New fees for Alabama electric, hybrid cars to make up for lost gas taxes

New fees for Alabama electric, hybrid cars to make up for lost gas taxes

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - If you drive an electric or hybrid car, you may think the gas tax doesn’t impact you. But it does! A new Alabama law in effect Wednesday makes sure you pay up, as well.

Starting January 1, Alabama electric and hybrid car drivers will be charged an annual fee.
Starting January 1, Alabama electric and hybrid car drivers will be charged an annual fee. (Source: WAFF)

Starting Jan. 1, the state is requiring anyone who owns an electric car or a plug in hybrid car to pay a brand new fee.

“It seems to me like it’s fair. If you’re driving a vehicle and you’re using petroleum then you have to pay a tax,” says Jimmy Rowell, who lives in Albertville.

The state is hoping to make up for lost gas tax revenue from people driving electric vehicles. Now electric and plug in hybrid car owners will have to pay a $200 and $100 annual fee respectively.

Rowell says he thinks the electric car fee will end up being lower than what people pay at the pump. “I think in the long run with the gas mileage, I think you would probably come out probably ahead,” he said.

Scott Spencer, who is visiting from Georgia, got one of the first Teslas in Atlanta. “I actually waited two and a half years for it to show up so I am probably a pretty huge clean energy advocate,” Spencer said.

He says he understands the reasoning behind the new fee, but thinks there’s a better way to go about it.

“Let’s get the taxes off the gasoline and just make all residents pay a flat fee as they drive. Have it be a mileage that they report on their state taxes and they can all chip in based on how much we drive,” he said.

State Rep. Bill Poole sponsored the legislation, he says it’s meant to make it more fair to all drivers.

Although only two percent of new car sales came from electric vehicles in 2018, that number is expected to rise substantially in the next decade.

Seven other states have similar laws going into effect on Wednesday as well.

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