EV drivers react to new tax

With the Alberta government announcing a new $ 200-a-year tax on electric vehicle owners starting in 2025 — drivers are sharing their reaction with CityNews.

“Our big thing is that we have no problem paying our fair share — but is this the appropriate way to do this and is this actually fair,” said Andrew Batiuk, the director of the Electric Vehicle Association of Alberta.

Those who drive electric vehicles in Alberta day they’re not surprised about a new $200 dollar-a-year tax on the vehicles slated to take effect in 2025.

In Thursday’s provincial budget, part of the reason for the tax is that electric vehicle owners don’t pay fuel tax and that electric vehicles weigh more causing more wear and tear to roads.

A Tesla sedan weighs in at over 2,500 kilograms, while a Ford Escape can weigh up to over 1,700 kilograms.

Batiuk says while it’s true electric cars weigh more, so do a lot of gas-powered trucks. But those gas-powered trucks pay the gas surcharge every time they fill up.

Batiuk added he wonders how the province reached the numbers, saying electric vehicles make up a very small percentage of cars on Alberta roads.

“Today we’re only at two-tenths of a per cent, EV’s compared to everything else. Could they have said, ‘Once we get to a per cent or half a per cent, here’s how we’re going to tax it?'”

While EV owners don’t pay a fuel tax, Batiuk points to times when the gas tax was suspended for Albertans — but adds even with the tax — it’s still cheaper overall to drive an electric vehicle.

Instead, he proposes gas-powered drivers and electric vehicle drivers get charged the same when they fill up.

“A penny a kilometre. If you charged EV drivers and ICE drivers the same — a penny a kilometre — you would end up with the equivalent based on the amount from the average 15,000 kilometres that people drive in Alberta,” he explained.

The electric vehicle tax hits pocketbooks next year.

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