DOT chief: Electric, driverless cars could dry up road funds

FILE- In this June 13, 2016 file photo, production cars are parked outside the GreenTech Automotive manufacturing plant in Robinsonville, Miss. Mississippi's state auditor Stacey Pickering said Wednesday, July 5, 2017, Xiaolin "Charles" Wang, president and chief executive officer of GreenTech Automotive Inc., the head of the troubled electric car company and the company, should repay $6.36 million in state and local aid the company received, plus what Pickering says are penalties, interest and recovery costs. GreenTech promised to invest $60 million and create 350 jobs in Robinsonville. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s transportation chief says state officials need to locate new sources of road-building revenues as gas-powered vehicles get more fuel-efficient, electric car sales increase and autonomous vehicles aren’t just fantasy anymore.

Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon told a legislative committee Monday the state’s gasoline tax could dwindle during the next decade as gas-mileage standards increase and electric vehicles become commonplace.

The state also relies on Division of Motor Vehicles fees and taxes on car sales for road construction, but Trogdon warned those could dry up in the future as driverless cars become a reality.

For now, Trogdon says the Department of Transportation is trying to accelerate delayed projects. He also wants legislators to give his agency the ability to issue up to $3 billion in bonds.