. We need more incentives until EV prices are more competitive.

AoneOne | 1 marts 2016

By my reading, this is even a worse imposition on hybrid electric vehicles: it charges them, too, without accounting for the substantial gas taxes they also pay.

Mike83 | 1 marts 2016

I think its because of the shale lobby. They need to make themselves rich and don't want any EV's messing with their cash flow.

Silver2K | 1 marts 2016


less impact on environment is millions saved by states. the tax on gas takes the cost impact on environment under consideration.

genegode | 1 marts 2016

Just did my annual county registration here in Georgia today. Fee is $20 plus the state added a $200 EV fee. This went into effect mid 2015. The $5,000 tax credit was also eliminated for buyers after July 1st 2015.

NCC1701S | 1 marts 2016

Georgia last year repealed the $5k EV tax incentive then implemented a $200 per year per EV road use tax to help replace the lost revenue from gas taxes. Let's hope that it does not get any worse.

AoneOne | 1 marts 2016

Next electric utilities will demand a service fee even when you're off the grid and physically disconnected from them.

DTsea | 1 marts 2016

Gotta pay for roads somehow.

RichardKJ | 1 marts 2016

California is talking about switching from gas tax to a mileage based fee for all vehicles. It will be years before anything actually happens. In the mean time I would be happy to pay a couple hundred dollars a year as an EV fee if they would actually fix the roads.

Haggy | 1 marts 2016

So they are planning to tax ICE vehicles proportionally based on how much gasoline they use, giving breaks to more efficient ones, but are planning to charge EVs regardless of how little they drive?

Mileage based fees are a problem because it's impossible to determine how many miles a person drives in a given state. Penalizing EV drivers makes even less sense. If they want to make up for the fact that EVs aren't paying fuel taxes, then they should also impose a tax on economy cars that are buying far less gasoline than other cars that drive the same number of miles. It makes no sense.

NKYTA | 1 marts 2016

+1 Haggy

This about as stupid as an electorate gets.


mrdaniel | 1 marts 2016

It's like $65, big deal. EVs have gotten a lot of breaks like the state incentive and free electrons at a lot of charging locations.

Average anuual miles per driver is 13,476m / 100 mpg * $0.50/g = $67.

Silver2K | 2 marts 2016


it says vehicle class comparison. correct me if I'm wrong, but that's Mercedes s class and that car gets around an average of 20 mpg without looking it up.

P.Mac | 2 marts 2016

The actual amount will probably be small, but there is an important point easily missed. Money for road repairs is not scarce because of EV's; that money has just been reallocated to other non-road uses. Road-use fees are introduced because they sound logical when issued as a "sound bite."

EdwardG.NO2CO2 | 2 marts 2016

A transportation carbon tax (for all vehicles) properly calculated would level the share and eliminate the need for EV subsidies.

bak_phy | 2 marts 2016

Aren't EV owners already paying extra taxes through increased use of electricity? Sounds like double taxation.

syd | 2 marts 2016

In PA the gas tax is dedicated to transit/road functions. As was said, EV's don't use gas and don't pay the gas tax. If they come up with a reasonable formula, it makes sense, the roads still need to be repaired and us EV drivers should not be forcing the ICE drivers to pay all of it. Right now it's small, but if the numbers grow over time.

AoneOne | 2 marts 2016

I've been told that the sponsor of this bill is associated with ALEC, and I wouldn't be surprised if this fee were their idea.

@syd: so why are they charging hybrid drivers, too, regardless of their actual gas tax payments? This is an attack on gas-saving technology, not an appropriate substitute for fuel taxes. I'd gladly pay for the damage incurred by driving my 2200kg car ~15K miles a year. Some of those miles aren't in my home state, but other drivers who buy gas out of state are paying for roads they don't use. It evens out well enough in most cases (long distance trucks are the obvious exception).

AoneOne | 2 marts 2016

Gas consumption (and per-gallon taxes) are becoming an ever less appropriate proxy for the vehicles' impact on the infrastructure. As imperfect as it is, a mileage and weight based tax would at least be closer to reality.

KP in NPT | 2 marts 2016

But again, how is that fair to all, either? I live in the smallest state in the US. I drive out of state to go shopping. We have 14k miles on our Tesla in 8 months. I would estimate that 80% of those miles are out of state. (Since we both commute out of state and stay out of state for days on end with our jobs.)

I agree that something fair will have to be legislated. I just don't think mileage is the answer. Not for my state, anyway.

MilesMD88 | 2 marts 2016

Reference the other comments about Georgia. Last July the GA legislature passed a transportation bill that addressed highway repair & gasoline taxes. Gasoline taxes were completely changed & broken down. If I remember correctly, 26 Cents per gallon was added for highway usage + sales tax on top off that. In the bill the $5,500 tax credit for BEV new vehicles was eliminated. On top off that all BEV were to be charged $200 for road use which I recently paid.

