Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Tesla Semi and Other Electric Semi Trucks Are Going to Screw Up Road Budgets.

So the electric semi truck from Tesla and others are coming shortly.  There is a host of advantages to this technology coming out now, obviously, the reduction in pollution, improved safety features, reduction in noise are all going to be advantages.

However what happens to state and local transportation budgets when tax revenues from commercial diesel fuel sales start to decrease?  

Here are just some of the tax/local revenue impacts of this technology
  • Reduced fuel taxes going into the road fund.
  • Reduced fuel sales at local truck stops and gas stations selling commercial diesel
  • Reduced video gaming revenue for local municipalities and the state of Illinois.  The largest revenue video poker locations are almost all truck stops.  
  • Reduced ancillary revenues at truck stops, if you don't have to stop at a truck stop to fuel up you don't go in to buy stuff.
  • Reduced revenues from taxes on ancillary truck supply and maintenance spending.  If it is like the electric cars, they are not going to need to get oil changes.   

You are either going to have to tax these trucks on a per-mile basis or figure out some sort of way to make up for the motor fuel tax losses.  There is some time before these become wide scale, 2022 perhaps, when it happens (and it is going to happen because of the lower project cost per mile) it is going to be a significant change to how good are moved over medium distances in this country.

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