UTAH transportation officials are exploring other ways to bring in money as more drivers switch to electric and hybrid vehicles.
The Provo Daily Herald reports the Utah Department of Transportation has launched the Road Usage Charge program aimed at giving drivers of alternative-fuel vehicles the option of paying by the number of miles driven instead of paying an annual fee.
As of 2019, drivers of these vehicles pay a flat fee when they register their car. Last year’s fees were $60 for electric vehicles, $26 for plug-in hybrids, and $10 for gas hybrids.
Those numbers will increase to $90, $39, and $15 respectively this year, and to $120, $52, and $20 in 2021.
Road Usage Charge program manager Tiffany Pocock says those who participate in the voluntary program will be charged 1.5 cents per mile driven.
Opting in will mean they don’t have to pay the extra registration fee and won’t be charged any higher than what the fee would have been, regardless of the number of miles traveled.
Pocock said electric car users, who travel an average of 8,000 miles a year, are unlikely to see any savings this year through program participation. But when the registration fees increase in 2021, the voluntary program would save drivers money.
“You could, in theory, drive less, pay less at that point,” Pocock said.
In 2018, the Utah Legislature passed transportation governance amendments that, among other things, required UDOT to implement a road usage charge system for alternative-fuel vehicles by 2020. (AP)