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A new Texas law requires EV owners to pay $200 each time they renew their vehicle registration. It’s double that for first-time EV registrations, which decree Texans pay two years of registration fees upfront, or $400. The reasoning? Gas tax evasion, of sorts.

An image of a "Welcome to Texas, the Lone Star State" sign
Texas is charging an extra $200 for EV registrations | gguy44 via iStock

The state claims that while EVs don’t require gasoline, the tax collected from gas sales goes to the State Highway Fund. The fund enables the state to build and maintain roads. Since EVs use the same roads as everyone else, Senate Bill 505, installed last September, ensures the extra registration fee will fill the gap here.

While various groups and opiners have actually supported the bill, there has been debate on the fee amount. The $200 accounts for both state and federal gas tax loss. Some entities have argued that the fee should only account for lost state taxes and that the feds should come up with their own solution to collect any perceived rift.

According to the Texas Tribune, EV use in the state jumped from only 8,397 vehicles in 2016 to over 100,000 in 2022. Still, this is less than half a percent of cars driving on Texas roads.

One Texan EV driver called the fee “arbitrary,” saying he wasn’t quite sure why he was being billed but that he was forced to pay. While there’s immense pressure to convert the public from gas-powered engines to EVs, any financial motivations to switch will likely go away as time passes. Between the base price of electric cars and the connection between transportation-related transactions and its funding, we’ll pay up one way or another.