It will be used to recoup fuel tax money.
The new fee goes into effect on October 1st.
Hybrids could be next on the Government’s radar.
Here’s the Saskatchewan Government’s thinking: Because EVs use the same roadways as regular ICE vehicles, they too should be taxed to support infrastructure maintenance. The “tax” is acquired by the government via petrol consumption but EVs do without. To make up for this loss of revenue, EV owners will be charged.
This situation is a strange one. On the one hand, it seems to go against progress and the drive towards reducing our carbon footprint.
“You put a tax on things to discourage people from engaging in those activities, so what the province is signalling is, you shouldn’t be using EVs, you probably shouldn’t even be walking to work, you should drive to work,” said Joel Bruneau to CTV News, an associate professor and economic department head at the University of Saskatchewan.
The reason behind the “tax”, on the other hand, reads as a fair one. The Saskatchewan government said in its budget: “These vehicles contribute to wear and tear on provincial roadways, but because they do not consume traditional fuels they are not contributing to highway maintenance through the provincial Fuel Tax.”
The most bizarre aspect of this entire story is that there are currently only 403 registered electric vehicles according to the Saskatchewan Government Insurance. This means that the Government stands to recoup about $60,000 with this new fee.
Perhaps scariest of all is that this fee could eventually be applied to hybrid vehicles and commercial electric vehicles. The math to figure out the amount to charge for each will be challenging…