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Registration fees increasing for electric, plug-in hybrid vehicles starting Jan. 1

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File photo of two electric vehicles at a charging station. In North Carolina, drivers of electric vehicles will have to pay a $180 annual registration fee starting Jan. 1, in addition to other existing charges. The newly implemented annual registration fee for plug-in hybrid vehicles is $90.

Drivers of electric vehicles will have to pay the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles an annual registration fee of $180 starting January 1, 2024, in addition to other existing costs. Previously, the annual registration fee was $140.

The annual registration fee for plug-in hybrid vehicles is $90. This is a newly implemented fee.

"The purpose of the [electric vehicle] fee is to offset the revenue loss to the state since EVs pay no gas tax," said Amna Cameron, deputy director of strategic initiatives at the North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT). "North Carolina is heavily reliant on gas taxes to support maintenance and construction activities."

The fees were included in this year's state budget passed by the North Carolina General Assembly.

"We're grateful to have these new funding sources to help offset rising inflation and demands on our transportation system," Cameron said.

Cameron expects fees will continue to increase in coming years in order to keep pace with inflation.

There are currently over 70,000 registered electric and hybrid vehicles in North Carolina, according to the latest DOT data. The state hopes to have 1.25 million hybrid and electric vehicles registered in North Carolina by 2030.

Celeste Gracia covers the environment for WUNC. She has been at the station since September 2019 and started off as morning producer.