I'll bet you thought an electric car would save you money...

@Taskr36 (13923)
United States
April 23, 2011 10:29am CST
In their quest to tax EVERYTHING politicians are now trying to create a new tax for people who buy electric cars. If you think avoiding gasoline is a good way to save money, they want to make sure you're wrong. If you thought you would be rewarded for supposedly reducing America's dependence on oil, they want to make sure to punish you for it. Since you're not buying gas, you're not paying taxes on gas. As such, they feel entitled to tax your NON-consumption of gas. It amazes me the way so many morons act like people driving electric cars are cruising around town for free. That electricity costs money and the money you pay for your electric bill includes taxes. In some states, if you use over a certain amount of electricity in a month they add on extra taxes. In other words, now they're not only double taxing, but triple taxing since plugging in an electric car is guaranteed to make your electric bill skyrocket. Some states even have "Gas Guzzler" taxes. That means you'll get charged an extra tax if you use a car that gets low mpg, or one that doesn't use gas at all. It's like they're trying to force us to use crappy cars that get 20-30 mpg, but want to punish us if we stray outside this stupid boundary. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_electric_car_fees
1 person likes this
12 responses
• United States
23 Apr 11
And I am sure that those politicians will laugh until they choke on the smog. I truly want to one day own an electric car and a personal solar/wind powered home. That way, neither my driving nor my home's energy needs are dependent on anyone else, and I could even charge the city by selling back some energy. I was turned onto the idea while simultaniously being shocked by the documentary movie "Who Killed The Electric Car?" There was already a fully electric car in 1996 which, thanks to lease rules, General Motors was able to take away from people and destroy. The car was perfect for city driving--possibly not suited for long distance highway driving--but it took away lots of money making potential that a combustion engine car provides (consuming fuel, oil, fluids, repair costs, etc). Do a YouTube search and you can find the trailer for the movie. It was narrated by Martin Sheen. In the film, actor Ed Begley Jr. and Bill Nye (The Science Guy) interviewed--they are neighbors who complete for the most green homes. Although you have to make the money of a successful actor these days to enjoy such green home systems, it is worth aspiring to. Building a car that is cheap to use, dependable and long lasting simply is not as profitable to companies as building one that depletes resources and wears out quickly. But unfortunately, something that we are wearing out quickly is our environment--but big business owners apparently think they breath different air. I hope that these new electric cars are here to stay this time.
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
24 Apr 11
The solar/wind powered home sounds great, but few people realize how impossible that is. Solar panels don't last long enough for their savings to exceed the cost of production without government subsidies. One of the main reasons for only leasing the electric car in the 90's was that if they had sold them, they would be required to keep parts necessary to repair them for over a decade. Since they weren't mass produced it wouldn't be cost effective to do that. Personally electric cars, as they are now, don't really have a place in the US outside of those that like the gimmick. They'll do better in Europe and more densely populated places. The US has too much open road for them to be full time cars for anyone outside of big cities or areas with very short commutes. As for smog, the cities with smog problems are the ones that might benefit, but don't have enough residents that could afford to buy a gimmick. One or two electric cars in LA won't change anything. It would take an entire fleet of them to make a dent in the smog problem there.
@jb78000 (15166)
23 Apr 11
assuming, possibly optimistically, that gas companies aren't involved with this piece of ineptness it just looks cack-handed. ok, if you paid for road maintenance out of gas taxes and cars appear that don't use gas you need to do something. of the more sensible possibilities are: flat fees for all vehicles fees based on use of roads tolls or something like that. extra taxes for electric cars looks like something produced by decision makers who don't have a clue what they are doing.
@jb78000 (15166)
23 Apr 11
adding you need to do something eventually - i.e when the revenue from gas taxes no longer pays for road maintenance. which i doubt somehow is the case at the moment.
