Driving the verdant, rolling hills of North Carolina could become just a bit more expensive for drivers in that state who use hybrid or electric cars. State legislators have proposed a bill in the Senate that would charge those drivers additional fees of $50 and $100, respectively, for registering their vehicles. But why would a state want to penalize drivers who go green?
The reason behind the lawmakers’ bill is somewhat simple, reports News 14 in Charlotte: Regular drivers pay a tax on gas when they fill up, money that goes to supporting the costs of the state’s roads and infrastructure. The less gas you need, the fewer pennies go flying into the state coffer.
“The old system of collecting money for our roads is outdated. If this is the best way that we can do that then we’re going to be in some trouble for a very long time,” the NC Sierra Club communications director tells the station. “We need to look at overall how we raise the money for our infrastructure and find new solutions rather than penalizing people who drive clean cars.”
Another question opponents of the fee have is what effect, if any, will it have on potential car owners who are interested in buying hybrid or electric cars, but don’t want to pony up the extra cash. It seems unlikely that $50-$100 would make a huge difference in decision-making for anyone willing to spend on a new car, but it could still happen.
*Thanks for the tip, Wayne!