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The Future Impact of Electric Vehicles on Transportation Planning

While very few states have regulatory requirements around electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS), they are not ignoring the rise in popularity and the impact that fewer gas-powered cars on the road will have on transportation budgets.  David Donoho, PE, Transportation Principal, provided insight to the future impact of electric vehicles on transportation planning and DOTs.


Gas vs Vehicle Miles Traveled Tax  

Traditionally, most DOTs (Department of Transportation) primarily fund road maintenance and repair with fuel tax (money collected every time you fill up your tank at the gas station). As the amount of electric vehicles on the road increases, the amount of fuel tax collected is decreasing. While there is a user fee for electric vehicles, many DOTs are concerned that unless the funding changes, the amount of resources to fund and repair roads will dry up.   

One answer is to impose a vehicle miles-traveled (VMT) tax – an annual tax based on a vehicle’s miles traveled per year (the more you drive, the more you pay for the roads). While no state has yet to impose a vehicle miles-traveled (VMT) tax on private vehicles, a few states are running pilot programs and working to garner public support.  (Commercial vehicles basically pay a VMT tax as the fuel tax is paid to each state based on their miles traveled in the respective state.) The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has $125 million allocated to fund national, state, and local VMT pilot programs to replace fuel taxes.  

Advantages to VMT  

  • Raises revenue for essential transportation and infrastructure projects
  • Both personal and commercial vehicles would pay the VMT tax  
  • Drivers would be taxed based on how much they drive, not what they pay at the pump 

Disadvantages to VMT  

  • Privacy concerns that the government could track citizens’ movements, including where and when they drive  
  • Administratively difficult, since every driver would need a device installed in their vehicle to track the number of miles they drive   
  • Rural drivers tend to drive more, on average, and could therefore pay more than their urban and suburban counterparts  
  • State’s miss out on pass-through travelers with VMT taxes collected only by the state of residence 


Electric Vehicle Charging Station series links:

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations 101

Design Considerations for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Designing EV Charging Station Infrastructure

Building Sustainability with Electric Vehicles

The Future Impact of Electric Vehicles on Transportation Planning

Do you have questions about electric vehicle charging stations? Don’t hesitate to reach out to SSR for our guidance and expertise. Email and someone will promptly follow up.