If an ICE car averages 26 MPG, that user is paying .01 cent for the highway tax per mile. The legislature behind the BEV $200 came up with the $200 by saying most drivers drive 20,000 annually x .01 =$200. He basically admitted to the AJC (Atlanta newspaper) that he pulled that number out of his ass.

I emailed the 6 legislatures on the transportation committee, as well as the governor of GA. I told them that I had no problem paying my fair share. I drive 5,000 annually so using their logic my tax should be $50, not $200. I also contribute to cleaning up the air in ATL, as well as keeping the money spent charging local with the instate utility.

Emailed the 6 legislatures on the transportation committee who passed this bill, how many responded to my logical email...0. Surely the governor would respond....No

No wonder our state political leaders are so loved. Then we have Hillary or Donald to choose from.

MilesMD88 | 2 marts 2016

But I do have a beautiful green license plate that says AF vehicle. I can drive in the HOT lane and save that $200 annually. And I don't have to ruin my beautiful P85D with stickers like the poor folks in Cali & other

KP in NPT | 2 marts 2016
MilesMD88 | 2 marts 2016

Wow, your fast!
Politicians still suck!

KP in NPT | 2 marts 2016

Ha! Well I was curious what my state had (since I didn't register the car, hubby did, and he didn't mention anything) - and found that. (I'm in RI and we have nothing.)

For sure it's going to be an issue in many more states going forward as PEVs become mainstream. My guess is it will depend on how committed the state is to reducing emissions/supporting PEV adoption as to how hard they come down on these fees. My state is pretty committed to PEV adoption right now, even installing chargers and offering 2500 tax credit, which is paid for with fines from environmental polluters. The GA response does not surprise me. ;)

MilesMD88 | 2 marts 2016

GA went from the #2 state behind Cali with BEV's to who knows what now, probably last. Idiot politicians!

genegode | 2 marts 2016

@semilam My email to the State also has not been answered. I'm not opposed to paying a fee but I feel that $200 for me is excessive; retired driving 14K/yr. I paid the $200 plus the $20 tag fee, but got a regular plate instead of the "leaf EV" plate that costs $35 annually. Saved thirty five bucks and now my plate # starts with"RZZ" (not bad sounds kinda electric". That's better than my "Leaf EV" plate that started with "DWI". When I lived in Missouri that stood for "Driving While Intoxicated" thanks

cchouston | 3 marts 2016

Word from an "inside" contact is that this legislation has a very small chance of moving forward. The cost to implement will outweigh the revenues least for now, based on the number of EV's on the road in PA.

MilesMD88 | 3 marts 2016

The $35 is worth it if you live in Atlanta. It buys single driver rights to drive in HOV / HOT lanes, no charge. My drive home this evening was 1:20 instead of 2:45 (heavy rain over 50 miles) and saved the $11 for HOT lane.

AoneOne | 3 marts 2016

@cchouston: That's good to hear, but the cynic in me worries that this pseudo-fair shale-gas friendly ALEC-inspired bill will be stopped simply because it's uneconomical. However, the PA gridlock between the governor and the legislature might be to our advantage in this case.

ParklandFLMike | 4 marts 2016

Electric cars puts wear and tear on roads just like ICE cars, therefore I think its fair to have an EV registration tax to offset the lost revenue from the states gas tax. If we all believe that eventually all cars on the road will be electric, then the revenue from the gas tax for road maintenance will be zero. The money has to be replaced somewhere.

I think also to be fair, ICE cars should start paying a pollution fee to offset the cost of the air and ground pollution ICE cars and gas stations create.

Run4Waffles | 4 marts 2016

Here's where I shake my head as a new ZERO emissions driver. You create incentives to switch to ZERO emissions vehicles to improve the environment and to reduce dependence on foreign oil and then "you" back door a tax because "you" are upset because someone is now getting something for nothing. S h a k i n g my head. How much revenue is lost? Really? I also see this as stirring the pot to discourage switching. And here's the real thing......they rob the road and fees revenue to use elsewhere. All the money doesn't go to the roads and bridges. The same applies to tolls.That blows a hole into the lost revenue argument.

There should be free registration for ZERO emissions vehicles.

Wake up people. What's the goal here?

Run4Waffles | 4 marts 2016

I've got this one stuck in my head now...

And I'm not getting something for nothing. I pay a hefty amount each year for excise tax. Plus a substantial sum for sales tax. This isn't a luxury car for me. We stretched to do the right thing for the big picture.

And if you want to follow through with the logic, you need to impose a fee for hybrids and fuel efficient vehicles as they are not buying their same share of gas anymore.

Anthony J. Parisio | 4 marts 2016

I would not mind paying as much as a Fossil does to use the roads for the same number of miles. But a Fossil should pay an additional pollution tax.

It is to bad we have politicians who are for sale to the highest bidder. Instead we need leaders with a vision for our common good.

