While some states are restricting the tax amounts to low dollar figures, my fear is that once laws are enacted and passed that other politicians will step in and up the tax to be more comparable to what gas usesr pay, after all we all know how well politicians keep their promises.
It may be true that energy companies are looking at battery technology, I don't believe that they are going to pull all or even a majority of their investments from one field, oil, and put them into another, battery or solar, unless the government offsets any losses for them.
Again as I said with the deep pockets that the energy companies have for lobbying and such, the possibility that a EV user will end paying more and more taxes as time goes on is not Tin Foil hat concerns but something that needs to be addressed now.
In fact I know of several individuals, myself included, who just this summer has held off on EV purchases because of concerns after reading the above articles.
For me it was simple, Do I really need an EV or a hybrid that barely does 90 miles electric range when I have a 110 mile round trip to go from north of Portland to Salem and then I have to find an outlet to plug into and wait for the battery to charge for several hours and add to this the real concerns that maybe next year I will have to pay a road use tax or do I just keep my good old reliable toyota gas vehicle and pay my 40 dollar per 2 year registration fee and my present gas fees?
If this EV use tax idea doesn't worry you now then you need to take the blinders off and come back to reality because the reality is that our government bends over backwards for the old traditional energy companies, oil producers, and it is all about profits and satisfying the stock holders and nothing else and right now EV technology does not satisfy them.
The reality is that politicians may promise a 65 dollar use fee one year but the next year they may up it to 650 dollars or more.
If you can name one politician that has any integrity and has kept his word then maybe, maybe he could convince me to purchase an EV or hybrid but until that day comes and because of these concerns I'm leaving well enough alone.
@Mike_m, They may be greedy, but they are not dumb. Many oil energy companies are investing heavily in battery technologies.
I can see the need to keep road tax revenue coming, but the gps monitoring idea sounds like its coming from the tinfoil hat crowd. A simpler solution: Report your annual mileage on your car use tax form. Scale by vehicle weight to calculate your contribution to road wear. Add air pollution tax to gasoline, oil and coal. That sounds better to me.
Daleste, you raise a good point. I would like to know more about battery lifetime, too.
I remember reading that some of the original Toyota Prius's were used as taxi's in Toronto and some had over 1,ooo,ooo miles on the original batteries! The hybrid batteries last so long largely because they were kept near the ideal % charge range of 50% capacity.
Pure electric cars which use their batteries more heavily would have a much shorter life. I believe the current Prius's have a 100,000 mile battery warrantee, so you know they will probably last at least that long.
If the question is whether an electric car could be called as "Green" car, I also think "No" if the car is not being powered using a renewable energy source such as solar. Solar could be the key for achieving "True Green" electric cars, if the car battery could be charged using solar cells installed in the house or even installed on the car; But this is not cost effective at present. Waiting for a revolution to happen in the solar space to make this solution attractive.
Why not starting with taking smaller steps...increase Fuel efficiency first...increase the efficiency everywhere including power generation, distribution....reduce wastage to the minimum...with more intelligent, smarter devices connected together,
btw...what happened to the "compressed air car" technology?
I think the 'Environmental Friendly" question is simply too complicated to answer. Maybe how clean the electricity is an issue, but one could argue the cost of making gasoline available (extraction, refinery, transport) is likely just as costly. How do you know it is a draw?
I think the layman should look at their driving habits and do a cost benefit analysis using round numbers.
Let's say I get 40 mpg on my motorcycle. At $4 a gallon, It costs me $0.10 a mile in fuel costs. 1,000 miles costs $100, 100,000 miles costs $10k but how many of us travel that much?
I'm looking at an electric motorcycle that costs me $10k that gives me a 100 mile range. In about 100,000 miles the investment pays for itself over the motorcycle I now have. And a $2k to $3k battery replacement is justified. And a quick calculation can ignore the actual cost of electricity because it's small by comparison.
Now let's assume I have a 100 mile commute, 50 miles each way. The bike is perfect since it has the range I need. In 1,000 workling days I will have the investment pay off. Sounds like a good idea.
But if I am one to do longer trips, I'll be limited by range or have to sit around to charge it up.
WHere the technology stands now, I think you need a pretty specific application (i.e. long and regular commutes) to make it useful. Under this model, you could then rent a gas powered car for those long trips you need to do.
It seems perverse to consider how the electricity used for charging a battery is generated, but not how the electricity used to manufacture it is generated. If all the energy used to manufacture the battery were derived from renewables or nuclear, the carbon emmisions used to manufacture it would be zero.
It is reasonably straightforward to generate electricity without emitting carbon, using either renewables or nuclear. It is hard to design a car that deosn't emit carbon (nuclear-powered car anyone?). A battery is a way of storing energy derived from some other source and so an EV is a simply way of getting a car that has no emisions, provided the energy used to manfuacture it and charge the battery is derived from sources that have no emisions.