Letter: Now’s not the time to impose a fee on electric vehicle owners

Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune Crews work to install a total of four electric car charging stations at Liberty park in Salt Lake on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. The city is upgrading its six current electric car charging stations and adding more, giving electric car owners a total of 28 city-owned charge ports within city boundaries. The downside for electric car owners is the new stations will eventually allow the city to recoup energy costs by charging a fee that's been on the books but unenforceable previously.

The Utah Legislature wants to impose a $150 fee for electric vehicle owners. Seriously? Year after year, Utahns contend with terrible air quality. EVs are a great way to improve air quality, and putting a fee on EV owners right now is just a bad idea.

I get the logic that EVs use the roads, thus need to help pay for them, but EVs make up less than 0.05 percent of the cars on Utah roads. With EV use this small, it’s not as if the transportation fund is losing a ton of money, certainly not enough to justify penalizing EV owners for doing their part cleaning the air. Wait until EV adoption actually makes any kind of real impact on the transportation fund, then add a fee. Until then, Utah legislators need to encourage this air quality tool, not hurt it.

Daniel Dugan, Salt Lake City