Why Owning An Electric Vehicle Is About To Cost You More In Texas
Electric vehicles are getting more affordable, in fact, they may soon match the cost of gas-powered cars. The cost of raw materials to make batteries has decreased, and brands like Telsa have slashed prices on popular vehicles by thousands of dollars. So is now a great time to buy an electric car in Texas? Think of all the gas money you'll save!
Well, you may want to buy it right now, because in September, it will cost a whole lot more to register. Just signed into law is SB505, a bipartisan bill that will make registering a new electric vehicle in Texas $400 (in addition to other registration fees) and $200 extra each year to renew. There are some exceptions:
The new fee, which will take effect Sept 1, would not affect hybrid vehicles, who still pay gas taxes, nor would it affect owners of electric motorcycles, mopeds and autocycles, or a neighborhood electric vehicle with a maximum speed of 35 miles per hour.
And there is the key as to why electric vehicles will have to pay so much more- it's to make up for lost tax revenue that Texas uses to repair roads. Electric vehicles use the roads as well, so it may be just fair to charge this tax for their part of the upkeep of our highways and streets.
Texas is not the first to adopt this fee. However, it is much steeper than average. Almost 30 other states have a fee, but it averages to about $120. Supposedly, the steeper fee is to make up for both state and national gas taxes- but is Texas going to send any money to the federal government? Personally, I doubt it.
I also doubt that this fee will deter anyone who had their heart set on an electric vehicle from passing it u. Depending on where you live and how you drive, an electric vehicle may still save you money over a traditional gas vehicle. For now, I plan on sticking with my fuel-using (but very fuel-efficient) traditional car.