Stories by Jim Barbaresso

Expert Voices

A mileage-based tax could rescue the Highway Trust Fund

Illustration of an electric car charging pump with a dollar bill as the prong.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Highway Trust Fund, which finances road repairs, construction, and more, is paid for by the federal fuel tax — but will need a new funding model as EVs proliferate, because EV owners won't pay for fuel.

Why it matters: For years, the Highway Trust Fund has barely avoided bankruptcy, saved by marginal increases in vehicle miles driven and by cash infusions. This system will be unsustainable if EVs continue to grow in popularity.

Expert Voices

Electric vehicles are outstripping the supply of charging stations

Illustration of a power line struggling under the weight of electrical wires
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As electric vehicles proliferate, it is increasingly urgent to address limitations of the U.S. electrical grid and anticipate the effects of fully autonomous vehicles on charging strategies and infrastructure.

The big picture: Driven by market forces, tightening emissions rules and environmental concerns, automakers are introducing nearly 100 hybrid and electric vehicle models through 2022 — and many have an eye toward electric AVs eventually.

Expert Voices

Cities are experimenting with ways to reduce traffic ahead of AVs

Night view of Times Square in New York City with cars in traffic
Times Square in New York City. Photo: Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

Cities are adopting tolling and closed-loop shuttle buses to mitigate traffic, to integrate AVs into public transit, and to prepare for the possibility that AVs used in ride-hailing could exacerbate urban congestion.

The big picture: Reducing congestion in densely populated, trafficked metro areas will require distributing people more strategically across transit options and routes.