Editorial: Fees for electric vehicles increase

Published 2:07 pm Tuesday, November 14, 2023

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As I drove by the gas station Monday, I noticed the price was well under $3 a gallon. I was in a hurry, and had plenty in the tank, so I didn’t stop.

It had jumped 14 cents a gallon by the next morning.

Another wrong decision in the never-ending fluctuation of gas prices.

It seems that last weekend, the Mocksville area was one of  the cheapest places around to get gas. We don’t get to say that very much; prices here are usually higher.

Why do they fluctuate so much?

There are a lot of reasons. Some make sense, some make you scratch your head.

The price of a tanker of gas to fill a station’s coffers changes daily. Stations don’t order gas on the same days. The charge you pay will be based in part on what they pay.

There are things like real estate prices where the station is located, the distance the gas has to travel to get to the station, etc.

And there’s competition and greed. In some ways, these things are what built this country. It made us what we are today.

Even the stations that sometimes feature lower prices to fill the tank aren’t doing it to help your pocketbook. They know that people will shop around for lower gas prices (How many times have you traveled to another town basically to take advantage of lower gas prices?); and if they offer it for $2.85 a gallon when their nearby competitors charge $2.99, folks will stop. And many of those gas guzzlers will march inside the store and pay outrageous prices for snacks, such as $2 for a 20 oz. bottle of water. If they priced gas like this, we would be paying well over $6 a gallon.

It’s all about the dollar. It always has been and it always will be about the almighty dollar.

Most businesses will charge whatever the consumer will pay. Thank goodness there are some regulations for things such as gasoline, which in our society, is an essential part of everyday life – even for those who don’t even own a car.

And yes, a portion of that gasoline cost in North Carolina goes to taxes. Those taxes are necessary to help upkeep our roads. That’s a good idea.

Do owners of electric vehicles pay taxes that help fund our roadways? They do now, thanks to recently adopted legislation. All vehicle owners pay a $38.75 registration fee; electric vehicle owners will soon face an additional $140.75 registration fee, going to $180 in July. Hybrid owners now pay a $90 additional fee, going to $107 in July.

It seems like a more fair way to pay for our roads, but that registration fee isn’t based on how much the vehicle is on the road, as is the case for gasoline-powered vehicles.

Use Uber or Lyft? Exclusive riders will pay an additional 2% tax next year, and ride sharers will pay a 1% tax.

The bottom line: Get a bicycle.

– Mike Barnhardt