I didn’t want to write to you about Proposal 1 and road funding and fees again but our legislature is making it hard.
Earlier this month, House Speaker Cotter unveiled a new plan to fund road repairs. That plan would increase fees for hybrids and PEVs to $100/year and $225/year respectively. That’s a huge increase from what was written into the proposal that voters shot down earlier this month.
We weren’t actively campaigning against Proposal 1, because while it was an imperfect compromise, our roads definitely need to be fixed. But this time around might be different. Our transportation funding shouldn’t be an excuse for enacting unreasonable fees on electric and hybrid vehicle owners, which we have argued are already paying their fair share. In fact, because of the higher purchase price of EV’s, owners pay as much as twice the annual registration fees as owners of comparable gasoline vehicles, more than offsetting any gas tax revenues that may be lost.
The new proposal adds insult to injury with a suggested EV registration fee that is five times as much as the $75 fee in Proposal 1. At a hearing on the proposed legislation earlier this week, I suggested to lawmakers that they reconsider their proposal and asked why they would want to put at a disadvantage Michigan-made vehicles like the 2016 Chevy Volt which is due to be launched later this year (see story below). Sadly, committee members’ only response seemed to be that if someone can afford an EV (or hybrid), they should be able to afford the fee.
We hope that you’ll reach out to your legislators on this issue. The Senate will be taking up road funding legislation as well, where we hope that more reasonable proposals emerge. Legislation including a $75 fee for EV’s has already been re-introduced by Senator Shirkey in that Chamber.
On a brighter note, please click through the rest our newsletter below. You’ll hear about how Tesla is investing in Michigan manufacturing and why GM says “The future is electric.”
And keep an eye out for future emails from Built by Michigan about the proposed EV fees for road funding. We hope to let you know when there may be critical votes coming up and when legislators need to hear from those of you who understand the benefits of electric vehicles to Michigan’s economic future and its environment.
In the meantime, Enjoy the spring!
Climate & Energy Program Director
The Ecology Center