June 04, 2020
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LePage administration wants to impose fee for electric cars

Koji Sasahara | AP
Koji Sasahara | AP
In this Nov. 13, 2017 photo, visitors take a look at a Toyota car at its showroom in Tokyo. Toyota plans to offer more than 10 purely electric vehicle models in its lineup by the early 2020s. Maine Gov. Paul LePage says he is considering imposing fees on electric cars.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The LePage administration is proposing legislation that would add an annual fee on electric and hybrid cars in order to pay for highway maintenance.

The Portland Press Herald reports the measure would tack on a $250 fee for electric vehicles and a $150 fee for hybrids. Meghan Russo, manager of legislative services for MDOT, says the fee is being imposed because owners of hybrids and electric vehicles pay less in gas taxes than other vehicle owners.

Opponents of the legislation say it punishes drivers who use green technology. They say the LePage administration should reevaluate how the state pays for road maintenance, rather than target drivers of electric and hybrid cars.

Maine’s highway maintenance is underfunded by $60 million a year. Even with the proposed fees, the state would still face a funding shortfall.

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