Author Topic: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles  (Read 2968 times)

Enough

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In response to many states that incentivize owning efficient / hybrid / electric vehicles that have fewer negative externalities (i.e. pollution), the state of indiana saw a revenue opportunity with the following logic:

...adding fees for electric cars, as well as plug-in hybrids and battery-electric cars, because they don't burn enough gasoline to generate the same state tax revenue as other vehicles....

Based on legislators' assumption that the average Indiana driver covers 12,000 miles per year, the owner of a car achieving 25 mpg combined would pay $134.40 per year with the increased gas tax.


https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1108174_indiana-too-slaps-electric-cars-with-150-fee-for-not-using-gas

2018 fees: $150 for electric vehicles, $50 for hybrid.

https://www.in.gov/bmv/files/Fee_Chart.pdf

No credit given to the weight of these vehicles being lower (and resulting in less road wear) or that there is no difference in the gas tax being collected between a hybrid that gets 40mpg or an efficient ICE that gets 40 mpg or that by burning less fuel, hybrid and electric vehicles pollute less and make the overall population healthier than say driving a 10-25mpg SUV / Truck.

....

I paid my higher registration taxes.  Unenthusiastically.

/end rant

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2018, 12:15:47 PM »
The tax revenue does have to come from somewhere, and until hybrids and electric cars became viable in large numbers the tax on fuel did approximate a "user-pay" system wherein people paid roughly proportionately with the wear and tear they put on the roads.

Unless a state has significant other sources of revenue such as mineral or oil income, taxation is the only way it's going to be able to provide and maintain infrastructure.

sol

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2018, 03:30:00 PM »
My state does this too.  $100/year per EV.

17 states are now charging extra fees for electric vehicles:  https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/13-states-now-charge-fees-for-electric-vehicles

And most states are now either repealing or rolling back their EV purchase incentives, too.  That maybe makes sense for Texas, but if your state doesn't produce oil then all gasoline taxes are effectively wealth transfers from the citizens of your state to the citizens of somewhere that makes oil.  Isn't it better (from both an economic and a national security standpoint) to subsidize people to buy local electricity instead of foreign oil?
« Last Edit: September 25, 2018, 03:46:16 PM by sol »

ketchup

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2018, 03:44:21 PM »
the weight of these vehicles being lower (and resulting in less road wear)
I'm as pro-EV as the next guy, but aren't most EVs heavy as hell due to the battery pack?

sol

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2018, 03:47:07 PM »
the weight of these vehicles being lower (and resulting in less road wear)
I'm as pro-EV as the next guy, but aren't most EVs heavy as hell due to the battery pack?

Slightly heaver than an ICE of similar size.  Note, however, that there are no EV pickups, vans, suburbans, etc.  Much lighter than those.

ketchup

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2018, 03:50:55 PM »
the weight of these vehicles being lower (and resulting in less road wear)
I'm as pro-EV as the next guy, but aren't most EVs heavy as hell due to the battery pack?

Slightly heaver than an ICE of similar size.  Note, however, that there are no EV pickups, vans, suburbans, etc.  Much lighter than those.
Ah, very true.  My mind skipped over that.  Your median EV is no doubt lighter than your median ICE vehicle of any kind.

EDIT: Just looked it up for fun, a Chevy Bolt is about the same weight as my 2001 Volvo V70 station wagon, which is about 2ft longer.  It weighs about 25% more than my 2005 Kia that's a similar size to the Bolt (slightly larger).
« Last Edit: September 25, 2018, 03:54:25 PM by ketchup »

gaja

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2018, 04:05:07 PM »
the weight of these vehicles being lower (and resulting in less road wear)
I'm as pro-EV as the next guy, but aren't most EVs heavy as hell due to the battery pack?

Road wear also depend on driving style. With and ev you use the brakes less, to regenerate more energy.

Interesting how the costs of pollution are not factored in. It is not true that you need the same sum of money to run the government. If less local air pollution leads to one less person getting early onset dementia, that is quite a few thousand in increased tax revenues and decreased health care costs.

EricEng

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2018, 05:22:43 PM »
Road wear also depend on driving style. With and ev you use the brakes less, to regenerate more energy.
Your wear on the road is the same whether you use regenerative/engine breaking or regular breaks.  Your car stops because the tires pull on the road.  What causes your tires to spin less is irrelevant to the road.

