Bills Would Raise Fees For N.H.'s Electric And Hybrid Car Owners
Two proposals in the next legislative session would slap extra fees on hybrid and electric vehicles, but but environmental advocates say it's an unfair penalty.
New Hampshire sets annual vehicle registration fees based on weight -- $30 or $40 for a small car, into the hundreds for a big truck. Then there's the fuel tax to cover road maintenance. But electric cars don't use gas, so they don't pay the tax.
Now, lawmakers are set to consider two bills accounting for that. One sets a $100 annual fee for hybrids, or $200 for electric vehicles, with increases if the gas tax goes up.
The other is based on mileage -- vehicles that get under 20 miles to the gallon would pay nothing extra. After that, drivers would pay an annual fee based on how fuel efficient their car is -- up to more than $100 a year for electric vehicles.
The state reports it has more than 8,000 hybrids and 1,200 electric vehicles registered right now.
Cathy Corkery, with the New Hampshire Sierra Club, says that's not enough to merit this big a fee.
"They're not making nearly as much damage as the 18-wheelers and heavy-duty vehicles," she says.
At least 11 states from California to Georgia currently impose fees of between $50 and $200 on EVs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. (See the full fee breakdown below.)