Annual electric vehicle fee bill passes Texas House, heads to governor's desk

The Texas House has passed a bill that would impose additional annual registration fees for electric vehicles in Texas. SB 505 now heads to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk.

The bill, authored by state Sen. Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville), would impose an annual $200 fee for the registration or renewal of an electric vehicle and a $400 fee for the registration of a new electric vehicle. 

The fee would not apply to autocycles, motorcycles and neighborhood electric vehicles. 

According to the Texas Tribune, legislators have said the fees would make up for gasoline taxes that electric vehicle drivers aren’t paying and would be used for transportation projects. Money collected from this fee would go into the state's highway fund.


Renewable energy and environmental advocates have argued that the fees are too high, including Environment Texas, which released a statement from executive director Luke Metzger calling the fee "punitive": 

"The Texas Legislature is pouring sugar in the tank of the electric vehicle revolution. This punitive fee will make it harder for Texans to afford these clean vehicles which are so critical to reducing air pollution in Texas."

Texas is also home to electric carmaker Tesla's Gigafactory Texas, located in Del Valle. It is the company's U.S. manufacturing hub for its Model Y and global headquarters.

 If signed into law, the legislation would go into effect on Sept. 1.

The Texas Tribune contributed to this report.