One of the major battle cries behind the movement for electric cars is the push for people to save money. The environmentalists think the American people will take the savings over the long term by paying more for an electric car. The damage this is doing to the oil and gas industry is enormous, and we as a nation are not ready for that.
As part of this change, there would be a huge shift in tax revenue generated by the sale of gasoline as well as services like oil changes. For TN Governor Bill Lee, this loss in revenue needs to be made up somewhere, especially if he wants to deliver on the tens of billions in major road projects he pushed in this latest reelection.
His first major step is the creation of express toll lanes on the expressways, with electric vehicle operators paying a triple fee for their use. The alternative is to raise the gas tax, make the new roads fully toll-based, or issue debt in a pay-as-you-go method. Considering the rapid growth in Tennessee, it makes sense for him to go this way. A large portion of the new residents to the state are from places like California, and they wouldn’t dream of giving up their electric cars.
State transportation officials are forecasting a need for $26 billion in projects to fix the worsening congestion, and $3.6 billion is left over from road projects the last governor left undone. With Ford having signed contracts to develop its electric vehicle department with a partner company locating its battery headquarters there, this tax could see a massive increase in its customer base from that alone.
Tennessee isn’t the only state doing this.
Extra fees have been in Florida just for registering an electric vehicle, and the state has additional fees for certain services gas vehicles are exempt from. Texas has been considering a $200-400 fee to replace lost revenue from gas taxes. Even California has been socking it to the electric vehicle community for an extra $175 at the state level.
Tons of small towns have installed charging stations to make their town appear green, but extra fees for roads, parking, and other daily uses are often incorporated by smaller municipalities to keep their town revenue up. As controversial as these fees may be with environmentalists, they make sense. Without the surge in pricing, that lost tax revenue needs to be made up somewhere.
In truly small towns, these people are largely just passing through. If they make it up by asking people to pay more money for living there, then they are favoring the tourist who isn’t there for anything beyond a top-off of electricity. It’s not right for the people who call these hamlets and villages home.
On a larger scale at the state and county level, many leaders are electing to only charge these fees for new roads. So, those who are used to their normal ways can save money by sticking to their routine, even if they choose to move over to the electric vehicle.
When speaking to reporters, Gov. Lee confirmed that the proposed $300 fee is not solidified. “We want to make sure there’s a fair fee for everyone. We’ll figure out what that number is and move forward.”
This is a decision-making tactic that most officials have taken on this decisive issue. Being this open to finding a middle ground with the environmentalists who believe they deserve discounts is an incredibly smart decision.
The real question is, are EVs capable of providing as much savings as the Biden administration has hyped? Absolutely not.