On behalf of the Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance (“VTCA”), which represents over 300 companies and tens of thousands employees dedicated to designing, building, and maintaining the Commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure, I write to urge that as the Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy updates the Virginia Energy Plan, consideration is given as to how the Commonwealth will ensure drivers of electric vehicles contribute their fair share to maintaining our state’s infrastructure.
Electric vehicle sales increased by over 25% from 2016 to 2017. Major automotive manufacturers like Volvo and General Motors have announced their intention to end the production of internal combustion engines in favor of all electric vehicles. The rapid growth in electric and alternative fuel vehicles is having a profound impact on gas tax revenues, which constitute a core source of revenue for Virginia’s transportation construction and maintenance programs. In fact, Commonwealth Transportation Fund revenues were down by over $12 million in FY 2018, due primarily to the slower than expected growth in gas tax collections. With the emergence of electric vehicles, it is clear that the gas tax is a long term declining source of revenue for the state’s transportation infrastructure needs.
Currently, Virginia’s electric vehicle owners pay only a $64 annual licensing fee. In the interest of fairness to all motorists and in light of the growth in the number of these vehicles, coupled with the decline of gas tax revenues, we believe it is time to examine in detail whether the current fee structure is adequate to ensure that those who own electric vehicles are providing the resources commiserate with their share of the wear and tear on the Commonwealth’s roads and bridges.
VTCA stands ready to engage in constructive discussions with all stakeholders to ensure that the necessary resources are available to ensure the safety and continued growth of the Commonwealth infrastructure assets.
Thank you in advance for taking into account this growing challenge as you work to update the Commonwealth’s Energy Plan.