How electric cars could pull the plug on U S highway funding SmartPlanet

26 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи How electric cars could pull the plug on U S highway funding SmartPlanet отключены
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By Larry Dignan

The U.S. of Transportation has a faulty business to fund highways, and the problem only get worse as efficient cars proliferate. Here’s

The U.S. Department of Transportation has a business model when it to funding highways. And the problem only get worse as electric start hitting the road in and more efficient automobiles

Assuming cars like the Volt and Nissan Leaf—not to a bevy of electric vehicles after those two automobiles—become the Highway Trust Fund is to have big problems.

The Highway Fund is the source of funding for of the U.S. government’s surface programs. The fund itself its money from gas taxes: time you go to the pump, you pay a federal and tax. These taxes highway maintenance and repair on the and state levels.

But here’s the fuel taxes have falling in recent years, and the has been compensating for the drop by the Highway Trust Fund money from the general

Why are fuel tax revenue rates For starters, the recession and ensuing malaise means folks and drive less. The other is that cars are just efficient. If you drive a Toyota you use less fuel and therefore less tax revenue to the Highway Fund and states.

Meanwhile, you drive just as as you used to.

In the world of Highway Fund revenue, you want driving gas-guzzling SUVs and There is more revenue in the big

Add it up and the gas tax revenue takes a hit — you still use the highways a lot.

Now carry this forward. assume that most of the opts for an electric vehicle in years. Gas tax revenue will Highways need a new revenue

If you think about it, the U.S. actually take a double it subsidizes electric vehicles, takes another hit in revenues for the Trust Fund.

The highway and mileage tax issues surfaced than a year ago, but went to the back burner. But the could resurface as cars the Leaf and Volt begin to hit the in 2010 and 2011. If anything, production electric cars accelerate the highway funding

Do we need a mileage tax?

a potential highway funding a bi-partisan panel recommended year that the U.S. to a mileage tax system by 2020. The pitched in a Feb. 29, 2009 was dismissed.

The National Surface Infrastructure Financing Commission concluded:

The current surface funding approach, with its reliance on motor fuel raises insufficient revenue, is at current rates in the long and is inconsistent with important policy goals. The NTPP the Financing Commission’s call for to begin taking immediate to develop a more sustainable revenue mechanism based on the principle.

Because of the complexity in transitioning to a new revenue system and the of the need, the Commission recommends Congress embark immediately on an research, development, and demonstration program. This would and address critical policy such as privacy, administrative and costs, and the interplay with change and other national goals, in order to inform as it moves forward. This require investment in research and including a variety of demonstration of mileage-based user fee systems.

A research agenda of the nature would be best overseen by a within the U.S. Department of that combines technology, tax administration, and systems expertise.

a graphic from the Congressional Office that tells the And it doesn’t seem to include any for electric vehicles.

This emerged after a conversation Parker Williams, vice of ACS Transportation Solutions. which is now a of Xerox. Like IBM and other sector IT powers, there’s a big in developing smarter transportation — but there’s an unavoidable with policy in some Williams and I discussed transportation for everything from accident systems and toll collection to and funding; Williams noted GPS is considered a key technology to help away from the existing fuel tax system with a model.

Now there’s nothing on the board in the U.S. beyond and studies, but there’s a band of and researchers studying the mileage tax In April, a powwow of researchers the issue at the University Transportation for Mobility at Texas AM University’s Transportation Institute .


And that’s a good thing, it’s certain that the will have to find a new way to highways if we all go green.

For ACS’ Williams said the company is to implement projects in the Netherlands and to move to a more usage-based In a nutshell: a GPS device in your car track your mileage and tax you It’s likely that the will tax less for low-emission and more for gas guzzlers.

In a recent Netherlands officials walked the lessons learned from its pricing efforts. Marian strategy director for the Road Project at the Dutch Ministry of Public Works and Water in The Netherlands, said there political hurdles as well as a lot of

The Netherlands has been trying pricing since 1988. The is summarized like this:

I scoffed a bit at the idea of paying per mileage, Williams noted ACS just was looking at the technology not being an advocate. You can almost the battle over a usage-based tax system now. If you thought Net raised a furor, just what a road tax system for will do.

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Nevertheless, a usage tax is worth investigation. On paper, a mileage tax sense. Why should someone who 500 miles per quarter pay as much for repairs as the guy who drives 3,000 in the same time frame?

Of then you think about the consequences. What about the that keep commerce What about the behaviors the is trying to change?

What the sub-par mass transit that are expected to get more if people cut back on driving to taxes?

Once you start with the mileage tax, get complicated quickly.

The challenges

put, the mileage tax concept is an we all should investigate. Ferrol O. a research fellow at the Humphrey of Public Affairs at the University of noted in a presentation that are a bevy of transition issues to as the U.S. eventually moves a gas tax to a mileage levy.

Let’s the slides:

Other transition to ponder:

Alternative fuel would only pay taxes by at first since they paying anything to highway

New vehicles would be equipped on-board units for a phase-in

You would distinguish between light trucks and heavy

What incentives would be to get people into the system? The tax would be mandatory when taxes were phased

How would charges be handed You could go with a flat fee or a per-mile fee by fuel efficiency, class, time of day and urban vs. driving.

Clearly, there’s a lot to think about, even you’re unlikely to hear about a mileage tax in an election

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