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Special tax for e-cars

Subsidies on purchase, cheap electricity and no petrol tax: driving an e-car is cheap. This is what politicians generally want in order to promote the switch to electric vehicles. But the state loses a lot of money every year due to the lack of petrol tax. In the USA, e-car drivers are now being asked to pay.

Almost 30 US states want to charge e-car drivers a tax or fee in the future. This is because the states are losing a lot of tax money because of the electric cars. Since e-cars do not pay petrol tax, the USA is missing out on a whole 4 billion US dollars annually. This money is normally used, for example, to maintain road infrastructure.

The petrol tax consists of several components. The US federal government gets 3 cents per litre, and in Florida, for example, another 7 cents is added. States are now pursuing different models to cover the missing money. Some states charge a few cents per kilowatt hour directly at the charging station. Some states also collect the missing money through the registration of e-cars. Others charge an annual fee for e-cars, like in Florida, where e-car drivers have to pay the equivalent of 114 euros a year.

Unlike the individual states, the government around Joe Biden (Democratic Party) does not want to charge an additional fee for the electric cars. This does not fit into the government's plan to massively promote electromobility and to advance the switch to the clean technology as quickly as possible.

But the tax or levy on e-cars is not new. In other countries, such as Norway, the vehicle tax for e-cars has been reintroduced so that the state earns at least a little something from e-cars. Nevertheless, driving an e-car in Norway is still significantly cheaper than driving a combustion engine. But the privileges that e-cars have there are also slowly disappearing. In Oslo, you are no longer allowed to use the bus lane with an e-car and free parking is also being abolished. Since e-cars are now very widespread - for the first time, their market share of new cars was over 50%, and if you include hybrid vehicles, even around 75% - the privileges are becoming less and less.

In Germany, the government only recently decided to extend the tax exemption for e-cars until 2025 as part of the Climate Protection Programme 2030. The vehicle tax was also adjusted and is now more oriented towards CO2 emissions. In this way, the government wants to encourage buyers to purchase more environmentally friendly models, even for internal combustion vehicles. In this country, there still seem to be enough internal combustion cars to keep the government's coffers ringing with petrol taxes. The share of e-cars still has to increase significantly for the federal government to feel the hole in its coffers and change its mind accordingly.

Subsidies make sense to advance the mobility revolution, but someone has to pay for the maintenance of the roads. It is not yet the few e-car drivers. But this is probably only a question of time.