Representative’s bill that charges electric car owners yearly fee to maintain Oklahoma roads passes House

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Able Blakley is a small business owner.

Therefore, when he decided to cut costs, his family went with an electric car.

A win, win: no more paying for gas, and the family gets to help the environment.

“We're interested in reducing the country's dependence on foreign oil, is a big deal. I try not use as much petroleum as I can, interested in reducing our carbon footprint," Blakely said.

But, Blakley's cost-saving decision could actually cost him every year.

“Currently, with electric cars not paying anything in the fuel system, that's why we're going this route,” said Rep. Dustin Roberts.

In his bill, Roberts said electric car owners would pay $100 each time they renew their tags.

That fee will be just $30 for hybrids.

That money would then go to maintaining Oklahoma roads.

Roberts said larger vehicles already pay more just based on the size of their fuel tanks.

“But, they pay more in gas taxes because they burn more fuel which goes into our transportation system, and typically electric car vehicle actually weighs more than a normal car, roughly by 300 or 400 pounds,” Roberts said.

Blakley said it's hard to believe a car without an engine that can only be on the road for less than 150 miles is causing any damages on the roads and bridges.

“I would like to see it altered maybe back to the way it was originally presented or at least get some input from the owners of electric vehicles about how we feel about this fee,” he said.

The bill passed the House last week 51 to 44.

Blakley also owns a hybrid vehicle so will have to pay $130 every year.

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