Your political views often hinge on where you stand to view the problem at hand.
One state, Washington, is deeply concerned about the effect the popularity of all-electric cars will (might, may, could) have on revenues raised through fuel taxes. Since the e-cars don’t buy any petroleum fuel, the state’s transportation authorities foresee a drop in income, and thus a loss of funds available to maintain the roads and bridges used by both electrics and petrol-pushers.
So, as an offset, the Washington state senate recently passed a bill assessing an annual fee of $100 on EVs in the state. They say that number is about half of what a typical driver pays in fuel taxes, based on the state’s 37.5¢ per gallon levy. They also stressed that the fee does not apply to hybrids, but only roadworthy cars using all-electric propulsion.
A quick trip through the calculator shows that the $100 fee is equivalent to the tax paid when purchasing 266.66 gallons of fuel. If that fuel was used to achieve 30 mpg, it’s the equivalent of 8000 miles of travel. The EV owner will have to decide if that’s a fair deal or not. A handful of other states are considering similar fees.
But an ocean away, another state is embracing electric vehicles and encouraging their purchase in the name of conserving an expensive commodity. Hawai’i imports more than 95% of its petroleum products and is spinning up its program to encourage EV use. They are supporting and encouraging installation of public charging stations and have active rebate and tax incentive programs supporting the purchase of electric vehicles.
Since almost all their oil is imported, gas prices in the Aloha state are significantly higher than the mainland, averaging about $4.50 a gallon recently. The state’s “EV Ready” program wants to cut transportation fuel usage by 70% by 2030, and they see electric vehicles as part of that plan. The program has also partnered with GM and other companies to develop a hydrogen refueling network by 2015 to encourage vehicles with fuel cells.
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The 33rd annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Convention and Trade Show will take place February 7-9, 2013 at the Caribe Royale, Orlando, FL