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Electric-vehicle owners and car dealers alike received a major shock to the system recently when the Illinois state legislature proposed levying a $1,000 annual registration fee on all EVs.

It had previously been an additional $17.50 on top of the standard charge.

The idea was to make up revenue that’s otherwise lost because electric car owners avoid paying the state tax on gasoline. Already Illinois and other states are feeling the pinch at the pump with new cars becoming more fuel-efficient and gas-tax increases not being politically popular. The gas tax is a primary source of funds used to pay for road improvements, and Illinois had not raised its per-gallon rate since 1990.

Predictably, opponents were both vocal and vicious over a nearly 60-fold increase in registration charges that would become a major disincentive to EV sales. They included startup company Rivian, which is about to begin manufacturing the first in a new line of EVs at a former Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Ill.



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