RICHMOND, Ky. — Kentucky electric vehicle and hybrid owners are now required to pay additional fees for registration and fueling up. The policies went into effect on the first of the year.
Mike Proctor knows a thing or two about electricity. The electrical engineer is converting his energy into advocacy for electric vehicles.
Proctor volunteers with Evolve KY, an organization that works to make EVs more accessible.
“They’re fun to drive. It’s good for the planet and good for your wallet,” Proctor said.
But now, electric vehicle and hybrid owners are being taxed for their transportation.
Starting the first of the year, Kentuckians who own an electric or hybrid vehicle will be charged a registration fee, enforced by House Bill 360. These fees range from $60 to $120.
Businesses and spaces offering public chargers are also now taxed. Some EV owners rely on public chargers for their cars to run.
“Those guys in condos and apartments need to go into the public to use them and they’ll be subject to that tax. So it’s the folks with less money get hit the hardest. I think the term they use is a regressive process, and so we would just like to see things a little more even keel,” Proctor explained.
In 2022, the General Assembly passed House Bill 8, which requires the owner of the charging station to pay three cents per kilowatt of electricity — a unit comparable to a gallon of gasoline.
According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the fees will go toward the Road Fund.
Proctor says the tax is making it harder for people to charge their cars because fewer businesses and public spaces are installing them.
Evolve KY has helped install over 130 public chargers at businesses and public spaces such as libraries and parks. EV owners can use them for free. But, Proctor says, those services may come to an end.
“As soon as folks got wind of the fact that this extra tax is going to be imposed, folks are saying, what did my daddy used to say, ‘I feel for ya, I just can’t reach ya,’, it’s just… it’s not worth it,” Proctor explained.
Proctor wants legislation to get rid of the tax. He says that could make EVs more accessible — a win for every vehicle, electric or gas-powered.
“It helps us and it will help the folks who choose not to go there because we could expect the price to stabilize. The law of supply and demand, if there is not as much demand, then there will be plenty of supply.”
Evolve KY and Rural Reimagined allow Kentuckians in participating counties to borrow an electric vehicle for free for two weeks. The project addresses the lack of EVs and EV infrastructure in the Appalachian region.