Florida Seeks Study on EV Infrastructure

Lawmakers in the state want to examine the impact of EVs on the road.

December 11, 2023

Following the introduction of bills filed in the House and Senate that impose a registration fee on electric vehicles (EVs) to make up for lost gas-tax revenue, Florida lawmakers are seeking a study on the impact of the increased number of electric vehicles on the roads, reported WGCU.

“It seems like a lot of us agree that we don't want to jump ahead when it comes to applying some sort of fee or tax to EV drivers without doing the research first,” Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, said.

The House Transportation and Modals subcommittee agreed to scale back the bill to “direct state economists to review the long-term infrastructure effects of electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles.”

Under the newly revised bill, lawmakers would be expected to consider potential changes to address a decline in gas-tax revenue in 2026, stated WGCU. It also states that the existing 4.35% tax imposed at charging stations will go to road maintenance through the Transportation Trust Fund rather than general state revenue.

“We need a solution, because while we see the innovation coming into the transportation market, that doesn't mean that we don't need to continue to fund our infrastructure,” bill sponsor Tiffany Esposito, R-Fort Myers, said.

The House revision came a day after the Senate Transportation Committee approved a bill that called for EV owners to pay an annual registration fee of $200. However, lawmakers and a Tesla lobbyist raised concerns that EV owners would be double taxed through the fee and the taxes imposed at charging stations.

Senate bill sponsor Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater, said that the fee structure would be based on figures from the Electric Drive Transportation Association. According to WGCU, “the association projects motorists who drive 10,000 miles a year pay about $190 a year in federal, state and local gas taxes. For those who drive 12,000 miles a year, the combined taxes come to about $228 a year.”

“As of Dec. 31, 2022, Florida had 167,990 registered electric vehicles, up from 95,640 a year earlier. The Florida Department of Transportation’s 2021 EV Infrastructure Master Plan found the use of electric vehicles could result in a 5.6% to 20% drop in ‘motor fuel-based revenue streams’ by 2040,” according to WGCU.

Because revisions substantially changed the bill, the House panel will have to reconsider the proposal at a future meeting.

In Q3 2023, sales of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric vehicles (EVs) in the United States rose to 17.7% of new light-duty vehicle sales, reported the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

So far this year, sales of hybrids, plug-in hybrids and EVs have accounted for 15.8% of all new light-duty vehicle sales in the United States, compared with 12.3% in 2022 and 8.5% in 2021.