I applaud Gov. Greg Gianforte’s veto of House Bill 188, preventing increased registration fees for electric vehicles (EVs). Here’s the bigger picture.
It’s a race between freedom and Chinese communism. China is erecting EV factories faster and has 800,000 public charging stations.
EVs can reduce transports’ wasted energy by half. At today’s prices, considering all costs, the average Montana family can save $1,602 a year by purchasing an EV SUV. The savings on energy is $2,537/year ($3,400/year on gasoline based on 25,000 miles/year divided by 20 MPG at $2.72/gallon; to $863 for electric charging based on an EPA rating of 30kWh/100 miles, at a Northwestern Energy billing rate of 11.6 cents/kWh).
EVs can save enough money to fix our underfunded highway infrastructure problem permanently. Requiring an EV SUV family to pay an equivalent amount instead of the $0.554/gallon fuel excise tax would yield $692/year; that family would still save $910/year.
While most of us will be able to plug in EVs at home, due to long travel distances, particularly for work and recreation, Montana’s economy will suffer without a network of charging stations. It’s an immediate bipartisan infrastructure opportunity.