SACRAMENTO, California, May 4, 2017 (ENS) - Starting July 1, 2020, California is imposing an annual $100 Zero Emission Vehicle fee. The fee targets all-electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles from model year 2020.
State officials anticipate raising $200 million a year from the new fee, which will help pay for a state-wide road and bridge infrastructure improvement effort signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown late last month.
Eleven other states are already charging a fee for electric cars or hybrids: Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.
Just since the beginning of 2017, six more states have introduced bills that would add fees for electric car owners: Indiana, Kansas, Montana, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Tennessee.
And now California has joined in.
“Safe and smooth roads make California a better place to live and strengthen our economy,” said Governor Brown. “This legislation will put thousands of people to work.”
"Our roads will be safer and our cities and towns will be better connected to each other, finally bringing our transportation infrastructure into the 21st century,” said Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León.
The legislation, known as SB 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, also will raise some $52 billion annually from new taxes on diesel and gasoline fuels.
“Today is the culmination of over two years of work that I’ve devoted to SB 1. It was never destined to be an easy piece of legislation but the work resulted in the first major investment in California’s transportation infrastructure in 23 years,” said California State Senator Jim Beall, who co-authored the measure.
The legislative package will fund huge investments in repairing local streets and roads and provides historic levels of public transportation funding.
California Transit Association Executive Committee Chair Michael Wiley is satisfied that the funds will help to support public transit.
"This bill clearly demonstrates California’s commitment to clean, sustainable transportation, and the role that public transit plays in that vision," said Wiley.
"While California’s transportation infrastructure needs are many, this proposal acknowledges the importance of public transit in achieving the 21st century transportation network that Californians need and deserve. We expect these new investments to lead to cleaner transit vehicle fleets, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants, as Californians will be offered more attractive mobility options,” he said.
Transportation California Executive Director Roger Dickinson was pleased with the measure, saying, "The benefits of SB 1 go well beyond desperately needed repairs for our streets and roads by funding important sustainable improvements to our transportation system for walking and cycling as well — good for our health, our environment, and our economy."
The new funding will allow Caltrans to make major repairs to California’s transportation infrastructure including 17,000 miles of pavement, 500 bridges and 55,000 culverts over the next 10 years.
California State Transportation Agency Secretary Brian Kelly said, “SB 1 is so much more than just a roads bill. The bill also provides an historic level of stable and permanent funding for public transit and active transportation projects, assuring California can meet its mobility goals while achieving important environmental objectives."
The package will cost most drivers less than $10 a month and includes strict accountability provisions to ensure the money can only be spent on transportation.
PHOTO: EVs like this 2017 Nissan Leaf now cost more to drive now that 12 U.S. states have imposed annual fees. (Photo courtesy Nissan USA)