MILWAUKEE- Electric Vehicles are becoming evermore present on roadways in the Badger State.
According to a study by the Wisconsin Policy Forum, the number of electric vehicles, or EV’s, registered in Wisconsin jumped from 319 in 2013 to roughly 10,000 at the end of 2021. Electric vehicle registrations have increased, on average, by more than 50% each year since 2013. In Wisconsin there are roughly 5.5 million total passenger vehicles registered in the state.
“The DOT is projecting that by 2027, so just five years out, they will be up to more than 200,000 registered electric vehicles and by the year 2050, the state DOT is projecting that electric vehicles will be about 1/3rd of the total fleet in Wisconsin,” Wisconsin Policy Forum Researcher Mark Sommerhouser says. “Certainly as we do see electric vehicles & hybrid vehicles make up a bigger share of the total vehicle fleet in our state that is going to have an impact on our infrastructure and how we fund our transportation system.”
Given the rise in EV registrations, the state could lose thousands, if not millions of dollars in gas tax revenue over the next several decades. Revenue from the state fuel tax is roughly 31 cents per gallon. To offset some of the losses, the state has tacked on a registration fee for EV’s of $100 and $75 for hybrid vehicles.
Sommerhauser says the extra registration fee will help stem the tide, but won’t completely make up for the loss of gas tax revenue.
“We don’t think, just based on the analysis we did, that $100 for the typical driver is not going to offset the fuel taxes it would collect from someone driving a traditional gas powered vehicle,” Sommerhauser added. “It’s not a secret to anybody that this is where the future of transportation is and Wisconsin isn’t the only state looking to lessen its reliance on fuel tax and look at other streams of revenue to fund its transportation systems.”
According to the WPF’s study, Wisconsin ranks 35th out of 50 states when it comes to electric vehicle registrations. Sommerhauser says he believes the number of electric cars purchased will increase as the state becomes more electric-vehicle friendly by adding more charging stations in rural areas.
Earlier this month Wisconsin was granted more than $75-million in federal funding to boost its EV infrastructure.
You can read the Policy Forum’s entire study here.