CHARLOTTE, N.C. — According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, more than 21,000 electric vehicles were registered in the state last year.
EV owners do not pay for gas, and therefore the state doesn't receive money from those drivers that would come from the gas tax. That's money the state is missing out on to repair and maintain roads.
But, it turns out, electric vehicle owners pay in another way.
North Carolina state law requires EV owners to pay an additional $140 vehicle registration fee. Hybrid owners don't pay anything beyond normal registration fees.
NCDOT said electric vehicle owners pay about $50 less per year than gas vehicle owners when it comes to total taxes and fees for their cars.
A 2018 executive order from North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper pushes the number of zero-emission vehicles registered in North Carolina to at least 80,000 by 2025.
If that happens, NCDOT estimates it could lose between $10.7 million and $18.4 million in revenue.
"The highway use tax, which is you know, the larger of the fees goes into paying for building and maintaining roads and bridges," Marty Homan with NCDOT told WCNC Charlotte. "So that's how we're funded, along with the gas tax."
So it's a delicate line state officials are trying to walk: Maintaining revenue equity for these new vehicles while also encouraging drivers to adopt them to make the climate cleaner.