Virginia Governor To Consider Tax On Hybrid And Electric Cars | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Virginia Governor To Consider Tax On Hybrid And Electric Cars

Play associated audio
EnviroCab's electric taxicab charging at a station behind the Arlington the dispatch headquarters on Columbia Pike.
Michael Pope
EnviroCab's electric taxicab charging at a station behind the Arlington the dispatch headquarters on Columbia Pike.

EnviroCab general manager Rick Vogel loves to show off the fleet's electric taxicab, which hooks into a power outlet behind the business' Columbia Pike headquarters in Arlington. It's not quite ready for the road yet, but he hopes it will be soon — the latest addition to the fleet of all hybrid taxicabs.

"We're the only 100 percent hybrid cab company in the area, or for that matter east of the Rockies," says Vogel.

That means his drivers may get hit soon with a new tax, one directed at owners of hybrid vehicles and electric cars. The $100 annual tax is part of the transportation package members of the General Assembly approved before leaving Richmond last month.

"I think it's preposterous," says Vogel. "So we should be penalized by being friendly to the environment, and gas hogs should be given a break?"

Two northern Virginia legislators have created a petition to persuade the governor to use his line-item veto to remove the hybrid tax from the transportation package. Democratic Sen. Adam Ebbin says the tax is counterproductive to the Commonwealth's long-term goals.

"We talk about making Virginia a green energy capital in research and production, that sort of thing," he says. "So why should we penalize people who take it upon themselves to do something right?"

Legislators who approved the tax say hybrid drivers aren't paying their fair share for roads and transportation infrastructure.

"People who drive motor vehicles powered with gas are paying the equivalent of about 10 cents a gallon for repair and maintenance of the roads," says Republican Del. Dave Albo. "A person with an electric car is going to pay zero. And that's not fair."

One catch: hybrid cars also use gas, so Albo says the tax still needs to be modified to fit different kinds of hybrid vehicles on a sliding scale. Gov. Bob McDonnell is expected to sign a final version of the transportation package later this month.

NPR

Amazon Deal With Simon & Schuster Raises Questions For Other Publishers

Amazon has received a fair amount of bad press lately over its long-running dispute with the Hachette publishing house. So Monday's announcement of a deal with Simon & Schuster took some industry watchers by surprise.
NPR

From NFL To 'Scandal,' Whole Foods Buys TV Ads To Boost Its Brand

A pioneer in selling organic, sustainable groceries, Whole Foods now finds itself beset by competitors. So it's launching its first national ad blitz to sell socially conscious consumers on its story.
NPR

Obama Has To Balance His Base Without Hurting Dems In Red States

If Democrats have a chance of hanging onto Senate seats in southern states, they need to do well with African American voters. But for President Obama, that creates a difficult balance between turning out the base and energizing GOP voters who don't like him.
NPR

In Silicon Valley, Paying For Access To Peace Of Mind

The San Francisco area is the home to the high-tech sector and has a history of embracing Eastern spirituality. Now the two meet in the yoga and meditation classes popular with the local tech workers.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.