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Maine proposes new fee for drivers of electric & hybrid vehicles

The US state of Maine has proposed a supplemental registration fee for drivers of battery-electric and hybrid vehicles. If the bill passes, Maine will join at least 11 other states in levying an additional charge on electric and hybrid drivers. If passed, the Maine electric vehicle levy would become the most expensive in the nation at $250, exceeding the $200 supplemental tax charged by Georgia and Michigan. The bill's proposed fee for hybrids is $150.

Maine's governor and Department of Transportation justified support for the bill for the same reason as in other states: With infrastructure repair funds tied to revenue from gas taxes, electric and hybrid drivers don't pay their fair share of road use. Even super-green California plans to charge PHEV drivers $100 starting in 2020. Maine's highway maintenance fund has borrowed about $100 million each year for the past two years to limit its shortfall, yet still runs $60 million per year into the red. If Maine's 19,450 hybrid and EV owners — who represent less than 3 percent of the state's passenger vehicles — pay the proposed fees, they'll shrink the overdraft by around $2.9 million per year.