New Utah House Bill charges electric vehicles per mile, with cap

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah House Bill 186, which passed the Senate on a vote of 23-0 last week, would charge drivers of alternative fuel vehicles 1 cent per mile they drive, with the fee capped at $130.25 annually.

If the bill becomes law, the rules will go into effect in 2023. In 2026, the fee will increase to 1.25 cents per mile, with the cap rising to $180 annually. In 2032, the per-mile cost bumps up to 1.5 cents per mile with the cap at $240.

“This bill speaks to our long-term need to maintain sufficient funding for road maintenance. For many years, we have relied on the gas tax for that,” said Rep. Raymond Ward (R-Bountiful), the bill’s sponsor. “We need a way those vehicles will pay their fair share. We also want to acknowledge that those vehicles have important benefits to air quality here.”

Utah Clean Energy and the Utah Taxpayers Association have both endorsed the bill.

“This is an acceptable way forward. It balances the need to ensure that we’re not disincentivizing electric vehicles, which we support,” said Josh Craft, the government and corporate relations manager at Utah Clean Energy. “At the same time, letting people be aware of the option to participate in the road usage charge program.”

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