Ultimately, long term states need to switch from gas tax to usage based on mileage driven (with possible factors for wheel count and weight), such as when you renew your registration or when conducting mandatory state emissions or safety inspections.  We already get arbitrary property tax for the vehicles, should be easy to have a formula for miles too.

Syonyk

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2018, 09:35:03 PM »
No credit given to the weight of these vehicles being lower (and resulting in less road wear) or that there is no difference in the gas tax being collected between a hybrid that gets 40mpg or an efficient ICE that gets 40 mpg or that by burning less fuel, hybrid and electric vehicles pollute less and make the overall population healthier than say driving a 10-25mpg SUV / Truck.

Most EVs/hybrids are heavier than the gas cars of comparable size.  Not that it matters.  Road damage is roughly proportional to weight to the 4th (!) power, so what it means is that busses and trucks (18 wheelers, not pickups) are doing the bulk of the road damage.  And by bulk, I mean "Basically all of it."  An 8k lb pickup does more damage than a 3k Mazda, but both simply don't matter compared to the heavy vehicles.

Why on earth would you expect there to be a gas tax difference between a 40mpg hybrid and a 40mpg ICE?  They're burning the same amount of fuel to go the same distance.  A 40mpg hybrid does not "pollute less" than a 40mpg ICE, if both are meeting emissions standards...

You seem to have a mistaken belief of what gas taxes are for in this situation: To pay for road maintenance.  In general, heavier vehicles use more fuel, and vehicles that are on the road more use more fuel, so it's a reasonable approach, if not ideal.

"Wah, wah, I bought an electric car and I have to pay to use the roads!" is... not really a useful rant, 'ya know?  I mean, it's super common, but given that road maintenance is currently (significantly) paid for in gas taxes, an alternative way of making EV owners pay for the roads they use makes rather good sense.

Syonyk

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2018, 09:39:13 PM »
Road wear also depend on driving style. With and ev you use the brakes less, to regenerate more energy.

Really?  Tell me more about how slowing wheels with a motor regenerating power is somehow different than slowing wheels with friction brakes.  As far as the road is concerned, it doesn't care how you slow the wheels, so... "using the brakes less" has an impact on your brake pad life, and zero impact on the road.

Given how torquey EVs are off the line, and the fact that a Model X can go through a set of very expensive tires in 10k miles (a friend's Model X costs as much per mile in tires as my Mazda 3 costs in gas), they're arguably far harder on the road than an ICE, because they dump all their torque into the road, right as they accelerate.  Based on tire wear, this is quite true.

Quote
Interesting how the costs of pollution are not factored in. It is not true that you need the same sum of money to run the government. If less local air pollution leads to one less person getting early onset dementia, that is quite a few thousand in increased tax revenues and decreased health care costs.

And the gas taxes under conversation here have literally nothing to do with that.  They're to pay for the roads.  A carbon or emissions tax is something entirely differently, and it's dishonest, at best, to try and claim a tax for one purpose should really be a tax for something different, especially if your argument then wraps around to "And that's why I shouldn't have to pay it!"

sol

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2018, 10:13:27 PM »
Why on earth would you expect there to be a gas tax difference between a 40mpg hybrid and a 40mpg ICE?  They're burning the same amount of fuel to go the same distance. 

He was pointing out the unfairness of a state charging a specific EV fee to a 40 mpg hybrid but not a 40 mpg ICE.  We all agree they should pay the same amount in gas tax.  Why should the hybrid owner also be penalized with an extra EV fee?  That's stupid and backwards.

LennStar

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2018, 06:31:21 AM »
Given how torquey EVs are off the line, and the fact that a Model X can go through a set of very expensive tires in 10k miles (a friend's Model X costs as much per mile in tires as my Mazda 3 costs in gas), they're arguably far harder on the road than an ICE, because they dump all their torque into the road, right as they accelerate.  Based on tire wear, this is quite true.

Even with an electric car you don't need to go full power when accelerating! Back to driving style!

And road damage is not based on tire wear, since roads don't get scraped off by tires, but damaged by the up and down, and that is why the really heavy vehicles are the most damaging. Contrary, all that tire wear would build UP a street if it wasn't washed away to the side and would not be scraped off there every decade (And streets consist, to a certain degree, of old "recycled" tires).

Tire wear is btw. responsible for 50% of the micro plastic we put into the world. Every 10K kilometers will easily lose a whole kg of gum from your tires.



