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Extra fees for your electric vehicle?

Consumer Reports shows why this could create problems for people looking to buy a clean, efficient car.
Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 1:44 PM MDT
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(Consumer Reports) - Potholes, old bridges, crumbling asphalt: States across the country are struggling to find the money to repair them. Recently, several have turned to a new strategy—taxing electric vehicles. But a Consumer Reports analysis shows why this could create new problems for people looking to buy a clean, efficient car.

As the number of electric cars rises, many state legislatures have found a way to keep their owners on the hook for road repairs by charging them extra fees.

The state of Virginia is one of them. Since last year, people registering an all-electric vehicle have to pay a fee of $64 just for driving one.

In Ohio, electric car drivers will soon pay 36 percent more in fees than what the average motorist pays in gas taxes. It’s an approach Consumer Reports finds ineffective and unfair.

Electric vehicles aren’t the reason states are struggling to pay for road repairs. In fact, even if electric vehicles really took off and were much more popular, they would contribute only about 1 percent of the needed funding.

And Consumer Reports has found that by 2025 as many as 27 states could tax electric-vehicle drivers even more than what the average driver pays in gas taxes.

Even with the added funds from electric-car owners, CR says it still won’t make a dent in what’s needed for road repair.

The problem has more to do with states not raising gas taxes to keep up with inflation.

Consumer Reports says all-electric cars can significantly reduce maintenance and fuel costs, not to mention lower emissions and pollution. To see all of CR’s ratings on electric vehicles, go to CR.org.

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