Illinois electric car owners may face $1,000 annual fee

May 13, 2019

Electric car owners in Illinois may soon face an annual $1,000 registration fee to offset uncollected fuel taxes.

The Chicago Tribune last week reported on the proposed registration fee, which would be 60 times more expensive than registration for a standard vehicle with an internal-combustion engine. The $1,000 registration fee would not apply to hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars.

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However, opponents believe the fee would be a major disadvantage to electric cars, which already rely on federal, state, and local incentives to boost sales. Lawmakers said the registration fee is simply about electric-car owners creating revenue for the state since they do not pay into the gas tax. Illinois would make around $2.4 million every year on the electric-car registration fee.

CHECK OUT: California raises gas tax and charges electric car owners $100 per year

Illinois isn't the only state interested in finding a way to create revenue from electric cars. In 2017, California passed a $100 annual fee for electric vehicle owners, though that's a fraction of Illinois' proposed fee. California won't implement the electric car fee until 2020.

Tesla and electric-car startup Rivian have come out to oppose the proposed fee in Illinois. It hits close to home from Rivian since the company plans to build its first electric vehicle, the R1T pickup truck, next year at an assembly plant near Normal, Illinois. Rivian called the fee "unfair" and something to discourage a new technology that will decrease dependence on gasoline and reduce emissions.

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