If Ford and General Motors thought they were having an off year for hybrid and plug-in vehicle sales, their home state might just make things worse for the two automakers. Michigan House Republicans are considering raising vehicle-registration fees for hybrid and plug-in vehicles. The idea is to use the money to make up for a road-repair funding shortfall, according to local media, WLNS and the Daily Reporter. Alt-fuel vehicles use less fuel, and therefore their drivers pay less in gas taxes, which means the green vehicle tax makes sense, according to its proponents.

The higher fees – diesel-fuel taxes may also be increased – would raise as much as $350 million for road repairs next year and about double that by 2018, though nothing has been confirmed as far as a possible vote. Some other states have either considered or enacted similar policies. Most notably, Washington State imposed an additional $100 fee for registration of battery-electric vehicles in 2013.

Such a policy is unlikely to help what's already a tough situation for Ford and GM in terms of advanced-powertrain vehicle sales in the Mitten State. Through April, Ford sold about 20,000 hybrids and electric vehicles in the US, down 29 percent from a year earlier, while GM's hybrid and plug-in vehicle sales plunged 31 percent from a year earlier to just 7,759 units.


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