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
23 Apr 11
It's really only the second worst idea to raise revenues for roads. The worst came a few years ago when they suggested requiring all drivers to have GPS units in their cars that would track how much they drove and what roads they drove on to tax them appropriately. That idea came before electric cars, but was meant to offset the fact that people driving hybrids and compact cars were using less gas and thus paying less gas taxes.
@jb78000 (15166)
23 Apr 11
that deserves a prize as well. i gather it didn't go through? should have, it ticked all the boxes. nice and expensive to introduce, involves lots of lovely, complicated records, potential invasion of privacy, guaranteed to annoy every single driver, endless opportunity for evasion if you know how to fiddle a gps system. and completely unnecessary. top marks.
@owlwings (40444)
• Cambridge, England
23 Apr 11
I think you have misread the article you quote which is mostly about the problems associated with taxing electric car users fairly in proportion to the miles they travel in a year (in other words, a sensible road-usage tax). I don't see any mention of electric cars being penalised unfairly. In this country we have Road Tax which is a fee based on the emissions rating and the year of registration. I believe you have to pay a license fee every year and that this is recorded on your plates. I don't know whether your licence fee takes the age, type and emissions rating into account. Since our tax is based solely on emissions and the date of first registration, the scale of charges is horrendous (our Government loves complicated tables of charges!). Electric cars are exempt from Road Tax (since they are classed as zero-emission), otherwise, the driver of a conventional fuel vehicle pays, on average, around £200 - £300 a year ($320 - $500) but drivers of SUVs and 4WDs which tend to have higher emissions can pay £450 or more. We don't let the "Gas Guzzlers" off lightly! Of course, we also have duty on fuel - FAR higher than your 37.5 cents a gallon: we pay the equivalent of $3.50 per gallon DUTY for our gas AND THEN Value Added Tax (at 5%) on top of that. Although there is 5% VAT on household electricity, there are considerable savings to be made when running an electric vehicle especially as our Government makes a grant of up to 25% of the cost of certain new vehicles. I take your point about some electricity companies charging more for a higher band of usage. I don't know of any electricity company in this country that does that. I think that your assumption that electric vehicles attract an extra tax is wrong and that you didn't read the article you quoted properly. People who drive them certainly don't cruise around for free but they are likely to pay considerably less tax, however the rate is finally calculated, and the cost per mile will be a fraction of that of a conventional vehicle.
• United States
23 Apr 11
It is an extra tax. Anything that the government charges extra for is a tax. Politicians are looking at taxing anything and everything. There just not that many on the road because only a very small niche of (California) Americans actually buy them. The rest go hybrid or conventional. It isn't necessarily cheaper to own an electric car. It certainly does incur heavy costs in other areas than a conventional car. Battery replacement costs alone put the electric car way above the conventional car. In fact, a battery replacement is about the same cost as a good used car. Pointing out that the entire car is electrical and if something messes up in there, again you are looking at a very high priced bill. You can't resell them that easily either. (No American actually wants them.)
@owlwings (40444)
• Cambridge, England
23 Apr 11
I agree, sierras, that the maintenance costs are high (and hardly ever mentioned in eulogies about the electric car). I found this history of the electric car very interesting: http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/223/electric-car-timeline.html Somewhat ironic, perhaps, that it says that it was the invention of the electric starter in 1912 which finally was instrumental in the demise of the electric car.
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
25 Apr 11
Several states are trying to require GPS monitoring of cars so that they can send you a bill for the miles driven because as cars become more efficient the state is losing revenue from the gas tax. This year I have heard several people call into local radio talk shows and complain about the problem with electric cars in the winter. If you turn your heater on you can only go about 6-10 miles before the batteries are drained and then you have to spend hours recharging. One dealer, who refuses to sell electric cars, reported that in 3-5 years people will need to replace the batteries and could suddenly find that it is going to cost between $3,000 to $8,000 depending upon the car, the batteries and who installs them. I should buy an electric car so I can pay every 3-5 years to replace the batteries, can't really drive in in the winter, and the government is going to tax me more to drive it. Sounds like a winner but not for me.