Enough

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2018, 06:53:29 AM »
Why on earth would you expect there to be a gas tax difference between a 40mpg hybrid and a 40mpg ICE?  They're burning the same amount of fuel to go the same distance.  A 40mpg hybrid does not "pollute less" than a 40mpg ICE, if both are meeting emissions standards...

That is exactly my argument.  There should not be a difference in the tax, between a 40mpg hybrid and a 40mpg ICE, but Indiana has implemented one where the hybrid owner now pays an additional tax at registration.


"Wah, wah, I bought an electric car and I have to pay to use the roads!" is... not really a useful rant, 'ya know?  I mean, it's super common, but given that road maintenance is currently (significantly) paid for in gas taxes, an alternative way of making EV owners pay for the roads they use makes rather good sense.

Not going to address this silliness.  If you're curious, I drive a 2002 honda insight, not an EV.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2018, 07:29:25 AM by Enough »

boarder42

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2018, 06:56:52 AM »
i have no issue with this its just a change in where you pay for your use of the roads. 

Enough

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2018, 07:22:48 AM »
Also wanted to emphasize that by charging EV owners $150, they are charging more than what those EV owners would pay in gas tax for a comparable ICE vehicle.  Their calculation assumed the comparable vehicle would get 25 MPG, drive 12,000 miles per year and only pay $134.40/yr in gas tax. 

In reality an ICE vehicle comparable to an EV would likely get better gas mileage and an EV owner is likely to have a shorter commute and therefore drive less than the average resident's 12,000 miles per year driven. 

So the point of this rant is, why tax electric vehicle and hybrid vehicle owners more than their comparable ICE owners when their are fewer negative externalities from the former?

boarder42

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2018, 07:29:36 AM »
Also wanted to emphasize that by charging EV owners $150, they are charging more than what those EV owners would pay in gas tax for a comparable ICE vehicle.  Their calculation assumed the comparable vehicle would get 25 MPG, drive 12,000 miles per year and only pay $134.40/yr in gas tax. 

In reality an ICE vehicle comparable to an EV would likely get better gas mileage and an EV owner is likely to have a shorter commute and therefore drive less than the average resident's 12,000 miles per year driven. 

So the point of this rant is, why tax electric vehicle and hybrid vehicle owners more than their comparable ICE owners when their are fewer negative externalities from the former?

really boo hoo you're paying a bit extra - maybe the state sees this as an opportunity to get more revenue into the road systems b/c the current revenue isnt enough.  Probably b/c its been decreasing for years due to ICE cars getting more efficient.

i still dont really see any issues here. 

StarBright

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2018, 07:53:48 AM »
Indiana has to make up for their road privatization mess somehow :) My understanding is that the IDOT budget took a nasty hit over the failed I69 project.

JLee

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2018, 09:32:01 AM »
Given how torquey EVs are off the line, and the fact that a Model X can go through a set of very expensive tires in 10k miles (a friend's Model X costs as much per mile in tires as my Mazda 3 costs in gas), they're arguably far harder on the road than an ICE, because they dump all their torque into the road, right as they accelerate.  Based on tire wear, this is quite true.

Even with an electric car you don't need to go full power when accelerating! Back to driving style!

And road damage is not based on tire wear, since roads don't get scraped off by tires, but damaged by the up and down, and that is why the really heavy vehicles are the most damaging. Contrary, all that tire wear would build UP a street if it wasn't washed away to the side and would not be scraped off there every decade (And streets consist, to a certain degree, of old "recycled" tires).

Tire wear is btw. responsible for 50% of the micro plastic we put into the world. Every 10K kilometers will easily lose a whole kg of gum from your tires.

A Michelin Defender T + H in 215/60R17 weighs 24.18 lbs and has an 80k mile warranty.  If your assertion was true, this tire would have 4lbs of floating power by the end of its life.  If you mean 1kg per four tires, that means a 24 lb tire would be 17 lbs when it's worn out, i.e. losing 30% of its mass. Just..no.

Edit: ok I'm not done.

The report found between 15% and 31% of plastic pollution came from primary microplastics, of which the biggest contributors (almost two-thirds) were abrasion of synthetic textiles, while washing, and abrasion of tyres, while driving.

Where are you getting your data?
« Last Edit: September 26, 2018, 09:34:53 AM by JLee »

PizzaSteve

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2018, 09:35:54 AM »
Many advocate migrating away from fuel taxes to a per mile charge, but consumers and voters cant process that we need to pay for roads and bridges somehow.  A somewhat hidden gas tax seems the only way that works right now, as voters reject income taxes, federal funding via federal taxes, high registration fees, etc.  The fee collection infrastructure is there to tax fuel, but hybrids and electric have started to mess with that revenue stream.

