Virginia Proposes To Make EV AND Hybrid Owners Pay More, Gas Guzzlers Less

4 years ago by Jay Cole 22

Bob McDonnell Has A Plan For Getting Revenue For Virginia's Transportation Infrastructure...But Not A Good One For Plug-In Drivers

In about three weeks time, Washington State residents are going to have to pay $100 a year to own and operate an electric car.

The logic behind the fee was sound enough.  As an pure electric car owner, no gas would be purchased, and thus no money would be contributed to funding of transportation infrastructure in the state.  We thought the program might be a arriving a touch early and could hurt the adoption of electric vehicles, but still reasonable in the lng run.

Now, Virginia is going to go one better.  And by one better, we mean one worse.

2013 Nissan LEAF Will Be 20% Costlier To Operate In Virginia

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says that revenue from the gas tax has become stagnent;  partly due to the flattening of oil prices, but also because the national fuel economy MPG figure is at an all-time high – 23.8 MPG (6% better than 2011), and rising thanks to more efficient vehicles on the road.

The solution?  Forget the gas tax entirely!  Make the general population and alternative fuel owners pay more.

“We simply cannot continue to do what we have always done and expect this problem to go away.  The gas tax is a stagnant revenue source, and no changes to it will provide a reliable growth mechanism for transportation in the state.”

Virginia’s gas tax is already one of the lowest in the nation at 17.5 cents per gallon, but this proposal would see the fee scrapped, and the state’s tax (which currently sits at 5%…and always generates more revenue year over year) increased to  .8 cents on the dollar.

All drivers would also incure a new $15 registration fee.

But as a “special bonus,” all owners of plug-in AND hybrid vehicles would also face a $100 annual fee as well due to the fact they are paying less (or no) federal gas taxes.  Lets just nevermind the fact that a third of the population doesn’t even own a car, but will still foot their ‘share’ of the state’s former 17.5 cent gas tax.

Finally, The Plug-In Prius Gets The Same Respect As The Chevrolet Volt. $100 Fee Applies To Both...And The Standard Prius Hybrid Too!

The state’s 91,000 registered plug-in and hybrid vehicles would be affected by this change if enacted.

McDonnell says that his proposal will generate $884 million annually. $3.1 billion for transportation funding over five years, with $1.8 billion of that going to highway construction,

Net result? 

If you are driving around a Ford F350 to buy groceries, or taking an Audi R8 to work, you are going to save a lot of money.  Driving a Nissan LEAF or Chevy Volt?  Not so much.

Maybe the 71st Governor of Virginia should check out his state’s motto again.   Sic Semper Tyrannis – “Thus Always to Tyrants”

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22 responses to "Virginia Proposes To Make EV AND Hybrid Owners Pay More, Gas Guzzlers Less"

  1. David Murray says:

    Who smells the oil company influence here?

  2. Nelson says:

    Short sighted vision. If an EV driver is spending less on transportation they have more money for discretionary spending.
    I would move to another State.

    NPNS!
    Volt#671

    1. kdawg says:

      Move to a state that borders VA, then just cross the border to buy cheap gas.

      1. Jason says:

        As a border resident of NC I fully support VA getting rid of the gas tax. I already go there to get my gas 30 cents cheaper

  3. vdiv says:

    One should also realize that Virginia has a property tax on vehicles levied on a county and city level. My shiny 2012 Volt for example is costing me $100 a month alone ($1100 for the 11 months I’ve had it) to have it registered in Fairfax County. Virginia currently has ZERO incentives to buy an electric car.

    Unlike our neighbor to the South, which is arrogantly considered here a backwater redneck state (ok, they did vote for Romney last time, but only barely) state and local governments have no programs to install a charging infrastructure. One driving an EV would choose to live in Raleigh long before they consider Richmond, which has a charging infrastructure on par with, uhm Durham maybe?

    Arlington county, probably the most progressive place in this state, recently rejected giving just 40 taxi licenses to a company that wanted to deploy Nissan LEAFs, 6 DC fast chargers, and L2 chargers at the homes of the taxi drivers all on private property with no money from the gov’t.

    http://www.mdvolt.org/pages/EV_Taxicabs/
    http://insideevs.com/arlington-officials-recommend-denying-leaf-cabs/

    Shame.

  4. ClarksonCote says:

    Wow, I hope there are organizations like Plug In America that are gearing up to fight this if need be.

    1. vdiv says:

      We have local organizations like EVADC.org and MDVolt.org that have put forth admirable efforts to educate the public and promote the many virtues of EVs. Along with B-EVI.net they have had a measurable success in the more progressive Maryland.

      Plug In America unfortunately remains primarily a West Coast organization with little reach here (ok I bought two dozen PIA coffee mugs to give to my coworkers for Christmas, and that did broaden the reach measurably 😉 ) Arguably many battles on the West Coast have been won. Here we largely remain as the Wild East with stubborn and ignorant populace and corrupt, big-interest driven politicians.

      1. Brian says:

        “Here we largely remain as the Wild East with stubborn and ignorant populace and corrupt, big-interest driven politicians.”

        Sad but true. It’s not much different in the Northeast. NYS used to be progressive. Now we’re lucky if our “leaders” follow the example set in the West. Short-sightedness and big-interests reign.

  5. Open-Mind says:

    As a libertarian conservative EV fan, I wish the political-right would stop trying to hurt the EV industry, and I wish the political-left would stop trying to hurt the oil industry. Just let them compete based on their technology and merits.