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
25 Apr 11
Yeah, I remember that the electric cars they made in the 90's were functionally useless in cold weather. It's one of those under-reported facts when people talk about how perfect they were. Since the batteries in electric cars make up about half the length of the vehicle not only are they massive and expensive, but I'm sure the labor to replace it would be high and would only be possible at a dealership since ordinary shops wouldn't stock parts that size.
• United States
24 Apr 11
Guess it depends on what you drive. A paid off little car that gets close to 30mpg isn't bad. My gas guzzling SUV costs me $500/year in taxes and registration and can easily chug $100/week in gas. It also pounds the road down weighing in a good 1,000lbs more than most normal vehicles and surely a good deal more than any electric. Oh wait, what was that thing they make us pay for every year... registration and taxes where's that money going? Build roads like Europe and wouldn't have to repave them every year, would save billions in the long run. No, an electric car would save me a lot of money, even with the tax. I rarely go more than 100 miles per day. Problem is all the people living apartments or the like can't charge em. Electric cars are for rich eco-friendly people anyways. They won't tax them.
@wiggles18 (2523)
• Canada
23 Apr 11
I'd just not pay the tax- that is ridiculous to have that sort of tax. Next they will tax people who have green homes off the grid...
• United States
25 Apr 11
Ssshhh. Dont give them anymore ideas!
@Latrivia (2889)
• United States
23 Apr 11
My husband wants to get the Nissan Leaf sometime down the road for putzing about in Austin. Thankfully Texas shot down any extra charge on e-car drivers. Although, if they did adopt a $100 fee, that still wouldn't be as much as what we pay in gas taxes a year. The thing is, though, electric cars aren't all that great yet. A pure zero emissions car might get you 100 miles in a single charge, but it'll take 15-30 minutes to recharge it, and if you run out of electricity on the road, you're SOL. This may actually hurt the electric car industry.
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
23 Apr 11
You should also check if your state charges you extra taxes on electricity used in your home when you go over a certain amount. That's becoming popular in many states. Right now electric cars are a nice novelty, but they're not ready to be a primary car. Hopefully they'll improve over the next decade or so.
• Philippines
24 Apr 11
Wow. This would be a blow to those companies which manufactures electric cars. It's sad, when you actually thought you could save money, you suddenly find out that you couldn't.
@ebuscat (5949)
• Philippines
24 Apr 11
For me not unless if you can't pay for the electricity consume.
• United States
24 Apr 11
That's not actually all that true, it can be just as expensive, if not, more expensive than owning a regular car. First of all, you have to pay more for a hybrid and an electric car than you do for a gas car, second, you are no longer paying for gas, you are paying for energy, that can also be expensive, and and as for mileage, well, good luck on that one because most of those car do not get good Miles Per Gallon/Energy charge. I have heard people say that they have to pay an extra $15 to possibly $50 a month on their energy bill, and if you need a charging station, those are far and few between.
@iklananda (1203)
23 Apr 11
New things will bring you more money to spend and more complicated way to life. But electric can be produce from sun, windmill, etc. Just no worry about the gasoline
@dark_joev (3043)
• United States
23 Apr 11
Well those Oil companies will lose a lot of money if people start moving away from oil we can't allow that Taskr I mean really we need to continue to use Oil and Gas for as long as possible to keep the Oil and Military happy we need to be invading Middle Eastern Countries as often as possible to place a government that will give us cheap Oil. What other reason would we have to invade the Middle East. I mean really you think we care about the people no we need Exxon and BP to be happy. Keep the black gold flowing. And well if you are buy electric cars that is because your a terrorist or something you don't want the United States to invade countries over and over again come on you get to see things go boom every few months on your tvs? Who doesn't like big explosions on the tv. (Sorry for the mostly sarcasm but it is all I can do right now with this idea.) Now for me to be as serious as possible with congress or these politicians being as stupid as can be. How about they focus on balancing the budget without increasing taxes as I think many of us know they can do. We need a new system we need to kill this machine that is currently in charge of our government.