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Author Topic: Electric Vehicles  (Read 22313 times)

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AGelbert

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Should Electric Car Drivers Pay For Using Roads?
« Reply #555 on: June 24, 2019, 04:31:13 pm »
CleanTechnica
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How Should Electric Car Drivers Pay For Using Roads?

June 24th, 2019 by Steve Hanley

America’s transportation infrastructure of roads, bridges, and tunnels costs a lot of money to build and maintain. For decades, motorists have paid state and federal taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel and that revenue was supposed to be set aside to pay for building roads and keeping them in good repair.

That’s the theory, anyway. In reality, politicians hate leaving large pools of money lying around unspent and so those funds are often tapped for other purposes. Also, since raising taxes is dangerous for any politician who wants to get reelected, Congress and state legislatures have been reluctant to raise the tax on fuels to keep up with inflation.

Taxes on fuels seem like an appropriate way to pay for roads. Those who drive more miles or drive heavier vehicles burn more fuel and so pay more to use the roads. That makes perfect sense. But fuel taxes actually cover less than half of the total cost.

Which leads into a discussion of how much electric car drivers should pay to support America’s transportation infrastructure. If states impose an annual flat fee, that is unfair to those who drive few miles. Even if it were possible to levy a tax on the electricity they use to recharge their batteries, why should EV drivers pay 100% of the cost of roads when drivers of conventional cars pay less than half that cost?

‘Tis a conundrum. A significant backlash against electric car drivers is evident in many parts of the country as legislatures pick arbitrary numbers out of the air to impose as annual surcharges on EVs. Illinois recently considered a flat $1,000 per year fee for every electric car, a proposal that was clearly punitive.

Utah has quietly begun addressing this issue in a novel way. Its Department of Transportation is asking EV drivers to participate in a voluntary program. Starting in January, instead of paying an annual registration fee they will report their actual mileage and pay 1.5 cents to the state for every mile driven, not to exceed the annual registration fee that those who don’t participate in the program pay.

It’s all about gathering data. Even though only 2% of the cars registered in Utah today are electric, “We know that the gas tax will be eroded over time and we’re just trying to be ahead of the game,” says Teri Newell, UDOT deputy director, according to the Deseret News.

Newell says the program is an attempt to charge people for how much they use the roads. “That’s really the fairest way to do it. The gas tax used to be a good way to replicate that, but now we need to start thinking about moving on to something different. It’s anybody’s guess at what point they fully are into the market and it becomes a bigger issue, so we just want to be ready.”

There is already talk of applying the program to all vehicles, which makes perfect sense assuming people actually report their mileage accurately. If the reporting is done digitally, that raises privacy issues.

If one spouse suspects the other of cheating, will those mileage records be subject to subpoena during the divorce to prove Person A was actually at the No Tell Motel instead of bowling on a certain night? Will police use the data to track criminals? Will Mark Zuckerberg sell the data to Russian hackers?

Then there is the issue of how to assess different classes of vehicles. Should someone driving a Hyundai Accent be expected to pay the same as the driver of a Ford Expedition? And what of the existing state fuel taxes? Will they remain for out of state drivers who use Utah roads?

The program is being partially funded by a $1.25 million federal grant to study how it works over the next five years. “It’s kind of an unknown for a lot of people right now and so we want to venture into it slowly and make sure we understand all the issues with it before we move into something like [applying it to all vehicles],” Newell says.

Everybody wants someone else to pay for our roads. Charging motorists a fee for every mile driven is one way to spread the pain equitably as the existing gas tax model will break down completely as more electric cars take to the streets. How long will it be before every new car automatically reports on where we go and when and how fast to the government? Maybe connected cars won’t be quite the nirvana we were hoping for.

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/06/24/how-should-electric-car-drivers-pay-for-using-roads/

Agelbert COMMENT: A TAX on FUEL has always been the wrong approach to road maintenance.

What's the right approach?

That's easy, IF the State governments use the cost of maintaining roads as the basis for how much a vehicle must pay (I won't hold my breath waiting for those 🦕🦖 hydrocarbon hellspawn babying 😈 Bureaucrats to do that.).

While it is true that winter frost heaves, summer high heat on asphalt, flood erosion, etc. gradually damage roads, making it logical to bill everybody, (more or less equally 😉) for using them, over 90% (at least - if you don't believe me, check out why bike paths in Vermont rarely need resurfacing!) of the damage to roads is from TRUCKS.

Most people are not aware of it, but trucks are the main cause of required highway maintenace, even with all those wheels some of them have to distribute the road killing loads they carry routinely.

All you have to do is tax each and every thing out there that has wheels, and uses roads, (you Farm Equipment folks lucked out!) by WEIGHT PER WHEEL, PERIOD.

In a sane world, the weight per wheel of any vehicle is what would be the criteria for determining how much wear and tear a vehicle visits on a highway. Anything below a certain threshold weight should not be taxed (i.e. lightweight EVs, riding lawn mowers, cargo bikes, skate boards, wheelchairs 😀, etc.).

The nit pickers might weigh in and claim that tires can be narrow and thin or huge and wide, so the proper criteria should be the pressure per square (insert area measuring unit here) exerted on the road surface.

Yeah, that would be fine. Let's do it.

 Right, they won't do it because THEN the people doing the lion's share of damage (i.e. mostly gas guzzler heavy vehicles) would have to actually pay for ruining the roads.

AND, most EVs would not have to pay a nickel! 😀

Trump and his Republican Fascist Friends (see below) would not like that.
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

 

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