July 1st, 2020
After Michigan LCV expressed serious concern and objection to the bill to the legislature, Governor Whitmer signed a HB 5313 (S-1) that changes the definition of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) which will increase the amount PHEV owners pay in registration fees to the Secretary of State each year. Although Michigan LCV recognizes the unique budget challenges that face our state as we try to update and upgrade our failing transportation infrastructure, we believe PHEV owners are already paying more than their fair share towards fixing Michigan’s roads. PHEV drivers currently pay more than standard combustion-engine drivers in both sales tax and value-based vehicle registration fees based on their higher market value. Additionally, PHEV drivers deliver public good benefits to all of us in the form of decreased tailpipe emissions that are inefficient and bad for public health. By adding yet another fee on PHEV drivers, HB 5313 (S-1) disincentivizes the purchase of electric vehicles for middle- and low-income individuals at a time when Michigan’s big auto companies have signaled a transition towards electrifying their fleets. Rather than incrementally increasing financial barriers to purchasing efficient vehicles, our elected leaders should be recognizing the benefits of PHEVs and other advanced automobiles, and work to rapidly move us towards a clean transportation fleet. The Governor missed an opportunity here to talk about the benefits of advanced autos and allowed the legislative majority to continue marching in the opposite direction.