Bill in Lansing would create fee for electric cars to fund roads

Apr 24, 2013

There’s a plan in Lansing to raise registration fees for electric and alternative fuel vehicles. That money would help pay for road repairs and construction.

Right now, that funding comes largely from fuel taxes and registration fees.

Republican state Representative Mike Shirkey says that means people who drive electric cars and hybrids don’t pay as much to maintain roads.

“In times past that made perfect sense. But now, times are changed, and technology’s advanced, and now the long-term sustainability of funding anything based on gasoline or fuel consumption must come into question.”

Governor Rick Snyder is calling for more than a billion dollars this year to fix roads. But he’s been having trouble winning support for his plan to raise fuel taxes and registration fees for all drivers. The governor says he’s not convinced an electric vehicle fee should be part of the package.

“If they’re not paying a gas tax, you can say, well, they are using the roads. On the other hand, in some ways, generally from a national perspective, we want to encourage electric vehicles. So, it’s looking at that, I’d have to analyze that, but I’d say there’s competing interests on both sides of that question.”

Another is the fact that the Chevy Volt is assembled in Detroit.

The governor says he’d like a road funding package wrapped up in May or June.