UC ITS Research Reports
Available online at: https://escholarship.org/uc/item/4j78f7x0
Jenn, Alan and Kelly Fleming (2019) Policy Brief: A Zero-Emission Vehicle Registration Fee is Not a Sustainable Funding Source for Maintaining California’s Roadways. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Brief UCD-ITS-RR-19-13
Problem Statement: This study fulfills Section 48 of SB 1, which states that the University of California, Davis will conduct a study “that makes recommendations on potential methodologies to raise revenue from zero-emission and low-emission vehicle owners to achieve the state’s transportation electrification, clean air, and climate targets established under law while also ensuring those vehicle owners pay their fair share of any costs borne by motorists to fund improvements to the transportation system”.
Project Description: The report finds that the registration fee is not a sustainable funding mechanism in light of California’s transition towards ZEVs and the increase in fuel economy. Additionally, the fee detracts from the market adoption of ZEV technologies by as much as a 20% decrease in new ZEV sales. The report also examines alternative funding mechanisms including a fuel tax for hydrogen and electricity, as well as a road user charge (RUC). The report finds that a ZEV exclusive RUC is the most promising alternative to the ZEV registration fee.
Key words: infrastructure, electric vehicles, registration fees, fuel taxes, revenues