Only about one third of US Federal gas taxes actually go toward building and maintaining roads in the USA. The Federal tax is about 18.5 cents per gallon at this time. State gas
taxes are on average a bit more than the Federal tax. The total is about 40 cents on the
The funding of roads is a complex topic. Funds flow from many sources, State and Federal. The tax on gasoline and diesel fuel is a big source of road funds. The 40 cents per gallon
gas tax is meant to go towards building and maintaining roads. In reality, only about one
third to one half of the tax money actually goes to roads. That range is an estimate, and
Electric vehicles pay zero gas tax. So, one of the current arguments against EVs is that
they will not pay their fair share of road maintenance. The argument sounds good on the surface. Lets take a look at the numbers to see what is really happening.
Electric Vehicle Average Tax Owed
The table below shows that the average electric car in the USA user owes about $100
dollars per year in tax to make up for the gas tax not paid. How is that?
The EPA uses 15,000 miles driven per year as the average miles driven per year in the USA. In the example above, we assume a car or truck getting 20 miles per gallon driving the average 15,000 miles would burn 750 gallons of gas...or diesel. The total State and Federal tax on 750 gallons comes to $103.40 as shown. This is just the average, but is supported by at least one state - Oklahoma.
State EV Tax Legislation
The Sooner State has voted 36-11 to tax electric vehicles in the amount of $100/year. Senate Bill 5251 levies the tax at a rate very close to the average $103.40 in the table above. The Oklahoma gas tax is $0.16 per gallon - below the national average.
The State expects to spend around $4.87 billion total on road projects in the next few years. Gas taxes are projected to total about $2.4 billion in the same period. Note that the State also would get Federal gas tax revenue in the same time period.
Arizona is considering a 1.42 cent per mile EV tax. Washington State wants a $100 per year electric vehicle tax. Kansas considers a 1 cent per kWh tax.
Other States - High and Low Taxes
The lowest state gas tax is Georgia with a mere $0.075 (7.5 cents) per gallon. The highest state tax in the US is Wisconsin with a $0.32 (32 cents) per gallon. The tables below show the average annual gas tax rates for those states.
Battery only EV owners in Washington State will need to pay an annual $100 fee for road maintenance. Beginning Feb 1, 2013, EV owners will pay the fee with their registration renewals.