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Electric Car Drivers: Why You Might Not Be Pumped Over Privacy-Jolting Mileage Taxes
By Eric Felten
August 3, 2022
The environmental impact of electric cars may still be unknown, but leaders are growing concerned about the threat they pose to the financing of the nation’s highway system. Because freeways and bridges are funded, in large part, through federal and state taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel, the battery-powered future will test whether roads can just be paved with good intentions.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are trying to devise new ways to raise that fuel tax revenue, which in fiscal year 2020 delivered $35 billion to the federal government and an additional $51 billion to state and local governments. But experts say that proposed fixes to the anticipated highway funding shortfall—involving charging drivers for the miles they travel by tracking their movement—pose a significant threat to personal privacy and liberty.