While the federal government has accelerated its push for EV adoption and infrastructure buildout, some states have pumped the brakes. In some states, like California, buyers have access to thousands in incentives to buy a new EV, but many are left to fend for themselves with only federal credits available. Taxes are a whole other issue, and Kentucky just dropped the hammer on EV owners with two new taxes for 2024.
Kentucky joins a few other states in levying additional taxes against EV owners. Registering an EV became $120 more expensive on January 1, presumably to account for lost gas tax revenues, which go toward improving roads and related expenditures. At the same time, public EV chargers see an additional three cents per kilowatt-hour. And, in a particularly punitive move, chargers on state property have an additional three cents tacked onto that.
Kentucky charges around an 11 percent tax on gasoline, but as Electrek pointed out, the state’s EV charger tax comes in between 12% and 24%. Since the tax doesn’t apply to home charging, it disproportionately affects people living in apartments and those with longer commutes. The state’s other utility services taxes may also mean EV owners pay three separate taxes to drive and charge their vehicles in public.
Kentucky’s decision to wage financial war against EV owners is puzzling, as the state has frequently touted its position as “the premier location in the United States to manufacture electric vehicles and their parts.” Ford, other automakers, and related suppliers have announced investments totaling billions of dollars, and the state expects more than 10,000 jobs from EVs and components.
Kentucky has also repeatedly noted its low utility costs, saying it has one of the lowest industrial electric rates in the country. Unfortunately for EV owners, those warm and fuzzy feelings haven’t trickled down to the general public.