Lawmakers in Washington state want to encourage adoption of electric vehicles and construction of the infrastructure necessary to support them. But some EV owners are calling out their approach as counter-intuitive.
This week, the Washington legislature passed a bill that increases the annual fees electric vehicle owners are required to pay to fund the development of EV infrastructure, like charging stations.
Electric vehicle owners are currently charged a $150 fee on top of their annual registration to offset the lost revenue the state would have collected from those drivers at the gas pump. The new bill imposes an additional $75 fee on hybrid cars and certain types of electric vehicles. For many EV owners, that brings their annual fees to $225, the highest in the nation.
Orwell would be proud of this rationalization for taxing EVs at rates higher than gas-powered cars.
“We’re incentivizing people to buy electric cars by taxing them at the highest rate in the nation!” #ElectricVehicles #taxes #what pic.twitter.com/N12Ddj7Zti
— ɯı⊥¯ǝɥ⊥ (@The_Tim) April 29, 2019
Rep. Jake Fey, one of the bill’s sponsors, called it a compromise.
“This was negotiated with all the parties, including the car dealers and the auto manufacturers and the environmental stakeholders and this is what they were comfortable with,” he told GeekWire.
“If it doesn’t serve it’s purpose like we anticipated we would make some adjustments in the session next year,” he added.
Continue reading for the key details of the bill, which is available in full here.
- Imposes a $75 fee on hybrid cars and certain types of electric vehicles
- Establishes tax credits and incentives to encourage commercial vehicles and buses to go electric
- Creates a grant program to help transit agencies electrify their fleets
- Launches an alternative car-sharing grant pilot program
- Expands grant program for electric vehicle charging infrastructure
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