Tobacco Road just got a little more expensive for drivers of electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S. This year, North Carolina started instituting an annual $100 road-use fee for electric-vehicle drivers in order to close at least a little of the budgetary shortfall for road maintenance in the Tar Heel State, the News Observer reports.
North Carolina legislators failed to green-light a hybrid-vehicle fee of $50 a year, which may have made a little more of a dent in the state's road funding. As it is, about 1,600 EVs are registered in North Carolina, meaning that the state will collect about $160,000 in such fees this year. And while some in the state are concerned that the fee could hurt EV adoption, others say it's fair because of the $7,500 in federal tax credits EV buyers get. Oh, and the fact that EV drivers don't pay gasoline taxes.
Either way, the fees are a proverbial drop in the bucket, as North Carolina's transportation shortfall is estimated to average about $2 billion a year during the next three decades or so. Other states are starting to charge EV drivers a road-use fee as well. Last February, Washington State began instituting its own electric-vehicle fee of $100 per annum, and a number of other states are considering similar policies.