Can someone explain this to me - hybrid/electric vehicle surcharge in WI

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
6,397
Eastern Central PA
WOW , Wisconsin must be hard up for money. Most states are encouraging and promoting electric drive,not penalizing it.
 

Z33

Burning Hunk
Apr 14, 2014
209
Atlanta, Georgia
We have something similar here in Georgia.

It is said to be used to offset the loss in fuel tax loss which is why the all electric vehicle is higher than the hybrid. They say they need to recover this loss in tax to continue to maintain (or not) the roads that all vehicles drive on.
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,217
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
They're talking about adding a way to get money from EV drivers here in WA too since they aren't paying their share of the gas tax.
 

semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
3,599
SW Virginia
It makes some sense to me for EVs but none at all for hybrids. There are many vehicles out there that get better MPG than our hybrid. Why should I pay both the fuel tax and an additional fee?
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,217
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
It makes some sense to me for EVs but none at all for hybrids. There are many vehicles out there that get better MPG than our hybrid. Why should I pay both the fuel tax and an additional fee?
The lines are blurred now. There are some hybrids that have an engine but only use the engine when the battery is low so they are effectively an EV.
 

semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
3,599
SW Virginia
The lines are blurred now. There are some hybrids that have an engine but only use the engine when the battery is low so they are effectively an EV.
That's a plug-in hybrid, or PHEV. My comment was respective to hybrid EVs, or HEVs. The PHEV issue does complicate things for sure but it's not that difficult to write good legislation if you know the difference.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,568
South Puget Sound, WA
They're talking about adding a way to get money from EV drivers here in WA too since they aren't paying their share of the gas tax.
They've been doing this for a couple years by adding $100 to the car tab fee. It's poor legislation because it charges the same fee for PHEVs too. This is not fair to the person that does 50% of their driving on gas. They are being double-taxed.
 
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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
4,626
Northern NH
Most states rely heavily on gas taxes to pay for road repair and maintenance. Since electrics do not buy gas the surcharge is to spread the cost to electric vehicle owners. i think one state was discussing dumping gas taxes and switching to pay per mile for all vehicles with some sort of factor for road weight as a heavier vehicle tends to do exponential damage to the road compared to lightweight.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,217
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Most states rely heavily on gas taxes to pay for road repair and maintenance. Since electrics do not buy gas the surcharge is to spread the cost to electric vehicle owners. i think one state was discussing dumping gas taxes and switching to pay per mile for all vehicles with some sort of factor for road weight as a heavier vehicle tends to do exponential damage to the road compared to lightweight.
That sounds like the WA plan.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,568
South Puget Sound, WA
That sounds like the WA plan.
WA state nixed the per mile plan. It was considered unfair and too confusing for people that lived on the border and drove to work in another state like OR or ID. Instead they charge a fixed rate excise tax for PHEVs and BEVs.
 
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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
4,626
Northern NH
Years ago when I was a tourist in New Zealand I got a long shuttle ride from friendly local who ran a shuttle service. The cost for gas and diesel was more than double what it was in the US. They had a high gas tax and also pay per mile.

Note its not just electrics and hybrids. I have heard complaints that even small econoboxes like my 41 MPG fiesta are not pulling their fair share in gas taxes. In a snowbelt state, all vehicles need roads plowed and arguably sanded for safe traveling but its pretty well known that building and maintaining a road for heavy traffic (I.E. tractor trailer trucks) is far more expensive than for lightweight vehicles (usually an exponential cost increase), the gas tax in theory works that way to some extent but with the possibility of electric semis looming I expect pay per mile will reappear.
 

Former Farmer

Feeling the Heat
Apr 12, 2008
475
NE Wisconsin
Just another way for our state to generate income without having to raise the gas taxes. There is talk about them wanting to raise them in the future.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,568
South Puget Sound, WA
the gas tax in theory works that way to some extent but with the possibility of electric semis looming I expect pay per mile will reappear.
This is happening here too. It seems like this approach might be unfair to people that don't drive on state highways and roads very much if at all. All our local maintenance is done by the county. Our state Transportation Commission is expected to vote on this topic late this year. Can't say it's going to be popular. At 2.4 cents per mile it would cost us much more than the current $100 electric car tax. And more on our second vehicle too.

