Archives – January 30, 2015

Ballot Proposal Triggers New Fees for Hybrid and Electric Cars

Ford_Focus_Electric_at_the_2012_Stockholm_Car_FestivalMichigan has presented a proposal that would affect hybrid and electric car owners. If voters approve the proposal in May, a separate law that would create an annual surcharge of $75 on electric cars and a surcharge of $25 for a majority of hybrid cars will be implemented. The role of the proposed new fees is distributing road maintenance costs to car owners who do not pay or pay little taxes on state gas. These taxes are the primary source of funding for infrastructure in Michigan. The senate majority leader says that hybrid and electric car owners are using state roads while not using any fuel. Therefore, the proposed charges are more like user fees.

The proposal has faced some criticisms with some critics pointing out that high registration fees are already being paid by hybrid and electric car owners. These fees are based on the cost of purchasing the vehicle and act as the source of road revenue for the state. Last year, the Ecology Center of Ann Arbor did some analysis and found out that over its lifetime, an electric car can generates more state revenue. However, some of the revenue in question is generated from the sales tax for the state, mostly directed toward cities and schools.

The cost of Ford’s 2012 Focus Electric car is nearly twice that of its gasoline-powered counterpart. This results in almost an extra $700 in tax on sales at the time of purchase. Up to $1,011 in state taxes could be saved by an electric car owner over a range of 165,000 miles within 11 years. The extra car registration fees that would be paid by such a driver within this period are about $842. According to Charles Griffith, a member of the Ecology Center, most of the electric car owners are fine with paying road taxes.

The National Conference of State Legislatures has reported that about five states: Nebraska, Colorado, Washington, Virginia, and North Carolina have agreed to the adoption of electric vehicle surcharges. Other states were still deliberating on the idea. Several states, as well as the central government are providing incentives that would encourage people to buy electric cars. These cars are inclusive of those manufactured by Detroit carmakers or that feature batteries made in Michigan.

The proposal in question was initially debated in June, 2013 in the House Transportation Committee and was greatly opposed by the auto industry. The proposal then re-emerged late last year with the inclusion of registration fees.


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Cork Reports a Major Increase in Sales of Electric Cars

Ford_Focus_Electric_with_badging_WAS_2011_924It has been projected that Cork will see a major increase in electric car sales. The number is expected to be five times more than what was reported the previous year. Kearys car dealership has noted that up to 20 Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf electric cars will be sold in January, 2015. This will be more than what was sold for the entire year of 2014. In October last year, there was the launch of Drive4Zero campaign, which has pushed for an increased interest and need to buy electric vehicles. The campaign introduced a number of initiatives like grants to aid in charging electric cars at work or home. Another key initiative is the introduction of free parking joints at various locations. Electric cars have a high probability of becoming more attractive in the future thanks to lower running costs in comparison to diesel or petrol vehicles.

Drive4Zero campaign incorporates several Cork companies, car dealerships, research organizations and other stakeholders. The aim of the campaign is to promote the adoption and popularity of electric vehicles in Cork. It also aims at making Cork a base for electric vehicle adoption. Keary’s Motors’ principal dealer, Brendan Keary has noted that since the campaign began, there has been a tremendous increase in inquiries about and sales of electric cars. He further added that January alone might report a sale of 20 Renault Zoes and Nissan Leaf electric cars. The campaign has really increased the popularity of electric cars and sparked the interest of consumers. Keary added that electric car shoppers are diverse and happy with the purchases made. There is a continual improvement in the batteries, which has resulted in a gradual improvement in range.

Other project partners in addition to Nissan and Renault include Mitsubishi and BMW. As mentioned above, there are grants offered to allow consumers to install charging points in their homes or work places. The scheme also provides consumers free parking spaces. Most of the buyers of electric cars are happy with their decisions. They recommend anyone considering purchasing a car to go for an electric vehicle. There are numerous benefits associated with electric cars. One of the major advantages is in respect to charging. Electric cars charge faster compared to non-electric cars. An eighty percent charge can be attained within 20 minutes. Generally, running an electric car is not that costly. The tax on the road is less than 100 dollars per annum. It is therefore evident that electric vehicle sales are likely to increase considering the numerous benefits enjoyed.



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