Question...how does OP propose funding roads that is fair to everyone.  Universal tollroads?
« Last Edit: September 26, 2018, 09:39:40 AM by PizzaSteve »

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2018, 10:52:34 AM »
Many advocate migrating away from fuel taxes to a per mile charge, but consumers and voters cant process that we need to pay for roads and bridges somehow.  A somewhat hidden gas tax seems the only way that works right now, as voters reject income taxes, federal funding via federal taxes, high registration fees, etc.  The fee collection infrastructure is there to tax fuel, but hybrids and electric have started to mess with that revenue stream.

Question...how does OP propose funding roads that is fair to everyone.  Universal tollroads?

You gave the logical answer in your opening sentence.

Enough

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2018, 11:18:21 AM »
Question...how does OP propose funding roads that is fair to everyone.  Universal tollroads?

There seems to be a theme to the responses that people think I am against any taxes on EVs / hybrids.  That is not the case.  I'll restate.  I am frustrated that Indiana is taxing EVs and hybrids at a higher rate than traditional ICEs.  Doubly frustrated because I believe gov't policies should incentivize behaviors that help a community, not the opposite.

Deviating from the main point to answer your question.  I think a true cost gas tax that takes into consideration all the negative externalities of burning fossil fuels would be appropriate.  This would end up with gas prices closer to what is seen in other developed nations across the atlantic.  However, it would shape behaviors around fuel consumption to reflect the actual costs of that consumption.

magnet18

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2018, 12:01:16 PM »
I'm pro EV, but you don't get to use the roads for free just because you found a way not to pay gas tax.  The topic is taxes for roads, nothing to do with "general health of the population" (IMO, let's tax meat and dairy the way we tax cigarettes, that'll help a lot of things, but I digress)

I'd be ticked in your shoes too though, because they're making an assumption about how much you drive.

IMO, the most logical thing is to get road tax money from a tax on tires.  The tires are what wear the road out.  The more you drive, the more tires you buy.  Doesn't matter what type of vehicle.

Car Jack

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2018, 12:03:52 PM »
Sounds like Indiana needed a fast solution to perceived lost revenue.  Have they been increasing gas tax since the 60's, since cars have been steadily getting better MPG since that time?  I'd think a more fair solution might be to increase gas tax and increase electricity tax.  If people keep buying more dagnabit better mpg cars, then increase the tax even more.

aasdfadsf

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2018, 03:49:55 PM »
The number of EVs in Indiana must be tiny, and the missed revenue they cause from lack of gas sales is probably a rounding error. The linked article has the legislature estimating that the new fee will generate up to $2 million a year. Indiana's budget is over $30 billion per year, so we're talking less than 0.007% of the budget.

The idea that this is a sincere effort to correct a meaningful budget problem is preposterous. This is about hippie-punching and affinity signaling to the nimrods who buy gas guzzlers.

sol

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2018, 04:24:54 PM »
IMO, the most logical thing is to get road tax money from a tax on tires.  The tires are what wear the road out.  The more you drive, the more tires you buy.  Doesn't matter what type of vehicle.

While this seems like a genius idea at first glance, I'd be worried about it creating a perverse incentive system in which cities deliberately don't repair their roads in order to ruin tires faster and thus generate more revenue (which they would still not use on repairing the roads).

JLee

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #25 on: September 26, 2018, 04:40:16 PM »
IMO, the most logical thing is to get road tax money from a tax on tires.  The tires are what wear the road out.  The more you drive, the more tires you buy.  Doesn't matter what type of vehicle.

Tires should be replaced periodically due to age, regardless of mileage. This sounds like a great reason for people to keep deathtrap tires on their cars.

Syonyk

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #26 on: September 26, 2018, 04:49:38 PM »
The idea that this is a sincere effort to correct a meaningful budget problem is preposterous. This is about hippie-punching and affinity signaling to the nimrods who buy gas guzzlers.

Or it's a recognition that EVs are likely to continue growing in numbers, and making a change to "Yes, there is a road tax for EVs" while there are still fairly few is far easier than waiting until half the state has one...

BDWW

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #27 on: September 26, 2018, 04:51:42 PM »
IMO, the most logical thing is to get road tax money from a tax on tires.  The tires are what wear the road out.  The more you drive, the more tires you buy.  Doesn't matter what type of vehicle.