Beside the additional cost there is the issue of out of state driving. Why the heck should one be paying a state mileage fee when they take a long trip out of state where they will also be paying the local gasoline tax? Also, state bonds for major highway work are already committed to 10+ yrs of gas taxes. Another issue is how mileage is reported. It's a real can of worms.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
2,757
Downeast Maine
Lets just be honest right now. None of the current electric vehicle offerings are having a negative impact on the road. This is greed straight up. Big over the road semi trucks are what beat the roads down, and they also use the most fuel. According to wikipedia "plug in" vehicles account for 2.1% of the market share. That number is even tinier compared to the overwhelming fuel use of a truck hauling a full load. Even a Tesla Model S P whatever number D that weighs 5,000 lbs is nothing compared to the 54,000 lbs of fully loaded truck making 5 MPG...

The man always gets his dollar.
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
6,397
Eastern Central PA
A charge by weight per mile would be the fairest solution for heavy trucks. The fuel tax did achieve that .
 
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ABMax24

New Member
A different way to share the cost would be in the registration of the vehicle. My pickup costs me $85 to register every year, a semi registered at max weight which is 63,000kg or about 139,000lbs is over $4000, helping to pay for their impact of running on the road. We also pay fuel taxes for road maintenance, but unfortunately some of this goes to the federal government in general revenue, on top of the GST already taken.
 

sloeffle

Minister of Fire
Mar 1, 2012
555
Central Ohio
Ohio recently raised the tax on gas and diesel fuel because because the DOT was about to run out of money. Our previous governor borrowed on everything he could to not raise the gas tax. Eventually the well ran dry.

 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,568
South Puget Sound, WA
Lets just be honest right now. None of the current electric vehicle offerings are having a negative impact on the road
They are having an impact, albeit a minor one presently. Eventually, most cars on the road will be electric, planners have to think long term. Road project bonds are often 15-25 yr. so they need a steady income for longterm payment. Maintenance includes much more than just road surface wear. Bridge maintenance is a major cost and so is snow removal in many areas. Snow removal causes potholes which need fixing. New exit/entrances onto highways are expensive as is landslide and rockslide protection. Flooding can undermine roads and need repair as well. Then there is signage, shoulder and brush clearing etc..

And then there is the impact from all vehicles that no one talks about
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
2,757
Downeast Maine
They are having an impact, albeit a minor one presently. Eventually, most cars on the road will be electric, planners have to think long term. Road project bonds are often 15-25 yr. so they need a steady income for longterm payment. Maintenance includes much more than just road surface wear. Bridge maintenance is a major cost and so is snow removal in many areas. Snow removal causes potholes which need fixing. New exit/entrances onto highways are expensive as is landslide and rockslide protection. Flooding can undermine roads and need repair as well. Then there is signage, shoulder and brush clearing etc..

And then there is the impact from all vehicles that no one talks about
I'm so glad to not live near a major highway anymore...
 

Where2

Feeling the Heat
Feb 3, 2013
347
South Florida
I'm so glad to not live near a major highway anymore...
Yeah, my Amish neighbors with the horse and buggy don't seem to do near the damage to an asphalt road that a fully loaded logging truck can do to a road. Interstate 95 north of Bangor makes my VW's wander the right lane is so rutted...
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
2,757
Downeast Maine
Yeah, my Amish neighbors with the horse and buggy don't seem to do near the damage to an asphalt road that a fully loaded logging truck can do to a road. Interstate 95 north of Bangor makes my VW's wander the right lane is so rutted...
One of my wife's forged aluminum wheels has a dent right in the middle of the wheel barrel from RT1 outside of Machias. She can't even drive her car in February the roads are so heaved. Some areas are worse than rural Louisiana.
 

blades

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
3,296
WI, Leroy
Wi, just jacked registration fees up again ( annual) , some of the local areas Like Milwaukee charge a wheel tax besides, buy a car and there is a tax , not just sales tax, Milwaukee used to be $100 it is more now. Fuel taxes are a percentage so the tax varies with the base cost per gallon - double tax as theFederal fuel tax gets taxed at the state level as part of the base cost. Used for road repair - that is a joke as it just get put into the general fund. A number of years ago the the state employee (WI) total exceeded the total employed labor force outside of gov. - think about that a bit and what it means to your wallet. State , county, and local sales taxes not to mention the never ending permit fees short of blinking your eyes. I'm from the government and I here to help you (right out of your skivvies).