Alberta to introduce electric vehicle registration tax

Electric car owners in Alberta will be forced to pay an annual $200 electric vehicle tax starting as early as January 2025. The new tax will be applied when electric car owners register their vehicle and will be in addition to the current registration fee.

Image: Electrify Canada

The reason behind the new law, according to the Canadian province, is that electric vehicles tend to be heavier and cause more destruction on highways and roads, while owners don’t pay a provincial fuel tax. Under the regulation, the tax will not apply to hybrid vehicles, likely since they do consume gas and thus pay into the road maintenance tax fund.

“I’m interested in fixing the roads,” said Alberta Finance Minister Nate Horner. “We need everyone to help.” He underlined that the tax was set to be in line with the estimated fuel taxes paid by a typical driver. The province estimates that the tax will generate around $1 million in revenue for the fiscal period from 2024-25. That number is then expected to grow to $5 million over 2025-56 and $8 million by 2026-27 as more electric vehicles are introduced.

The timing of the new tax is interesting and suggests that perhaps there are economic interests at play, rather than just economic ones: Tesla had opened its Supercharger network in the region to third-party car drivers. Canadian EV drivers are not generally not impressed with the new tax, particularly since EVs are generally more expensive than their ICE counterparts, and the comparatively low cost of “fuelling” the vehicle helps alleviate that issue.

“Helping Albertans switch to electric depends on efforts from all levels of government to address the key barriers to EV adoption, including affordability and a lack of charging infrastructure,” said Brian Kington, president and CEO of the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association (CVMA).

University of Calgary economics professor Blake Shaffer also calculated that while the average electric vehicle was heavier than the average ICE vehicle, this did not necessarily apply across the board, as many ICE drivers also favour large SUVs and pickup trucks: For example, a Nissan Leaf with a curb weight of around 1,600kg, that drives 10,000 kilometres in a year would face the equivalent of a 25-cent-per-litre gasoline tax. A Ford Lightning EV pickup truck has a curb weight between 2,700 and 3,100 kg. If it drives 20,000 kilometres in a year, it would face a 12 cent-per-litre equivalent. “Vehicle registration fees for all vehicles should be based, in part, on their weight and annual kilometres driven,” He wrote in a social media post. Interestingly enough, this is exactly what Paris did earlier this year.

Alberta’s Opposition has also already answered: “This is a government that’s always keen to make anybody doing anything to reduce emissions pay more or be told they can’t do it at all. It’s just another fee increase and there’s a long list of fee increases embedded and buried in this budget,” said Opposition Leader Rachel Notley. Alberta is also one of the few Canadian provinces not to have its own EV subsidies, instead only relying on the federal government’s $5,000 subsidy.,

1 Comment

about „Alberta to introduce electric vehicle registration tax“
15.03.2024 um 22:40
Another incorrectly applied road use tax, dumped on BEV owners, for poorly justified reasons. The extra weight of BEVs is not unilateral across the board. Many BEVs are actually lighter than their equivalent ICEs. Also, the weight difference is miniscule, compared to oversized and overweight Pickup Trucks and inefficient monster SUVs, which should be assessed significantly higher road use taxes. Also, $200 annually is much higher than similarly sized and class ICEs pay in their fuel taxes at stations. This tax is also regressive, because it is NOT assessed due to the actual odometer readings, so drivers who only use the roads for 5K km/year will pay identical electric fees to drivers who use the roads for 50K km/year. I am not surprised that this is being assessed in Alberta, a province which has done the most to increase climate change of any other Canadian province, while destroying forests, water supplies, and fouling the air everywhere. This is simply a FRONTAL ATTACK by the fossil fuel industry and conservative politicians who are anti-BEVs and don't admit that fossil fuels have driven us towards the extinction of life on this planet.

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