Tires should be replaced periodically due to age, regardless of mileage. This sounds like a great reason for people to keep deathtrap tires on their cars.
IMO, the most logical thing is to get road tax money from a tax on tires.  The tires are what wear the road out.  The more you drive, the more tires you buy.  Doesn't matter what type of vehicle.

While this seems like a genius idea at first glance, I'd be worried about it creating a perverse incentive system in which cities deliberately don't repair their roads in order to ruin tires faster and thus generate more revenue (which they would still not use on repairing the roads).

Or just put all your state's tire shops out of business (unless you're doing this in Hawaii) because the 5 times in a lifetime you buy new tires, it'd be worth the trip to drive to a neighboring state. Certainly long haul truckers would use geographic arbitrage to skip the tire tax.

Syonyk

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #28 on: September 26, 2018, 05:13:04 PM »
And encouraging driving on dry-rotted tires that "still have tread" is definitely not ideal either.

PizzaSteve

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #29 on: September 26, 2018, 05:24:30 PM »
Many advocate migrating away from fuel taxes to a per mile charge, but consumers and voters cant process that we need to pay for roads and bridges somehow.  A somewhat hidden gas tax seems the only way that works right now, as voters reject income taxes, federal funding via federal taxes, high registration fees, etc.  The fee collection infrastructure is there to tax fuel, but hybrids and electric have started to mess with that revenue stream.

Question...how does OP propose funding roads that is fair to everyone.  Universal tollroads?

You gave the logical answer in your opening sentence.
To be fair, I have some knowledge about this topic and current efforts by leading political figures to address it, as a semi insider.  The challenges are always educating the public and getting deals done either via state senates, federal programs or ballot initiatives.

One of the likely to mature ideas is a combination of more toll roads and an annual fee based on reported mileage through car registration.  Eventually cars will self report, but near term it can be linked to and verified via periodic smog checks.  Already just added hybrids to smog check requirements in CA, and EVs will follow, likely to have their mileage checked. 

Reasearch is going into whether this might disproportionately tax certain vulnerable segements of the population vs gas taxes, but it probably needw to wait until next gen intelligent vehicles are pervasive.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2018, 05:33:37 PM by PizzaSteve »

GhostSaver

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #30 on: September 26, 2018, 07:47:43 PM »
I think it's worth jumping in here with a few thoughts.

The gas tax exists, in theory, not just to pay for road construction, but also to encourage consumers to drive less and to drive more efficient vehicles. Tailpipe emissions are bad, both locally (particulates) and globally (greenhouse gases). Traffic congestion is another externality we wish to reduce. The gas tax is currently too low and it is not sufficiently accomplishing any of those goals. We have too much pollution (both particulate and greenhouse gas), too much traffic congestion, and insufficient money for road construction and maintenance (we pay for this - in large part - via income taxes, property taxes, and sales tax is these days, and we are also underinvested in infrastructure).

The solution is to raise the gas tax. Raise it a lot. Then index it for inflation. No, EVs do not pay it. That is okay - there are very, very few EVs on the road, and, in any case, they do not contribute significantly to the pollution problem. If, in 30 years, the pollution issue is solved but we have abundant congestion and road maintenance costs because we have shifted to EVs, we should count ourselves lucky to have such a problem and it may be time to think about congestion pricing in a big way. This fix is basically a no-brainer.

Placing an extra registration fee on EVs makes the pollution problem worse insofar as people will substitute to conventional gas guzzlers, and it does nothing to reduce congestion. It's an obvious attempt to simply soak people who choose more efficient transport in an act of political spite - the inclusion of OP's 2002 Insight makes this plain as day.

Once we've set the gas tax at a rational level, it is time to tackle the problem of our infrastructure costs. It costs way too much to build things in this country. Why are we paying a vast premium to build a mile of road or mile of train track compared to Japan, for example? This is a multi-faceted problem of contracting, and it should be an area of expertise for state and local legislators. They need to solve it.

aasdfadsf

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #31 on: September 26, 2018, 08:24:40 PM »
The idea that this is a sincere effort to correct a meaningful budget problem is preposterous. This is about hippie-punching and affinity signaling to the nimrods who buy gas guzzlers.

Or it's a recognition that EVs are likely to continue growing in numbers, and making a change to "Yes, there is a road tax for EVs" while there are still fairly few is far easier than waiting until half the state has one...
Yeah right, the political party that routinely passes tax cuts without any concern for how to pay for them suddenly decided that they needed to raise taxes to make up for a hypothetical future in which everyone buys EVs, even though they scoff at the idea that Real Americans will ever want to buy EVs.

