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State Bill Would Exempt Electric, Hybrid Motorcycles From Fee

By Rebecca Thiele, IPB News | Published on in Environment, Government, Politics, Transportation
A ZEV T-5100 electric motorcycle, 2010 (DHZehrbach/Wikimedia Commons)
A ZEV T-5100 electric motorcycle, 2010 (DHZehrbach/Wikimedia Commons)

A state Senate committee is considering a bill that would exempt hybrid and electric motorcycles from paying an annual fee. The fee collects money for roads from hybrid and electric vehicle owners who don’t pay as much in gas taxes as other drivers.

Dennis Falkenberg is with the Build Indiana Council, which advocates for funding for the state’s roads and bridges. He says by passing the state’s road funding legislation in 2017, lawmakers agreed that all highway users should pay for the roads.

“One exemption is allowed, who’s next?” Falkenberg says.

But the bill’s author, Sen. Mike Bohacek (R-LaPorte), says these motorcycles often don’t go fast enough to be ridden on highways.

“So, you know, you could have a $100,000 Tesla with the same EV fee as a $2,000 electric scooter,” he says.

Bohacek says the state has only given out about 30 licenses for these electric and hybrid motorcycles so far.

When asked if the council would consider a lower fee for those riders, Falkenberg said it wouldn’t be fair. After all, he says the state doesn’t charge less for cars that get better gas mileage.

Indiana Environmental reporting is supported by the Environmental Resilience Institute, an Indiana University Grand Challenge project developing Indiana-specific projections and informed responses to problems of environmental change.