You may be wanting to drive green, but the cost to operate an electric vehicle in Illinois could get a lot more expensive.
Illinois lawmakers have proposed raising electric vehicle registration fees from $35 every two years to $1,000 every year. The fee increases are part of a plan that would provide funding for transportation infrastructure improvements.
“Our transportation system has been underfunded for far too long and it’s time for Illinois to transition to a more sustainable funding method to fix our crumbling roads and the more than 2,300 bridges in our state that are rated as structurally deficient,” said State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago).
House Bill 3233 would also hike the gas tax from 19 cents a gallon to 44 cents a gallon. That would result in the average Illinois driver paying between $347 and $481 a year in gas taxes, according to data compiled by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute. A press release posted to Sandoval’s website said the measure is estimated to provide an additional $2.4 billion in funding for needed projects throughout the state.
The Illinois Road & Transportation Builders Association supports the tax and fee hikes to pay for infrastructure improvements.
“Illinois’ infrastructure is literally crumbling,” said president and CEO Michael Sturino. “There’s a cost for not doing anything: wear and tear on your vehicles, congestion.”
But not everyone is on board with the proposed legislation.
Doug Snower sells electric vehicles at Green Wheels on Western Avenue in Chicago. He said talk of the proposed fee hikes is already causing potential customers to think twice.
“It’s a very high amount of money to be paid up front on an annual basis,” Snower said.
Snower said a more reasonable solution would be to base fees on how many miles someone drives every year.
This story is from our sister station, NBC Chicago. Click here for more investigative stories from NBC stations across the county.