May 10, 2019|3:36pm
|UpdatedMay 10, 2019 | 3:58pm
Owners of all-electric vehicles in Illinois may get a huge shock to the wallet — thanks to a proposed $1,000 annual registration fee.
The proposed hike is more than 57 times the current yearly fee of $17.50 for electric vehicle owners in the state.
It’s part of proposed legislation that also targets the owners of gas-fueled vehicles to help fund $2.4 billion in projects such as roadway improvement.
Under the bill, the state’s gas tax would jump from 19 cents a gallon to 44 cents and the cost of standard vehicle registration would increase from $98 to $148, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Those who drive hybrids and plug-in electric hybrids wouldn’t have to pay the higher registration fee involving all-electric vehicles, according to Chicago state Sen. Martin Sandoval, a Democrat who introduced the legislation earlier this week.
“Capital bills in Springfield are like the second coming of the cicadas — every 10 years — and that’s not the way to go in regards to funding our infrastructure,” Sandoval said, according to NPR Illinois. “This is a transformational model. And hopefully, when we get done with passing this sustainable capital bill, we won’t have to have another press conference like this 10 years from now.”
But Tesla owner Nicoletta Skarlatos of Chicago said the idea is simply “unfair,” even counting the $7,500 in federal incentives and $4,000 in state ones she received when she bought her Model S in 2014.
“It’s outrageous,” Skarlatos told the newspaper. “I thought Illinois was progressive and would want to encourage EV [electric vehicle] ownership.”
Had she known about the potential massive registration hike looming years down the road, Skarlatos said, she wouldn’t have purchased her vehicle.
“This is going to make people not want to buy EVs,” she said.
A spokeswoman for Tesla told The Post on Friday that the company does not support the fee increase.
Jeremy Acevedo, an analyst with the auto research firm Edmunds, told the Tribune that the proposed fee could dramatically slow sales of electric vehicles, which eclipsed 200,000 last year in the United States — or about 2 percent of all sales.
“Every automaker has broadcast loud and clear that the future of automotive is autonomous and electric,” Acevedo told the Tribune. “Certainly, going from $17.50 to $1,000 in terms of registration isn’t going to move the needle in the direction the industry is hoping.”