Oklahoma Supreme Court Strikes Down Electric Vehicle Fee


Lauren Lantry, lauren.lantry@sierraclub.org

Tulsa, OK - Today, the Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down H.B. 1449, a bill that sought to implement an annual fee on electric vehicles, ruling the tax unconstitutional because the fee was untethered from a regulatory purpose and simply sought to impose a new financial burden. In August, the Sierra Club filed a state lawsuit in Oklahoma, challenging the legislature’s passage of H.B. 1449. The bill would have established, without justification, a $100 annual fee for the purchase of an electric vehicle and $30 for the purchase of a hybrid vehicle. The arbitrary fee had no connection to the actual costs and benefits of electric vehicles, requiring electric vehicle drivers to pay more than they would in gas taxes and potentially dissuading future electric vehicle buyers.


Gasoline and diesel-powered transportation doesn’t just put the health of our climate at stake, smog and other air pollutants plague Oklahoma children with bad air days and asthma attacks. Nationally, about 53,000 people die prematurely every year from vehicle pollution, losing 10 years of life on average compared to life without tailpipe emissions. But, unlike gasoline-powered vehicles, electric vehicles provide considerable benefits to Oklahoma; their lack of tailpipe emissions improves Oklahoman’s air quality and benefits their health.

Johnson Bridgewater, the Sierra Club Oklahoma Chapter Director, Released the Following Statement in Response:

“The Sierra Club applauds the Oklahoma Supreme Court for striking down this biased and illegal tax on electric vehicles. There are clear signs that the car industry is poised to go electric quickly, and in Oklahoma, this switch is badly needed. To clean up our dirty air, cut climate emissions and assure Oklahoma is keeping up with the transition to a clean energy economy, we need to accelerate the transition to clean, electric vehicles. With this arbitrary fee removed, Oklahomans can drive down the highway to clean transportation, leaving dirty transportation in the dust.”

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.