EVs Not Exempt From California’s Transportation Infrastructure Plan

Governor Jerry Brown and the California Legislature reached a historic agreement to raise the gas tax, but electric vehicle owners will now be required to pay a yearly fee, Will this impact EV sales in the US's best market?
May 6, 2017, 9am PDT | rzelen
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Although the number of electric vehicles on the road continues to climb and new vehicles are being deployed into the market, recent state policy decisions have placed potential stumbling blocks in front of the growing industry. As part of the major California transportation infrastructure-funding package, EV owners will begin to pay a yearly fee to contribute to road maintenance.

California has the country's largest contingent of plug-in vehicle owners, and provides a myriad of financial incentives to encourage adoption. However, as a part of Senate Bill 1, the landmark transportation-funding package, California will charge a one-time registration fee of $100 for plug-in vehicles starting in the 2020 model year. The fees are part of a bill approved last week that is slated to generate more than $52 billion over 10 years, and will chip away at a backlog of repairs estimated to cost about $130 billion.

To investigate further, The Planning Report sat down with Joel Levin, Executive Director of Plug-In America, to explain the impact of these mixed policy signals. Levin reinforced an optimistic view of EVs in California and the global market overall, and is a stanch believe that EVs are the future for global transportation. 

In addition to discussing the impacts of the transportation fees, Levin opines on the ongoing Volkswagen settlement that will fund EV charging infrastructure. Levin hopes for a single umbrella structure that would provide electricity as easily as driving to a gas station. He hopes that VW will be able to create a single structure, "a de facto standard for interoperability that other companies can jump into...and that creates an overarching framework that drives us toward interoperability of all stations."

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Published on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 in The Planning Report
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