AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Despite a push by some members of the U.S. military to find gasoline alternatives, it looks like the Republican-lead House Armed Services Committee is putting the kibosh on biofuel in military applications.
Electric Vehicles are currently the darling of sectors of the media and also the car companies themselves. Although limited by range in most cases, those that drive them are currently laughing all the way to the bank in many respects.
Not only do they not have to pay fuel costs, currently, in the US, they don’t have to pay any road fees either. Of course, for conventional vehicles, licensing and road fees are designed to be used by the individual states to maintain the infrastructure, i.e. the roads, that we drive on.
Washington state Senator Mary Margaret Haugen thinks EV drivers getting away scott-free is unfair, consequently, a bill is being proposed in the Evergreen State, which would require those that own or lease Electric Vehicles to pay a $100 annual fee.
Considering that Washingtonians currently pay a 37.5 cent gasoline tax, which works out to around $204 per year for most motorists, plus the fact that the number of EVs on the state’s roads is expected to increase, from around 1800 today to almost 9000 five years from now; such a fee would go along way to helping the state budget – possibly contributing as much as $1.9 million by the 2015-2017 budget cycle.
However, state anti-tax activists in Washington, say that Haugen’s proposal is not a fee but a tax and should be subjected to a two thirds vote in both the Senate and the House of Representatives before being approved, making it harder for it to to actually become law.
However, given that cash strapped state governments are looking at all kinds of ways to raise revenue, it’s likely that you’ll see similar bills presented for other states in the near future.
As for Haugen’s particular bill? Well it still has plenty of hurdles to clear, but the fact that some members in the House have already voiced their approval for it indicates there’s a good chance it will make it through and become law eventually.
After all, when it comes to driving, the reality is that eventually, all of us have to pay for the privilege of mobility in some way, no matter what kind of car or truck we operate.
[Source: Edmunds Auto Observer]
New legislation aimed at improving sales of fuel-efficient cars
Late yesterday the House of Representatives approved a bill that would offer consumers up to $4,500 to trade in their vehicle on a more fuel-efficient machine. The legislation must now go before the Senate before President Barack Obama is expected to give it final approval.
The bill passed with a strong majority of 298 to 119 and has also received the support of U.S. automakers.
Still, the CARS Act as it is being called is significantly different from the successful incentive programs used in Europe as its aim is not to sell cars, but to sell fuel efficient cars.
Vehicles that are traded in must get 18 mpg or worse. For those who trade in their guzzler for a vehicle that gets (on average) 4 mpg more will receive a $3,500 voucher toward the new car, while those who choose a vehicle that gets 10 mpg more than their current auto will receive the full $4,500.
Programs in Europe, like the incredibly successful one in Germany, target older cars, rather than gas guzzlers.
The CARS act is a temporary measure and is being funded through a $4 billion fund. It is also not retroactive.
If passed in the Senate and approved by President Obama, it is likely to go into effect 30 days afterward, which may mean consumers won’t be able to cash in on incentives until August 1st – a full six months after programs like the one in Germany were put into effect.