North Carolina’s Plug-in Tax Means EVs Pay Extra, Plug-in Hybrids Don’t

Starting this month, the existing 1600 drivers of fully-electric cars in North Carolina, and those buying in the future, will be required to pay a yearly fee of $100.


The fee is to make up for the deficit from fuel taxes when drivers make the switch to all electric driving. While this change, as we know, is the best in terms of emissions, it does mean that the drivers of these cars are no longer contributing to the upkeep and maintenance of the roads they use as this tax is collected through a tax on gas prices.

In a press release from the North Caroline Department of Transportation they said, ‘All-electric vehicles are being billed because they do not otherwise pay taxes for road use and maintenance. Vehicles fueled by gasoline pay for road upkeep through gas taxes metered at each fill-up.’

The fee will need to be paid when each current owner goes through the registration renewal process for their car. Buyers of new all-electric cars will need to pay when they buy the car in the first instance.

The legislation was passed into law in July by the NC General Assembly and states that owners of a ‘plug-in electric vehicle that is not a low-speed vehicle and that does not rely on a nonelectric source of power’.

This means that neighbourhood electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, as of the moment, don’t need to pay this fee.

Good news for all the Volt, plug-in Prius and future i3 owners out there – among others. If you can get around on just your all-electric range, you are essentially avoiding all fees.

If you are unsure if this applies to your car, just take a look at your fuel type listing on the vehicle’s title application. If it’s a ‘E’ you need to stump up.

Let us know what you think about this tax below.


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  • Nigel Jones

    Long term this is inevitable, since taxes need to be collected some way.nnnHowever it doesn’t feel right that we’re still in the early stages trying to offer incentives for the takeup of EVs yet also applying these taxes.. of course the challenge is the measurement/taxation/renumeration system not adding up for those losing out (in this case the state) ….

    • Kieron

      I agree, surely it is far too early to tax early adopters and the figure does suggest a knee-jerk reaction.

  • Surya

    That’s kind of the opposite from what is happening in Belgium. While road tax is not collected on fuel, the sales tax on electricity was lowered this year from 21% to 6%, making it cheaper to charge your EV. But that is the ONLY positive thing I can say about Belgium and EVs.

  • leptoquark

    I drive a 2012 Leaf, and I would have no problem paying my fair share of road taxes. The only issue I have is where did the $100 number come from? Was it the result of careful study of the average amount paid by average drivers in NC, or did it just get pulled out of thin air because it sounded good? Ideally, plug-ins would have their taxes be based on miles driven. I think that’s the only truly fair, rational way. You would have your odometer inspected and recorded when you renewed your registration.

  • Chaz Smith

    Channeling Jim Neighbor’s Gomer, “For Shame, for shame.” Especially given that NC is a climate change affected hurricane prone state. Should at least tax plug in hybrids too, perhaps something that would take into account battery size.

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