BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - We’re getting a better look inside the gas tax bill heading to the House floor Friday. The proposed new law includes hundreds of dollars in additional fees for people who drive electric and hybrid vehicles.
Electric car owners are now reacting to the latest gas tax proposal that adds a $200 annual registration fee for electric vehicles and $100 for plug-in hybrids.
Paul Franks drives a Tesla and says it’s time electric car owners pay their fair share but feels the fee is still a little high.
“It’s not fair that I get to drive this car for free on the road basically and everybody that pays gas at the pump on a daily basis has to pay the taxes.” Frank said. “If you average a 12,000 miles a year driving your car and you look at 25 miles to the gallon, I think the equation is about a $160-$168 for taxes, and I think that’s fair."
The original bill called for a $250 fee for electric vehicles, which would have been the highest in the nation. The Conservation Alabama group originally opposed it but after some political back and forth, the fee is now lower.
"That’s a huge step in the right direction. We now have no new tax on conventional hybrids so those people aren’t going to be paying at the pump and a tax. We have a lowered tax on the plug-in hybrids and lowered tax on electric vehicles,” Stefanie Francisco, Communications Director for Conservation Alabama, said.
Gov. Kay Ivey’s bill creates an electric transportation infrastructure grant program which could help fund a network of charging stations around the state.
"Right now we have a huge deficit of charging facilities so you really can’t get from one end of the state to the other for electric vehicles and to remedy that is going to be a big step in the right direction to put us where we can make energy efficient vehicles viable in the state,” Francisco said.
The state soon could play a big role in helping to expand the electric vehicle market with a Mercedes-Benz plant in Bibb County that will make battery packs for the company’s electric vehicles.