Last week, SmartPlanet wrote about Arizona's proposed tax on electric vehicles driving in the state, one of several states considering such measures.
Just this week, Washington State senate passed a bill that will charge EV owners $100 per year to drive on its roads. The tax is intended to compensate for the fact that electric vehicle owners do not pay taxes on gasoline purchases, which help to fund upkeep of state roads. In Washington State, drivers pay 37.5-cent tax per gallon of gasoline.
According to the bill, which will now be sent to the state's house of representatives, the fee will not apply to hybrids (which do use gasoline) and neighborhood-electric vehicles.
While critics of such schemes argue that the additional fees will dissuade consumers from opting for electric vehicles over conventional cars, Washington's fee is only half of what a typical driver in the state pays in gas taxes in a year. The measure would bring in up to $1.9 million to the state budget by 2017.
It remains to be seen whether Washington's decision will set a precedent for other states, such as Arizona, Oregon, and Kansas, which are trying to keep from losing much-needed state revenue as drivers begin to turn to electric vehicles.