While electric vehicles can sometimes snag their owners some financial incentives, they occasionally pick up a few extra fees as well. At least they do in the U.S. One case in point is in the state of Illinois, where electric car owners will have to shell out an extra $100 in yearly registration fees to help cover the costs of the state’s new road improvement initiatives. Understandably so, some people are not happy about the new electric car tax in Illinois.
(We covered the news about the initial legislation back in our May 18th newsletter– so if you have not already signed up, maybe you should join in to take advantage of more exclusive content!)
New Electric Car Tax In Illinois
While the new tax may ruffle a few feathers, it is not nearly as bad as initially proposed. The initial legislation introduced by Senator Martin Sandoval of Chicago would have raised the yearly registration fees to $1,000 for electric vehicle owners. Obviously, that idea was not popular with electric car owners nor their manufacturers, so it is good to see the state government back down on that outrageous number.
Electric car owners currently pay $17.50 per year for their car registration, but that number will go up starting in July. The annual registration fees for all gas-powered vehicles will increase from $50 to $148, and electric car owners will pay the $148 plus an additional $100 surcharge. Come July the gas tax in Illinois will also jump to $0.38 per gallon, twice what it currently is. Honestly, it is about time, considering that Illinois has not raised their gas tax in almost thirty years. But while all-electric vehicles will be required to pay that extra registration surcharge, hybrids and plug-in hybrid vehicles which still use some gasoline will be exempt.
The Issue With Gas Taxes
One of the biggest benefits of driving an electric car is that it does not require gasoline to run. For states who depend on income derived from gas taxes, however, the increasing number of electric vehicles on the roads means less money to fix those roads with. So to compensate, some states are charging electric car owners an extra fee to help cover their share.
Time for some math. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, each American drives approximately 13,474 miles a year. With an average miles per gallon at 25 mpg, each driver will be potentially buying about 540 gallons of gas a year. For the gas vehicle drivers in Illinois who are paying an extra $0.19 per gallon, this means that they will be looking at paying an additional $102 per year in gas taxes, which is right in line with the $100 surcharge being billed to electric car owners.
So while some folks may be crying foul, the new electric car tax is actually pretty fair for all those involved.