Senators Introduce EV Highway Trust Fund Fees

The Stop EV Freeloading Act would impose tiered, one-time fees at the manufacturer level.

September 28, 2023

U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, recently led U.S. Senators Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) in introducing the Stop EV Freeloading Act, according to the Washington Examiner.

The bill states that the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) instability has worsened due to EV adoption, as EVs are not subject to federal gas tax. It continues on to state that while EVs do not contribute to the HTF, they weigh up to three times more due to the weight of their batteries and the “significant increase in weight has a tremendous impact on roads, necessitating more maintenance and repairs over time.”

To make up for the lack of gas tax revenues, the legislation intends to have electric vehicles pay into the HTF in order to support the construction and maintenance of American roads and bridges. This fee would be imposed on EV sales in order to make up for lost gas tax revenues.

The bill proposes a two-tiered manufacturer level fee for all EVs to ensure that all EVs contribute towards the HTF.

Tier 1 would consist of a one-time fee of $1,000 to be imposed at the manufacturer level at the point of sale to be assigned to the HTF. This figure is calculated from the average amount consumers currently contribute to the HTF from gas taxes calculated over 10 years.

Tier 2 would impose a $550 fee on batteries over 1,000 pounds at the point of manufacture.The Washington Examiner reports that Fischer's bill has the endorsement of several industries and groups, including the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, Associated General Contractors of America, the National League of Cities and the American Society of Civil Engineers.

As the number of electric vehicles in use continues to increase, operators should determine if adding EV charging is good for business. Check out the education session “The Business Case for EV Charging” at the NACS Show in Atlanta October 4 to understand the landscape and your business’ role in it.