Is Washington State Gouging Electric Vehicle Owners?

Electric Car

Note: Jay Inslee was a candidate for President who ran on one issue: Climate Change. Washington State has been a leader on the environment with his help and leadership.

The tags on my Nissan Leaf needed to be renewed in August. On the breakdown of the bill, was a $150 charge for owning an Electric Vehicle (EV). I understand that. Since I’m not buying gas, I’m not paying the gas tax of 50 cents/gal. Let’s see, that’s 300 gal of gas. I get 40+ mpg in my Toyota Echo. That’s at least 12000 miles. I probably drive my Nissan Leaf further about that far in a year. So that’s fair.

Also, there was an identical line on my bill for $75. Curious, I called to see what was up. They said, starting in Aug 2019 (lucky me), they had added this additional charge to bring what gas and electric vehicle drivers were paying in taxes. I also found out that the money from this charge would go towards EV charging stations. Sounded good. $175 is a lot less than I would pay for gas at $3.50/gal. This charge was for the range I was getting. Excuse me? I have a 2015 Leaf. Range is supposed to be 119 miles, but at most, I get 70-80 miles. I’m not complaining about my range, but it’s not like I have a new Leaf. And it’s definitely not like I have a Tesla.

$75 would be 150 gal of gas. This would add another 6000 miles. I don’t drive 18000 miles each year. And as my wife pointed out, somebody with a gas powered car could drive a lot fewer miles and pay less taxes. But if you have an EV, you don’t have that choice. Shhh! Don’t give the government any ideas. They might want to place a mileage tracker on my Leaf. Let’s just keep this between me and you. ‘Cause at 10000 miles/year, I’d be paying $875 for gas. So I figure I’m saving $700.