Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled Legislative Finance Committee voted earlier this month to increase the registration fee for electric vehicles by 75%. The vote comes as experts are predicting that electric vehicles could make up over half of those sold in the U.S. by 2040.
In Wisconsin, more than 13,700 electric vehicles were registered in 2022. As more EVs could take to the road in coming years, Rep. Mark Born and Sen. Howard Marklein introduced the fee increase, which could make up for the loss of taxes from drivers who don’t fill up at the pump.
The fee hike legislation is pending approval of the upcoming state budget.
What’s the electric vehicle surcharge?
Most state transportation revenue is generated from the state fuel tax and vehicle registration fees. The two sources account for more than 75% of state collected transportation revenue and more than half of the budgeted transportation fund between 2021 and 2023.
In 2017, lawmakers created a $100 annual surcharge for electric vehicles. The DMV started collecting the electric vehicle surcharge with applications received January 2018. The DMV collects the fee whenever the driver pays the regular annual registration fee for plate issuance and registration renewal.
Drivers of hybrid electric vehicles, which can run on electricity and fuel, already pay a $75 annual surcharge under the 2019-2021 budget.
How much could the surcharge increase?
If passed, the annual surcharge for electric vehicles could increase to $175, up from $100. Registration fees will not change for hybrid car drivers.
The increase fees will bring an additional estimated $3 million to the state’s transportation fund in the first two years, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau. The total transportation annual gross revenue fund is over $2.3 billion.
How much does it cost to register a gas vehicle in Wisconsin?
Registering a gas vehicle costs $85 a year in Wisconsin.
When could the electric vehicle fee hike into effect?
It’s unclear at the moment. Lawmakers will decide whether to pass the budget as is or make changes to the proposal. The proposal to increase registration fees for electric vehicles is subject to a line-item veto from Gov. Evers.
Milwaukee is one of the worst cities for public charging stations for electric vehicles, study shows
Historically, Wisconsin has been slow to embrace electric vehicles; Milwaukee was recently named one of the nation’s 10 worst cities when it comes to the availability of public charging stations, according to a study by FINN.
The state has $78.5 million in federal funds to spend on building a network for fast charging stations along interstates and state highways. The funding is from a national initiative to put charging stations every 50 miles along major highways.