When Indiana Republicans stage a public flag burning and gay love-in, maybe I'll believe this law was motivated by fiscal prudence.

Syonyk

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #32 on: September 26, 2018, 09:10:33 PM »
Yeah right, the political party that routinely passes tax cuts without any concern for how to pay for them suddenly decided that they needed to raise taxes to make up for a hypothetical future in which everyone buys EVs, even though they scoff at the idea that Real Americans will ever want to buy EVs.

When Indiana Republicans stage a public flag burning and gay love-in, maybe I'll believe this law was motivated by fiscal prudence.

Right, sorry, forgot it's required on this corner of the internet to treat conservatives in government as cartoon villains, twirling their evil mustache while they plot evilly evil plans for the sake of being evil.

ketchup

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #33 on: September 26, 2018, 09:13:17 PM »
I think this could be spun as a positive.  If EVs are on their way to being mainstream (and it sure seems like they are), they don't need to be propped up by government incentives as much anymore, and states need to be ready for when they become ubiquitous.  They can't subsidize every car on the road.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #34 on: September 26, 2018, 09:41:48 PM »
I think it's worth jumping in here with a few thoughts.

The gas tax exists, in theory, not just to pay for road construction, but also to encourage consumers to drive less and to drive more efficient vehicles. Tailpipe emissions are bad, both locally (particulates) and globally (greenhouse gases). Traffic congestion is another externality we wish to reduce. The gas tax is currently too low and it is not sufficiently accomplishing any of those goals. We have too much pollution (both particulate and greenhouse gas), too much traffic congestion, and insufficient money for road construction and maintenance (we pay for this - in large part - via income taxes, property taxes, and sales tax is these days, and we are also underinvested in infrastructure).

The solution is to raise the gas tax. Raise it a lot. Then index it for inflation. No, EVs do not pay it. That is okay - there are very, very few EVs on the road, and, in any case, they do not contribute significantly to the pollution problem. If, in 30 years, the pollution issue is solved but we have abundant congestion and road maintenance costs because we have shifted to EVs, we should count ourselves lucky to have such a problem and it may be time to think about congestion pricing in a big way. This fix is basically a no-brainer.

Placing an extra registration fee on EVs makes the pollution problem worse insofar as people will substitute to conventional gas guzzlers, and it does nothing to reduce congestion. It's an obvious attempt to simply soak people who choose more efficient transport in an act of political spite - the inclusion of OP's 2002 Insight makes this plain as day.

Once we've set the gas tax at a rational level, it is time to tackle the problem of our infrastructure costs. It costs way too much to build things in this country. Why are we paying a vast premium to build a mile of road or mile of train track compared to Japan, for example? This is a multi-faceted problem of contracting, and it should be an area of expertise for state and local legislators. They need to solve it.

1. Thermal expansion.
2. Population density just isn't there: there's a lot to be said for a concentrated tax base.
3. Lack of public lands or rights-of-way (basic non-planning, decades ago, combined with sweetheart deals when existing public lands or assets were liquidated).
4. Repeated eminent domain abuse, which led to deliberate attempts to thwart it.
5. A legal system that makes it easy to throw a monkey wrench into any public works project simply by shrieking "NIMBY!"

Paul der Krake

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #35 on: September 26, 2018, 10:02:49 PM »
Once we've set the gas tax at a rational level, it is time to tackle the problem of our infrastructure costs. It costs way too much to build things in this country. Why are we paying a vast premium to build a mile of road or mile of train track compared to Japan, for example? This is a multi-faceted problem of contracting, and it should be an area of expertise for state and local legislators. They need to solve it.
It's those damn construction workers who insist on getting paid enough to buy their own food and their own homes. Import some Yugoslavians on temporary visas and the problem goes away.

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #36 on: September 26, 2018, 10:22:11 PM »
I think this could be spun as a positive.  If EVs are on their way to being mainstream (and it sure seems like they are), they don't need to be propped up by government incentives as much anymore, and states need to be ready for when they become ubiquitous.  They can't subsidize every car on the road.

Seriously.  States paying people a couple grand every time they buy a car, and then getting nothing back for road maintenance, is not exactly "fiscally responsible."

It's those damn construction workers who insist on getting paid enough to buy their own food and their own homes. Import some Yugoslavians on temporary visas and the problem goes away.

