SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Despite a push to get Illinois residents to purchase an electric vehicle, the state is looking into ways to charge owners of EVs more to make up for an anticipated shortfall in gas tax revenue.
State gasoline taxes currently fund about half of Illinois’ road and bridge projects.
According to a new study, Illinois’ plan to put 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030 could result in a $4.3 billion loss in fuel tax revenue normally used for transportation projects.
The study found that even with those measures in place, the average driver contributes $187 annually to the state through motor fuel taxes, while the average EV driver contributes $100 a year.
EV adoption has been accelerating in the state, with a 439% increase in EV registrations between 2017 and 2022.
For an electric car, Illinois charges $100 over the cost of the annual license plate renewal fee in lieu of the payment of motor fuel taxes.
In a meeting with the Illinois News Broadcasters Association in September, Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Omer Osman said the state is looking at additional ways to tax EV drivers to make up for the projected shortfall.
“At some point in time down the road, maybe gradually, as the electric vehicle takes over, then someone’s gotta come up with a different mechanism for us,” he said.
One proposal is including a tax at the charging station, or at the dealership when a vehicle is purchased.
Illinois offered to incentivize owners to buy an electric vehicle, by offering a $4,000 rebate off the purchase price. But those funds may have recently run out, as the number of applications received has exceeded the available funds.
The clean energy policy, signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker, has a goal of having 1 million EVs on the road by 2030.
The Biden administration has awarded $53.7 million to Illinois to build an electric vehicle charging network along the state’s highways.
Gov. Pritzker also signed a bill designed to attract EV manufacturers to Illinois.
Illinois is already making headway on electric cars, as Rivian produced the first-ever, battery-electric pickup truck at the former Mitsubishi plant in Normal.
Recently, Illinois auto dealers appealed a court ruling that allows electric vehicle automakers, like Tesla, Lucid, and Rivian from selling their vehicles directly to customers.