We are sharing this important information from TxETRA (Texas Electric Transportation Resources Alliance) with Texas Tesla Owners. Some portions of HB 2221 don't directly apply to Tesla Owners, but overall, the bill improves the situation for all EV owners in the coming years.
As you know, our bill - the Electric Transportation Act (ETA) - has been filed as HB 2221 by Texas House Transportation Committee Chair, Terry Canales. Once it is referred to committee, we will let you know the best way you can express your support. House Transportation Committee staff has told us that they expect a hearing on the ETA the last of week March or the first week of April.
In the meantime, in order to pass the ETA, we need your help to let legislators know what EV and Plug-in Hybrid Drivers think about various proposals in our bill, as well as others unfriendly to EV Drivers. For example, some of you may remember Rep. Ken King's bill from last session that sought to levy a $200 EV registration fee, with $100 for hybrids. That bill has re-emerged this session as HB 427.
We have always maintained that EV drivers are ready and willing to pay our fair share for road and bridge maintenance. However, our job at TxETRA is to ensure that funding proposals treat EV drivers in parity with gasoline cars. If not, as has happened in some states according to CNBC and Consumer Reports, EV adoption could be negatively affected.
Last session, we were able to forestall Rep. King's bill - and other unfair EV fee proposals - through a legislative directive to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to study the issue and report back to the legislature with a fair fee proposal. In that report, the agency recommended a $100 EV fee. Accordingly, this is the amount we have included in our HB 2221. However, we have heard that in addition to Rep. King's EV fee bill, there may be others introduced before tomorrow's March 12th bill filing deadline. Even after that time, lawmakers can try to attach "unfriendly" amendments to existing bills until the end of the session if the subject caption permits.
For this reason, we have created a new TxETRA EV Survey, which we strongly encourage you to take as quickly as possible so that we can visit legislators armed with your opinions. In addition to the suggested fee, our bill includes proposals such as building border-to-border EV charging infrastructure, making the Texas $2500 EV Incentive available to buyers the time of sale (and extending the incentive to include pick-ups), as well as other measures that need your input. Please help us by clicking the link below:
With the largest Tesla factory to date under construction in Austin, Texas stands to become a major EV hub. Now if we can just get the legislature to allow direct sales in Texas without having to do legal workarounds, that would be nice, too.