Anyone purchasing an EV in the state of Washington will have to pay an extra $100 with their registration – a bit counter-intuitive, considering that the government generally promotes EV purchases with incentives. You see, owners of gasoline-powered vehicles in WA pay an annual gasoline tax, and this new EV fee ensures that all drivers pay for the annual upkeep of roads.
According to the new rule, vehicles powered by electricity and capable of speeds in excess of 35 miles per hour will have to pay $100 with their registration, starting on or after February 1, 2013. "$100 isn't that big of a deal, but it's not well-balanced policy," says Jay Friedland, legislative director of Plug In America. "EV drivers really want to pay their fair share," he continued,"but it seems ridiculous from a policy standpoint."
It does seem incongruous due to the fact that the state offers tax exemptions for the purchase of EVs. It should also be noted that the new fee provides for "evaluating the feasibility of transitioning from a revenue collection system based on fuel taxes to a road user assessment system." For us, it might be a moment of bureaucratic irony, but for EV drivers in Washington state, its $100 more out of their pocket.