HB209, addressing vehicle registration fee revisions, is a bad idea. Electric vehicles (EV) fees would more than double from $120 to $300 per year. Plug-in EV fees would quadruple from $52 to $260.

Vehicle exhaust is the largest contributor to Utah’s air pollution. EVs produce no tailpipe emissions; plug-in hybrids are cleaner than any gas or diesel vehicle. Thus, it makes no sense to charge EV owners a surtax to register their vehicles. Why penalize EV owners when they are helping clean up the air?

Electric vehicles do pay their “fair share” for roads: $120 yearly fees to pay for road maintenance. They also pay local taxes on electricity that go to local budgets for services.

If there are gaps in the state road maintenance budget, other solutions make more sense. Raising the state gasoline tax would add the funds for maintenance much faster than the electric vehicle fee and has the added benefit of disincentivizing the drivers of polluting vehicles, lessening wear and tear on roads. EVs are lighter and thus cause less road damage than pickup trucks.

A fee of $300 a year for an electric vehicle is unfair and disincentivizes people who are helping clean up Utah’s air.

Jean M. Lown