This is the first time we can think of that a state is charging car buyers more for not using gas.
Autonomous cars are posed to collapse the human workforce within the transportation industry as we know it given that robots are much easier to deal with than people. Michigan, of all states, is one that's been hit hardest by the shifts in the auto industry, has recently approved the testing of autonomous cars on its own roads, but innovation has its costs. As the Detroit Free Press mentions, the state that the American auto industry called home for many years is already being hit by electric and hybrid cars.
This class of vehicle is made up of electric cars, hybrids, and plug-in hybrids, basically any car that can forgo the gas pump entirely or for extended periods of time. Given that Michigan, like the federal government and many other states, gets funding to fix its roads using a fuel tax, electric cars and hybrids, cars that can skirt paying as much or any off the tax by avoiding the fuel pump, are putting a hole in coffers destined to build better roads. The result will be a 7.3 cent hike in the state's fuel tax as well as an increase in vehicle registration price by 20%. Since hybrid and electric vehicles benefit from the same roads while contributing a fraction of the tax, the new registration costs will charge these owners more.
The decree is part of a $1.2 billion road funding plan that will increase registration costs for owners of electric and hybrid vehicles even more than the 20% across the board price hike. Average registration costs currently run at $120 annually in Michigan, but when the price increases kick in on January 1st 2017, electric cars will be subject to a $100 surcharge and an additional $35 gas tax. Meanwhile hybrids, which are defined by Michigan law as vehicles that can be partially propelled by electrical energy coming from battery of at least four kilowatt hours, will see a $30 surcharge tacked onto their registrations along with a $17 gas tax.
The money will go to the worthy cause of fixing Michigan's roads, something many US states could use, but this is the first time we can think of that a state is beginning to charge owners of hybrids and EVs the actual cost it takes to keep roads in good condition.