NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana owners of electric or hybrid vehicles could be charged an annual state road usage fee under legislation that won final passage Sunday.
Governor John Bel Edwards is expected to sign the bill into law since his Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson testified in favor of the legislation.
If Edwards signs House Bill 1031 by Baton Rouge Republican Rep. Barbara Freiberg owners of all-electric vehicles will be charged annual fees of $110, while hybrid owners will be charged $60.
Freiberg told the Houma Courier, "EV and hybrid owners have been getting a free ride on Louisiana's roads and bridges because they either pay no gasoline taxes or a reduced amount in the case of hybrids."
The Advertiser reports that the bill's supporters argued that the bill is needed because revenue to pay for upkeep and improvement of existing roads and bridges comes from the state's 20-cents-per-gallon gasoline tax. Owners of electric vehicles avoid those taxes, and hybrid drivers avoid part of them.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.