    1. EV's EVerywhere says:

      Agreed but I ultimately wish politicians and citizens would recognize the true cost of GHG pollution and phase in a carbon tax to effectively pay for said cost and then let the market decide what technologies win. That’s a much more free-market approach than subsidizing particular technologies like EV’s, solar, etc.

      1. Open-Mind says:

        Maybe you’re right. On the other hand, allow me to present a few counter points to consider…

        1) Climate scientists have been making doomsday climate change predictions for 50 years. Many are contradictory. None have come true yet:

        http://www.rightwingnews.com/john-hawkins/10-global-warming-doomsday-predictions/

        2) The so called “hockey-stick” temperature graph that helped generate hysteria most recently has been flat for about 16 years now:

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2217286/Global-warming-stopped-16-years-ago-reveals-Met-Office-report-quietly-released–chart-prove-it.html

        3) Most of the surface-stations that record temperatures are reading artificially high, because they are located next to artificial heat sources that did not exist 100 years ago:

        http://www.surfacestations.org/

        4) Those same surface-stations are no longer white-washed. They have been refinished with standard paints that absorb sunlight, causing them to read artificially high:

        http://www.norcalblogs.com/watts/2007/05/rising_surface_temperatures_ba.html

        5) There are many greenhouse gases, and the one with the largest effect is water vapor. Yet, only CO2 (That can be tied to BIG-OIL and BIG-COAL) seems to be of any concern:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas

        6) There is evidence that climate change is mostly driven by solar activity that is cyclical, not just greenhouse gases:

        http://www.friendsofscience.org/index.php?id=454
        http://www.americaspace.org/?p=21726

        7) Al Gore is now more wealthy than Mitt Romney, and 100x wealthier than just a few years ago. Clearly there is huge money to be made pushing “green” solutions to climate change hysteria:

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/12/al-gores-net-worth-green-energy_n_1961299.html

        8) Even if I disregard all of the above, I’m a little skeptical about any doomsday scenario that always has the same universal solution … higher taxes and bigger government.

        Lastly, I’m also skeptical as an observer with two engineering degrees. Here in the mid-west, seasonal temps fluctuate 100F every year, and that’s normal and fine. Yet if I average all those temps and witness a fraction of a degree change from year to year, that is somehow catastrophic? IMHO, if the Earth was that fragile, all life would be extinct, or never have evolved in the first place.

        Am I skeptical about what I hear from BIG-OIL? You bet. I’m also skeptical what I hear from BIG-GREEN and BIG-GOV. Especially when it doesn’t make sense. Sorry for the long post.

        1. Jay Cole says:

          Sorry on the hang time to get your comment out of the filter OM, anything with more than 3 links gets flagged for approval.

          1. Open-Mind says:

            No problem. Thank you Jay. Love your site. 🙂

            1. Jay Cole says:

              Thanks for the compliment, I think it is coming along fairly decently…not perfect, but working on it, (=

              ps) I know I hate it when I go to a lot of trouble to write a comment and it gets eaten up by the filter…I just haven’t figured out how to stop it from happening here yet

        2. EV's EVerywhere says:

          Regarding #5 according to NASA, water vapor is believed to have an amplifying effect on GHGs. “We now think the water vapor feedback is extraordinarily strong, capable of doubling the warming due to carbon dioxide alone.”
          http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/vapor_warming.html

          And while we’re on the topic of climate change politics (you did just mention A.G. the Godfather of Global Warming), I would recommend this panel interview that appeared on C-Span very recently entitled The Politics of Climate Change. http://www.c-span.org/Events/The-Politics-of-Climate-Change/10737436349/. The hockey-stick (aka the hoakey stick) guy Michael Mann is even one of the three interviewed.

  6. kdawg says:

    Toll roads. The more you drive, the more you pay.
    Camera’s take pictures, send you a bill in the mail.
    Or make people buy transponders.

  7. evnow says:

    That is what you get for voting a right wing lunatic as the governor.

    1. Open-Mind says:

      IMHO, a true right-wing lunatic would advocate lower taxes and less pointless bureaucratic government red tape like this.

  8. Levi says:

    Virginia…….. where the Oil Cartels….. & War hawks live…..after plundering from Washington.
    What else would u expect!!!!!! The politicians are just puppets.
    Here is a balanced approach on what we should do :-
    1.) Charge basic fees ( registration & Inspection) on all vehicles
    2.) Pay tolls.. i.e. ( the more u drive the more u pay). But not those ridiculous amounts I see every mile. No no!!
    3.) Hands off lobbying for …..either Technology including either (no subsidies/or equal amount subsidies )
    4.) May the best tech win.

    On an even playing field… Electric cars will always win

  9. MrEnergyCzar says:

    One word, “OIL”..

    MrEnergyCzar

  10. jason says:

    This is so COMPLETELY counter – intuitive, it’s like a joke.
    Seriously, where’re the cameras and Howie Mandel??

    The long game is the US oil supply is depleting at a NEW and more aggressive pace. Seems fine right now with cheap oil. Drill and frac baby!! In a decade the US oil sponge will be dry and OPEC will be ready for us to come back. Wait until you see the price THEN!

  11. Bonaire says:

    Politicians work for what gets them re-elected and short sighted gifts like this go over we’ll. people who commute long distances in VA, and many commute dozens of miles from far out suburban sprawl, will eat this up. They won’t care much about the sales tax even if they spend more on that than the gas tax. Brilliant political move while slowing EV adoption further. Poor people benefit because they buy less stuff and gas prices impact them daily.