New fees could cost energy efficient vehicle owners

Posted at 6:00 AM, Aug 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-31 22:39:44-04

Most energy efficient car owners are looking to help the environment and save money while avoiding the gas station, but new fees could soon cost them.

"We do it to save money, save the environment, "said Vic Riley. "To punish individuals who buy hybrid cars...I don't think it's fair."

Vic lives in one of more than a dozen states that used to offer incentives to energy efficient vehicle owners, but now those states are tacking on extra registration fees for electric and hybrid cars.

Last year, Arizona lawmakers voted for changes that would raise fees on these cars hundreds of dollars in 2020.

Supporters of the fees say energy efficient vehicles avoid the taxes at the gas pumps typically used to maintain the roads.

"Hybrid cars use less gas, so there has to be some mechanism in place for users of the road, who are still contributing to wear and tear, to pay for some portion of it," said Greg Lawson of the Buckeye Institute which studies public policy.

Others say people may not avoid energy efficient vehicles altogether.

So, is there still an incentive to purchase an energy efficient car?

  1. The Federal Government still offers tax credits on electric vehicles. Details on those can be found here.
  2. In Arizona you can apply for incentives like HOV privileges and emission testing exemptions.
  3. Comparing prices with gas mileage can help determine your potential savings when owning an energy efficient car. Here's a tool that can help with those calculations.