AUSTIN, Tex. — Texas state lawmakers are considering legislation (HB 2199) that would impose large registration fees on people who own electric vehicles (EV). The Texas state House transportation committee is meeting today to consider the bill that would establish $200 fees for the registration or registration renewal of EVs in the state. Consumer Reports (CR) has shared its opposition to the bill in a letter sent to lawmakers and urged the committee to consider reducing the fee to $71 based on its analysis of the state’s gas tax revenues from new gas-powered vehicles.
Supporters of the bill say these fees are needed to replace the revenue from gasoline taxes that help pay for roads. But CR finds that the $200 fee proposed is punitive for EV owners, and will only account for less than 0.3% of the road fund by 2025, even if one assumes rapid growth in EV sales.
“As EVs continue to grow in popularity and consumers gain interest in accessing cost-effective technology, states need to consider alternative strategies to address the issue of decreasing gas-tax revenues to fund roads and highways,“ said Dylan Jaff, policy analyst at CR. “Consumers should not be punished for choosing a cleaner, greener car that saves them money on fuel and maintenance. The fees proposed in this bill will establish an inequitable fee scale for EV owners, and will not provide a viable solution to the long-standing issue of road funding revenue.”
Ultimately, these EV fees proposed in this bill would do little to address the challenges of road funding in Texas, Jaff said. Texas’s gas tax currently accounts for only 29% of the state’s road funding, and it hasn’t been adjusted in 30 years to keep pace with inflation and the improvements in vehicle mileage that allow drivers to make fewer trips to the pump. A shortfall in road funding can be traced back to these factors, not the limited number of people driving EVs on Texas roads.
CR has also suggested that lawmakers identify and implement more equitable strategies to address the loss in highway fund revenue, such as a road usage charge or mileage-based fee that is tied to actual road usage for all types of vehicles, rather than a flat fee.
If the bill passes out of the committee, it will then go to the House floor for a vote by the full body.
Previous CR analysis of how punitive EV fees hurt consumers and do not address road funding shortfalls is available here.
About Consumer Reports
Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports (CR) has a mission to create a fair and just marketplace for all. Widely known for our rigorous research and testing of products and services, we also survey millions of consumers each year, report extensively on marketplace issues, and advocate for consumer rights and protections around safety as well as digital rights, financial fairness, and sustainability. CR is independent and nonprofit.