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Bill would lower electric vehicle registration fee


January 26, 2016 Decatur – Don Francis, executive director of Clean Cities Georgia, charges his electric vehicle using DC Fast Charging station at Agnes Scott College electric vehicle charging station on Tuesday, January 26, 2016. DC fast charging provides a rapid recharge of battery electric vehicles, generally in less than 30 minutes. Interest in the factors that influence the adoption of electric vehicle technology has grown in Georgia following the Legislature’s decision to eliminate a $5,000 tax credit and impose a $200 per year registration fees. EV sales have plummeted 90 percent since last June, when the law took effect. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

A state lawmaker on Monday filed a bill that would reduce from $200 to $75 the annual registration fee for electric vehicles.

The registration fee has rankled Georgia’s plug-in vehicle owners since it took effect July 1, 2015 as part of a sweeping transportation funding bill aimed at raising $1 billion per year for road and bridge improvements. Another component of the legislation revoked a popular $5,000 income tax credit for owners or leasers of zero emissions vehicles.

After the bill took effect, electric vehicle sales took a nose dive.

The proposed legislation, House Bill 878, has bipartisan support. It was filed by Rep. Scott Holcomb, D-Atlanta, but cosigned by Republican Reps. John Pezold, R-Fortson, and Michael Caldwell, R-Woodstock. Other Democrats, Karla Drenner, of Avondale Estates; Michele Henson, of Stone Mountain; and Margaret Kaiser, of Atlanta, also cosigned the bill.

A newly formed alliance is also lobbying for the creation of a study committee on the economic impact of electric vehicles on the Georgia economy, with an eye toward reinstating some kind of incentive for EV owners.

Some experts predict that electric vehicles could go mainstream within 10 years, and local incentives could have a role to play in speeding the adoption of clean fuel technology.

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