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Electric Vehicle Fees Increasing in California and Other States

In an effort to shore up flagging transportation funding and ensure drivers of electric vehicles (EV) contribute to road and bridge construction and maintenance, owners of electric and hybrid vehicles in several states will have to start paying new or increased registration fees in 2020.

California Fees Begin

Under a state law enacted in 2017, Californians driving electric vehicles began paying an upfront $100 registration fee for all zero-emission vehicles for model year 2020 on July 1. The law also added a new annual fee that varies depending on an EV’s value, from $25 for vehicles with a market value less than $5,000 up to $175 for vehicles valued at $60,000 or more.

The same 2017 law raised the state’s gasoline tax by 3.2 cents per gallon, increasing the tax to 50.5 cents a gallon.

State officials estimated the new fees and gas taxes will generate more than $50 billion the next decade, to be dedicated to maintaining state highways, local roads, and associated infrastructure projects.

New Electric Fees

California is not the the only state adding new charges for EVs in 2020. Alabama, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Ohio, Oregon, and Utah also imposed new or increased existing electric vehicle fees this year. With the new states adding fees for EVs, more than 26 states now impose such fees on EVs or hybrid vehicles.

In Alabama, owners of electric or plug-in hybrid cars began paying a $200 and $100 annual fee respectively, beginning January 1, and EV drivers in Oregon started paying $110 more per year to register their EVs, increasing the overall EV registration fee to $306 for two years.

Utah’s EV and hybrid vehicle fees are also rising. In 2019, Utah’s fees were $60 for electric vehicles, $26 for plug-in hybrids, and $10 for gas hybrids. The fees increased to $90, $39, and $15 respectively 2020, and they will rise to $120, $52, and $20 in 2021.

Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. (hsburnett@heartland.org) is the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.


IT'S BACK: The Heartland Institute's Next CAN'T MISS Climate Conference spot_img
H. Sterling Burnett
H. Sterling Burnett
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. is the director of The Heartland Institute's Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.


  1. End EV owners from freeloading and virtue signalling. Let them contribute to sustainable roads and transport. Start by paying usual vehicle registration fee, plus annual road user tax dependent on mileage (certified sealed GPS) plus an additional tax to cover toxic battery disposal fees, and a tax to cover humanitarian costs associated with the endemic political, social and medical problems associated with child slave mining of cobalt ore in the “Democratic” Republic of the Congo, this may be contributed to their friends at the UN, and a further tax to make a contribution to the UN ‘Green’ Fund. These owners would surely welcome the opportunity to actually contribute over virtue signalling, yes?


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