Florida legislators are once again considering the implementation of yearly registration fees for electric vehicles (EVs).

The Senate Transportation Committee recently supported a bill (SB 28) that would force Florida’s EV drivers to pay a $200 annual registration fee. Hybrid vehicles would face an annual fee of $50, while electric motorcycles would be subject to a $25 fee.

Beginning in 2029, the fees would rise to $250 for EVs, $100 for hybrids, and $35 for electric motorcycles.

State Senator Ed Hooper, the sponsor of the bill, argues that this initiative is an issue of “fairness” for all users of Florida’s road system. Unlike gas car drivers, EV drivers don’t have to pay gas taxes.

The $200 fee is roughly what the average gas car driver would pay in gas taxes over the course of a year, according to the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA).

However, SB 28 has raised concerns among both Democrats and Republicans about potential double taxation of EV owners. EV owners already pay taxes when purchasing electricity at charging stations or their residences.

The bill’s opponents also claim that State Senator Hooper is exaggerating gas tax estimates in order to punish EV drivers. Tesla lobbyist Jeff Sharkey told The Tampa Bay Times that based on his review of the EDTA’s figures, the average gas car driver only pays around $135 in gas taxes per year.

During the 2023 legislative session, a similar proposal was approved by the Senate but did not progress in the House.

If passed, SB 28 would generate an estimated $65 million annually through registration fees. The State Transportation Trust Fund would receive the majority of these funds, while local governments would get the remainder.

SB 28 was inspired by a 2021 report that found that growing EV adoption in Florida could cut “motor-fuel based revenue streams” by up to 20% by 2040.

As of the end of 2022, Florida had 167,990 registered electric vehicles. This was a 189% increase compared to just two years earlier.

32 states impose registration fees on EVs. EV fees tend to be highest in conservative states, reinforcing fears that the fees are more about protecting the oil and gas sectors than about ensuring fairness for drivers.

In conservative Texas, the $200 EV registration fee is more than twice what a gas car driver would pay in annual fuel taxes, according to Politico.

Eight states currently impose EV registration fees of $200 or more. Six of these eight states voted Republican in the 2020 presidential election.