ST. LOUIS — If you've gotten gas lately, the price at the pump may have you considering making the switch to an electric vehicle. But Missouri drivers are discovering it’s not exactly an inexpensive alternative.
After years of driving a hybrid, Mark Saxon joined millions of Americans in making the switch to an all-electric vehicle.
“I like it other than when I’m making the payments on it,” said Mark Saxon.
With gas hovering around $3 per gallon in St. Louis he knows it’s saved him from paying at the pump.
“I think it probably cost me a few bucks a night to recharge depending on how much I drove that day,” said Saxon.
However, recent changes by the state of Missouri mean those savings will be getting smaller.
“In order to buy the alternative fuel decal, it’s going from $75 this year to $90 next year,” said Saxon.
Over the next five years, Missouri will increase the cost 20% each year, meaning more drivers could feel the pinch in their pocketbook.
“That’s a big hike on a yearly basis,” said Saxon. “It seems to me in other states they have tax credits for people who are exploring alternative fuels, and we’re kind of going the opposite way here. I just wonder what’s the mentality of that.”
That’s a question 5 on Your Side took to AAA spokesman Nick Chabarria, who said it’s all about paying your fair share.
“States around the country, including Missouri, basically need to adjust the way that they’re collecting revenue for road improvements and road safety,” said Chabarria. “That’s kind of the thought behind the alternative fuel tax.”
“We should be incentivizing people not to burn more fossil fuels, not to burn more and more of them, and then maybe get a little break on the price,” said Saxon.
“Even after the 5 years, and 20% increase for 5 years, Missouri still won’t be at the top of the list for the most expensive alternative fuel fees,” said Chabarria.
Illinois had a similar increase and is now charging $251 to register electric vehicles, which is roughly $100 more than what your typical driver pays.