Most of the attention the bill has received this legislative session has centered on the gas tax portion of the measure, with lawmakers on the House floor last month settling on a 3 cent per gallon increase after a committee initially endorsed a 6 cent hike. The bill passed the House with a 62-32 vote and now rests with the Senate.
The original version of the legislation did not mention electric or hybrid vehicle fees. House lawmakers amended it to include those fees after a public hearing, which focused on the proposed gas tax hike.
Rep. Ben Koppelman, R-West Fargo, pushed for an increase to the fees after the hearing, calling it a matter of “parity” between electric vehicle drivers and people who drive cars that use gasoline or diesel.
But on Monday, electric vehicle owners and representatives from the auto manufacturing industry indicated that the proposed increase felt like a penalty.
“Given that the market for these vehicles is still developing, now is not the time to impose additional barriers to their purchase,” said Josh Fisher, director of state affairs for the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which represents U.S. auto and light truck manufacturers.