Maybe we can export the infrastructure building to China!  I'm sure that will work well!  Just have them ship us ready-to-install bridges!  ::rolleyes::

It's not a crime for a country to pay local labor some useful amount of money.  And, arguably, exporting all our manufacturing to China and gutting domestic manufacturing hasn't worked out that well for large chunks of the population.  "Well, no, there are no jobs you're qualified for, but LOOK A WALMART!" is not a useful direction to be moving.

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #37 on: September 26, 2018, 10:37:17 PM »
I think it's worth jumping in here with a few thoughts.

The gas tax exists, in theory, not just to pay for road construction, but also to encourage consumers to drive less and to drive more efficient vehicles. Tailpipe emissions are bad, both locally (particulates) and globally (greenhouse gases). Traffic congestion is another externality we wish to reduce. The gas tax is currently too low and it is not sufficiently accomplishing any of those goals. We have too much pollution (both particulate and greenhouse gas), too much traffic congestion, and insufficient money for road construction and maintenance (we pay for this - in large part - via income taxes, property taxes, and sales tax is these days, and we are also underinvested in infrastructure).

The solution is to raise the gas tax. Raise it a lot. Then index it for inflation. No, EVs do not pay it. That is okay - there are very, very few EVs on the road, and, in any case, they do not contribute significantly to the pollution problem. If, in 30 years, the pollution issue is solved but we have abundant congestion and road maintenance costs because we have shifted to EVs, we should count ourselves lucky to have such a problem and it may be time to think about congestion pricing in a big way. This fix is basically a no-brainer.

Placing an extra registration fee on EVs makes the pollution problem worse insofar as people will substitute to conventional gas guzzlers, and it does nothing to reduce congestion. It's an obvious attempt to simply soak people who choose more efficient transport in an act of political spite - the inclusion of OP's 2002 Insight makes this plain as day.

Once we've set the gas tax at a rational level, it is time to tackle the problem of our infrastructure costs. It costs way too much to build things in this country. Why are we paying a vast premium to build a mile of road or mile of train track compared to Japan, for example? This is a multi-faceted problem of contracting, and it should be an area of expertise for state and local legislators. They need to solve it.

1. Thermal expansion.
2. Population density just isn't there: there's a lot to be said for a concentrated tax base.
3. Lack of public lands or rights-of-way (basic non-planning, decades ago, combined with sweetheart deals when existing public lands or assets were liquidated).
4. Repeated eminent domain abuse, which led to deliberate attempts to thwart it.
5. A legal system that makes it easy to throw a monkey wrench into any public works project simply by shrieking "NIMBY!"

I don't buy population density or thermal expansion as reasons. We have this problem compared to every other first world country, with varying climates and population densities. Within our own country, we spend too much building subways in New York and also highways in rural Iowa.

Maybe there is something to be said for poor planning making it difficult to assemble a ROW. But we have a Constitutionally-enumerated eminent domain process and it was found to have a broad scope in Kelo, so I'm not sure I buy that as a major explanation.

I suspect the NIMBY thing is important, at least in some cases. Fixing it is doable but hard.

I have read that some researchers suspect that our system of construction contracting is broken: we have too many layers of sub-contractors and not enough in the way of vertical integration. This makes intuitive sense to me and it could be a big part of the problem, but I don't have a good fix. Maybe some monied asshole like Musk or Bezos needs to start a ruthlessly-run, vertically-integrated infrastructure construction biz to see if they can outbid all the incumbents.

Serious LOL at the notion that we pay the guys filling potholes much better money than they make in the UK or Korea or wherever. That's a good one. I suspect that we pay the contractor more and that money gets hoovered up by the extra layer of bosses and project managers involved in all the subcontracting. But we are getting well outside of my area of expertise (I am a tax wonk turned private sector data analytics guy. I know taxes well. How the money gets spent is a question we left to others, so I'm fuzzy on it.)

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #38 on: September 27, 2018, 07:39:23 AM »
I'm pro EV, but you don't get to use the roads for free just because you found a way not to pay gas tax.  The topic is taxes for roads, nothing to do with "general health of the population" (IMO, let's tax meat and dairy the way we tax cigarettes, that'll help a lot of things, but I digress)

I'd be ticked in your shoes too though, because they're making an assumption about how much you drive.

IMO, the most logical thing is to get road tax money from a tax on tires.  The tires are what wear the road out.  The more you drive, the more tires you buy.  Doesn't matter what type of vehicle.

