Texan EV owners face additional charges during registration renewal

Electric Vehicle Owners in Texas to Face Increased Registration Fees

AUSTIN, Texas – Electric vehicle owners in Texas are in for a surprise as they face significant increases in registration fees during the next renewal period. While many drivers have embraced electric vehicles due to their numerous advantages, beginning this fall, they will be required to shoulder an additional financial burden.

“It’s the next generation, and then it’s green energy, so I want to support it, and it has a lot of technology into it,” expressed Suneel Vallabhaneni, an electric vehicle owner, emphasizing his commitment to the technology.

However, not everyone shares Vallabhaneni’s enthusiasm. Some perceive the fee increase as an unfair measure that contradicts the objective of promoting new technology. Vallabhaneni himself stated, “Instead of actually promoting new technology, it seems a little unfair that they’re charging more for the new technology.”

According to the new law, drivers of all-electric vehicles will be required to pay an extra $200 during the registration renewal process. While the fee will not be imposed on all registrants on September 1, it will gradually come into effect as individual registration renewals approach.

Larry Gaddes, the Williamson County Tax Assessor Collector, clarified that the fees were established through Senate Bill 505, which Governor Greg Abbott signed into law in May. This bill will be implemented from September 1 onward.

“The Texas Legislature has enacted that fee in order for the folks that are driving electric vehicles to, I think, pay their fair share into the state highway fund, which is a fund at the state level that helps build and maintain roads throughout the state,” explained Gaddes, shedding light on the rationale behind the fee hike.

While electric vehicles still constitute a minority on Texas roads, their numbers are steadily increasing. Gaddes disclosed that the number of registered electric vehicles reached 100,000 in 2020, marking a tenfold growth compared to 2016. However, this figure still represents less than one percent of the 25 million registered vehicles in the state, which predominantly consist of internal combustion engine vehicles.

For Texans registering a new electric vehicle, the upfront cost will be even higher, amounting to $400. Despite this increase, Vallabhaneni maintained that the benefits outweigh the financial implications. Nevertheless, he expressed concern about the possibility of further fee hikes, urging policymakers to avoid continuous escalation.

To avoid the augmented fees, Gaddes recommended that individuals with expiring registrations in September or October renew their registration ahead of time. As soon as September 1 arrives, the additional fee will be imposed. Registrations can be completed through convenient online platforms or at HEB business centers.

As Texas encourages the adoption of electric vehicles, the introduction of increased registration fees aims to ensure electric vehicle owners’ contribution to the state highway fund, allowing the necessary construction and maintenance of roads throughout Texas. However, it remains to be seen how these additional costs will impact the growth and popularity of electric vehicles in the state.

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