EV Registration Fee in Colorado

September 15, 2022

It seems like the world of 2022 is full of fees. Fees to bring a car­ry-on with Fron­tier Air­lines. Fees to book a place to stay in Airbnb. Fees to park your car at a hotel park­ing lot. And none of them ever feel great to pay. How­ev­er, there is one fee I am hap­py to pay and that is the Plug-In Elec­tric Vehi­cle fee for the state of Colorado.

It was a sur­prise to see the fee the first time I reg­is­tered my EV in Garfield Coun­ty, as I did not know there was a EV fee at the time. At reg­is­tra­tion, I was also hand­ed a small stick­er decal to place on my wind­shield to “prove” my Tes­la Mod­el 3 was, indeed, an elec­tric car. I chuck­led to myself, think­ing, well…duh, of course a Tes­la is an EV. I have come to find out much lat­er after Uber­ing many pas­sen­gers in my Tes­la, that in fact, many peo­ple still think a Tes­la is a hybrid. “So, how small is the gas tank?” “You still get gas though, right?” Have been many a ques­tion I have field­ed dri­ving pas­sen­gers to and from their destinations.

So, the decal, which is designed to inform law enforce­ment, allows me to plug into state-fund­ed pub­lic charg­ers, such as those in the new DCFC cor­ri­dor being built out by the Col­orado Ener­gy Office. But what about the reg­is­tra­tion fee that I had to pay?

At reg­is­tra­tion, the fee comes to a grand total of $50 and is paid annu­al­ly at the time of renew­al. I was, excuse the pun, stick­er-shocked when I saw it and thought it was crazy to pay $50 to get a stick­er decal for my car. How­ev­er, dig­ging a bit deep­er, I came to real­ize this fee is quite prac­ti­cal and very much worth the price. Approx­i­mate­ly $30 of the fee is por­tioned for the State High­way Users Tax Fund, which is used for high­way main­te­nance. As a West Slope res­i­dent who trav­els the Divide often, I great­ly appre­ci­ate pay­ing my part for the work to make these roads passable.

The oth­er $20 of the fee is por­tioned for the fund­ing of the DCFC cor­ri­dor itself. This is a fund I am more than hap­py to pro­vide for, as its design is to increase the charg­ing infra­struc­ture state-wide via grants and allows out of town vis­i­tors to explore our state with­out fear of range anxiety.

How­ev­er, start­ing in year 2022, Col­orado Leg­is­la­tion has allowed the state to begin adjust­ing the rate of the fee annu­al­ly as a “road equal­iza­tion” fee. Essen­tial­ly, it gets more expen­sive to take care of the roads over time, and more EV’s means more vehi­cles with heavy bat­ter­ies adding more wear to the roads. As such, the fee could increase as much as $96 by2032. That seems steep think­ing about reg­is­tra­tion in ten years, but con­sid­er­ing today an aver­age Amer­i­can spends annu­al­ly between $150-$400 in gas tax alone for dri­ving an ICE vehi­cle, I'm not ter­ri­bly wor­ried as long as the fund­ing tru­ly expands our charg­ing infra­struc­ture to be very robust in all com­mu­ni­ties across our state.

Writ­ten by Ben Westby

Pho­tos by Ben Westby

Recent Posts

8 Tips For Starting Your Journey to Buying an EV

8 Tips For Starting Your Journey to Buying an EV

Ready to start driving an EV but not sure where to start? Here are some tips about how to navigate the EV Buying Experience:​ Tip 1: Determine your driving needs How far do you drive on a typical day? Are you an adventurous driver who often likes to navigate...

Why Switch to an EV?

Why Switch to an EV?

Why Switch to an EV? As gas prices skyrocket, the interest in EVs is also skyrocketing. Tesla reportedly has seen a doubling of orders in the past few weeks. Other EV manufacturers have not reported in, but their demand has probably gone up as well.   Powering an EV...

Take the pledge to make your next car electric!