Annual $100 EV-Fee Goes Into Effect February 1st, 2013
Although seen as a "EV-friendly" state, and the final leg on the West Coast Electric Highway, Washington state electric vehicle owners are soon going to be the first in the nation to face a $100 yearly fee to own and operate the cars.
West Coast Electric Highway Expanded In Washington Summer Of 2012
Washington state law (part of House Bill 266) outlines the fee (that is effective February 1st), and says that proceeds will go to road and highway improvements that electric vehicle owners take advantage of, but don't have to pay for because they don't buy gasoline, and therefore do not incur gas taxes.
The law does exempt those electric vehicles whose maximum speed does not exceed 35 mph (or NEVs-neighborhood electric vehicles) and those cars that are classes as "hybrids." Some notable hybrids would be the Toyota Prius plug-in and the Chevrolet Volt.
CBS' local Seattle affiliate says that:
"About 1,600 cars currently registered in the state would likely be subject to the fee, including the Nissan Leaf, Tesla Roadster and some custom electric vehicles, according to the state licensing department."
While it is understandable that at some point fees are an inevitable reality for electric cars, and even plug-in hybrids, we feel perhaps it is a touch too early (like by a decade) to begin the additional taxation program on them at this point. Especially considering there is still a national $7,500 credit program along with many other state-level incentive bonuses to encourage the adoption of EVs.
Fred Nelson, an all-electric Nissan Leaf in Washington told CBS Seattle, “It’s a little frustrating. I do understand the logic behind it because we don’t pay gas taxes. "
Multiple EV owner, Joe Lambrix looks at it another way, "I think it’s wrong. You pay taxes on the electricity, it’s not like they’re getting away for free...You’re trying to do something good and they still find a way to get revenue. It’s unfortunate.”