Too many people would do dumb things to avoid the tire tax. There's already a solid used tire market, which would be pretty difficult to work around.

The real problem is people running on old tires way too long, repairing tires that should be replaced, etc. You raise the cost way high, and more people will "risk it", cause they can't afford it out of pocket.

New (or used) replacement tires are already quite a burded to paycheck to paycheck people.

MrsWolfeRN

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #39 on: September 27, 2018, 08:12:15 AM »
It could be an attempt to be progressive, since EVs cost more to buy than an equivalent IC vehicle, so are more likely to be owned by rich people.

JLee

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #40 on: September 27, 2018, 08:20:45 AM »
I'm pro EV, but you don't get to use the roads for free just because you found a way not to pay gas tax.  The topic is taxes for roads, nothing to do with "general health of the population" (IMO, let's tax meat and dairy the way we tax cigarettes, that'll help a lot of things, but I digress)

I'd be ticked in your shoes too though, because they're making an assumption about how much you drive.

IMO, the most logical thing is to get road tax money from a tax on tires.  The tires are what wear the road out.  The more you drive, the more tires you buy.  Doesn't matter what type of vehicle.

Too many people would do dumb things to avoid the tire tax. There's already a solid used tire market, which would be pretty difficult to work around.

The real problem is people running on old tires way too long, repairing tires that should be replaced, etc. You raise the cost way high, and more people will "risk it", cause they can't afford it out of pocket.

New (or used) replacement tires are already quite a burded to paycheck to paycheck people.

I stopped on the side of the highway Tuesday night and helped someone with a tire change -- the whole sidewall had blown out and the tire was destroyed. It had plenty of tread depth remaining, but had evidence of dry rot.  Not safe..

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #41 on: September 27, 2018, 08:58:25 AM »
Given how torquey EVs are off the line, and the fact that a Model X can go through a set of very expensive tires in 10k miles (a friend's Model X costs as much per mile in tires as my Mazda 3 costs in gas), they're arguably far harder on the road than an ICE, because they dump all their torque into the road, right as they accelerate.  Based on tire wear, this is quite true.

Even with an electric car you don't need to go full power when accelerating! Back to driving style!

And road damage is not based on tire wear, since roads don't get scraped off by tires, but damaged by the up and down, and that is why the really heavy vehicles are the most damaging. Contrary, all that tire wear would build UP a street if it wasn't washed away to the side and would not be scraped off there every decade (And streets consist, to a certain degree, of old "recycled" tires).

Tire wear is btw. responsible for 50% of the micro plastic we put into the world. Every 10K kilometers will easily lose a whole kg of gum from your tires.

A Michelin Defender T + H in 215/60R17 weighs 24.18 lbs and has an 80k mile warranty.  If your assertion was true, this tire would have 4lbs of floating power by the end of its life.  If you mean 1kg per four tires, that means a 24 lb tire would be 17 lbs when it's worn out, i.e. losing 30% of its mass. Just..no.

Edit: ok I'm not done.

The report found between 15% and 31% of plastic pollution came from primary microplastics, of which the biggest contributors (almost two-thirds) were abrasion of synthetic textiles, while washing, and abrasion of tyres, while driving.

Where are you getting your data?
The 1kg (yes, whole car / 4 tires) from a TV docu show the day before, where they had taxi drivers do the driving and measured the weight.
That is the part:
https://www1.wdr.de/mediathek/video/sendungen/quarks-und-co/video-der-grosse-abriebtest---teil--106.html


Quote
Right, sorry, forgot it's required on this corner of the internet to treat conservatives in government as cartoon villains, twirling their evil mustache while they plot evilly evil plans for the sake of being evil.
Nah, they are just shortsighted, egoistic yesterdayers. Do not give them more credit than they deserve ;)

Quote
Why are we paying a vast premium to build a mile of road or mile of train track compared to Japan, for example?
Because what is considered a normal downtown street in the US is considered an enormous through-country highway in small-land Japan ;)
Just compare a typical (1/3 of all) Japanese Kei-Car to the the typical American F150 (Or 350? you know, those pickups)

I do not know the the cost differences for comparable roads though.

Just Joe

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Re: Rant: Indiana - The backwards state that taxes hybrid and electric vehicles
« Reply #42 on: September 27, 2018, 10:30:14 AM »
Dry rotted tires are fine. Just drive real slow... What can happen at 15 mph? Makes the morning commute a little longer though.