California is in the midst of several ambitious shifts in its transportation infrastructure, funding, and vehicle fleet composition. Governor Jerry Brown set a target of reaching 5 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2030. Such a rapid increase of electric cars would mean fewer drivers paying fuel taxes, the state’s largest source of transportation revenue. But, in 2017 the passage of SB1 added annual road improvement fees, some of which vary with the value of the vehicles. We compared the revenue lost to the state because electric vehicles with revenue gained by the new fees and found surprising results. The switch to electric vehicles will not necessarily reduce the state’s future revenue for transportation programs.
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