Anthony J. Parisio | 4 marts 2016

Oh, I'm sorry we have at least one. His name is Elon Musk.

johncrab | 4 marts 2016

While I enjoy a free ride as much as the next guy, roads have to be paid for. Oregon went down an insane path of wanting to GPS-track every car in the state and send out a weekly road tax bill via email. Totally nuts with lots of admin overhead. Basing a tax on averages and equivalent MPG (which is 110 with a Tesla) is a more sane approach. Governments do tend to screw up simple things so it will be interesting to see how this plays out. I'll be glad to pay a hundred or so a year if it comes to that if I can keep the reduced annual vehicle license tax currently about $60 for my car versus about $3k for a comparably-priced petrol burner. Frankly, if I had to pay $3k per year, I would not be driving a Model S. I might be driving a '75 Pinto.

jordanrichard | 4 marts 2016

Run4Waffles, the "excise tax" or what we in CT called personal property tax, goes to your town. Also, not every state has such taxes.

I completely agree with you about not feeling guilty driving for "free" because gas tax revenue routinely gets raped to fund things other than roads and bridges. So, until it becomes a law that the state can't rob the transportation fund (gas tax revenue), I will fight to what extent I can, any EV road tax, aka loss of gas tax revenue.

Now I obviously I can only speak about CT. Our registration period is 2 years. For ICE cars, the $90 registration fee includes an added $10 "federal Clean Air Act" fee. For my Tesla, the 2 year registration is only $43 and does not include this cleaner air act fee.

Run4Waffles | 4 marts 2016

@jordanrichard - thank you for correcting me on that. I recently moved from NH to MA. I thought the excise tax was mainly for roads as it's a tax on my car. That's how the fee worked in NH, which was part of the yearly registration fee. I'm rolling my eyes now that I pay a yearly tax on the car I purchased and paid a 6 1/4% sales tax on. Oh well. It's beautiful in this part of the state. Didn't know how good we had in in NH. LOL

And it's funny that we pay for emissions test during inspection. There are no emissions and thus no test can be given. ahahahaha

jordanrichard | 4 marts 2016

Run4Waffles, here in CT we receive a property tax bill directly from the town. Our sales tax is 6.35%, but on cars that cost more than $50K, it is subject to a "luxury tax" of 7 1/2%.... :-)

Also, my Tesla doesn't require any inspections. Unlike a lot of states, CT only does an emissions check. It's $20 every 2 years and for cars made starting in 1996, don't even get its exhaust actually checked. They just plug a scanning tool into the OBD port and check for codes. Basically, if your "Check Engine" light isn't on, you will pass.

Watt fun | 4 marts 2016

New Zealand got rid of road fuel taxes on diesel/heating fuel, and now diesel/heating fuel is one product: un-dyed, everywhere. Heating oil is same price as off-road diesel as on-road diesel. Only diesel at first because that encompassed everything from VW Golfs to 100,000 pounds of transport or tandem dump truck. You buy a sticker, in units of 10,000 km, write in your beginning and ending mileage, and affix to windshield. The stickers are different costs/colours depending on which weight class (ie, potential for road damage/repair costs). That is it.: heavy things on road pay the most for road damage, light vehicles pay the least for road damage. EVs and all vehicles running on any fuel could be treated equally if this method was adopted. Doesn't matter WHERE you live, or WHERE you drive, just how much you WEIGH combined with how FAR you drive = damage caused.

rxlawdude | 4 marts 2016

California has an interesting dilemma: while the Governor has explicitly stated the goals of reduced carbon footprint, and the state has financial incentives for EV drivers, road tax revenue is down.

So on the one hand, the state provides pure BEV owners with incentives, and on the other hand the state needs to collect a (heretofore nonexistent) road tax as part of vehicle registration.

I agree with the concept of charging EV owners a road tax, but also agree the gasoline/diesel owners should be assessed a tax that can be used to mitigate pollution caused by their smokers.

NOLEK SUM | 4 marts 2016

Why shouldn't we pay a fair share for road usage?

Haggy | 4 marts 2016

Of course we should pay a fair share. But it comes down to how to come up with something fair. There's no obvious or easy answer. With gasoline, the system isn't perfect, but those who travel out of state can buy gasoline out of state and pay tax to the authority that controls the roads there. With an EV, there's nothing similar in place.

Currently, some taxes are collected on gasoline. Others are collected as license or registration fees on vehicles. Some states do that on an ad valorum basis. Others go by gross vehicle weight, on the grounds that it has more to do with wear and tear on the roads. None of those really works in a "fair" way if fairness has to do with use of roads and the extent to which cars damage them. Going by weight and miles might be closer but unless we move to a system that has the government track each bit of movement to determine what amount of driving was done in which location, that's not going to happen. And I wouldn't expect any proposal to track the movements of each and every car to get many votes in any state legislature.

If EVs displace ICE, then it's inevitable that there will be a shift in the tax structure. When ICE is considered obsolete, then it will be easier to come up with something equitable. But for now, I've never seen a solution that makes sense.