Oklahoma Senate passes DRIVE Act to tax energy used to charge electric vehicles

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An electric car owner prepares to charge his car at an electric car charging station on September 23, 2020 in Corte Madera, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

An electric car owner prepares to charge his car at an electric car charging station on September 23, 2020 in Corte Madera, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma State Senate passed a bill Thursday to levy a tax on the energy used to charge electric vehicles.

House Bill 2234, written by Rep. Kyle Hilbert, R-Bristow, and Sen. Zack Taylor, R-Seminole, seeks the creation of the Driving on Road Infrastructure with Vehicles of Electricity (DRIVE) Act of 2021.

“One of the main sources of funding for Oklahoma’s roads and bridges comes from fuel taxes, but as electric vehicles have become more popular, it’s clear we must find a fair way to ensure those EV drivers are helping support our transportation infrastructure as well,” Taylor said.  “That’s what the DRIVE Act will do.”

The legislation, if signed into law, levies a three-cent tax per kilowatt hour to charge an electric vehicle. However, there would be no tax for electric vehicles that charge at home, according to a State Senate news release.

The bill also seeks to do the following:

  • Charge registration fees for electric vehicles based on the vehicle’s weight and type;
  • Provide an income tax credit for charging taxes paid, not to exceed the electric vehicle’s registration fee;
  • Exempts charging stations already operational by Nov. 1, 2021, from charging the tax until 2041;
  • Direct 85 percent of the revenue to the DRIVE fund for road and bridge infrastructure, which will supplement the state’s current ROADS fund, and 15 percent would be apportioned to counties for deposit in the county highway fund.

“For decades, motorists have largely paid for our road infrastructure with fuel taxes. With the DRIVE Act, Oklahoma has passed forward-thinking legislation that will provide funding for our highway system well into the future for the next generation of automobiles,” Hilbert said.

The bill next heads to Gov. Kevin Stitt.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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