GM says Washington State's proposed electric car fee has "no merit" [w/poll]

General Motors has gone on record to oppose a Washington State bill that would impose a fee of $100 per year on electric-vehicle drivers.

GM Regional Director Howard Lenox, Jr. wrote a letter on March 6 to Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire stating that the automaker, which makes the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in hybrid, is against such a bill. The state is proposing the fee as a way for EV drivers to compensate for the gas taxes that they otherwise wouldn't be paying. The letter was posted on GM's The Future Is Electric blog.

"A fee which singles out electric vehicles will be a disincentive to the growth of the electric vehicle market in Washington State," Lenox wrote in the letter. "As a practical matter, there are so few vehicles on Washington's roads today that their impact in replacing fuel tax revenues will, for now, be negligible."

While drivers of the Volt actually wouldn't be subject to such a fee because its onboard generator is gas-powered, GM appears to be looking ahead as the automaker looks to electrify more of its fleet to meet more stringent greenhouse-gas emissions requirements.

Last month, Washington State passed Senate Bill 5251, which was introduced by Mary Haugen, the Senate's transportation committee chairwoman. The fee, which is subject to a vote by the state's House of Representatives, is estimated to add as much as $1.9 million to the state's coffers by 2017. Arizona, Oregon and Kansas are among other states looking at instituting fees that specifically target electric vehicle drivers.

What do you think, should states enact taxes on EVs to recover lost gas tax revenue? Vote in our poll below, then have your say in Comments.

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