Louisiana Legislature passes electric, hybrid vehicle fee

June 8, 2022

Keith Goble

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The Louisiana Legislature has voted to send a bill to the governor’s desk that is intended to address supplementing transportation funding via electric and hybrid vehicles.

House lawmakers voted 88-10 to sign off on Senate changes to a bill to capture needed transportation revenue from owners of fuel-efficient vehicles. The Senate approved the bill on a 34-1 vote.

Sponsored by Rep. Barbara Freiberg, R-Baton Rouge, HB1031 would impose annual road use fees for electric and hybrid vehicles. Specifically, annual fees of $110 for electric vehicles and $60 for hybrid vehicles would be implemented.

Freiberg said the annual fee is what the average traditional vehicle owner would pay yearly from the state’s 20-cent-per-gallon fuel tax. The figure was based on average miles traveled per gallon.

Sen. Stewart Cathey, R-Bossier City, proposed an amendment on the Senate floor to remove language in the bill to collect annual fees on hybrid vehicles. He cited the partial use of fuel in affected vehicles already subjects owners to paying a road usage fee via the state’s excise tax.

The revision was soundly defeated by senators.

Supporters say electric and hybrid vehicle owners need to pay something for road use.

Following in the footsteps of other states

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development would receive 70% of the money collected. The rest of the money would be directed to the Parish Transportation Fund where it would be distributed to local governments.

About 30 states impose a special registration fee for plug-in electric and/or plug-in hybrid vehicles.

DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson has said HB1031 would allow Louisiana to follow in the footsteps of many other states.

“The intent behind this bill is to establish a principle of paying a fair share,” Wilson recently testified. “And the fair share is that with the evolution and the growth in electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles that’s something we’re currently not taking advantage of.”

Gov. John Bel Edwards can sign the bill into law, let it become law without his signature, or he can veto it. LL

More Land Line coverage of news from Louisiana.

 

Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.