The rise in both the fuel efficiency of new cars and trucks and the popularity of hybrid vehicles threatens to eventually undermine the effectiveness of the gas tax, some transportation officials and lawmakers fear, forcing them to search for novel ways to pay for the escalating cost of caring for the state’s roads and bridges."(N)ovel ways to pay for" means "new taxes". And Mr. Jones is saying that you Prius drivers aren't saving the environment, you're cheating the government out of its fair share of your money.
One Republican lawmaker has proposed an additional registration fee for fully electric vehicles. Some officials suggest looking at charging all motorists per mile traveled; others say more tolls are the answer.
They all contend that with revenue from the gas tax expected to taper off in coming decades, it’s time to end the free ride for some motorists.
“That person who switches to an all-electronic vehicle, they’re paying nothing for the benefit of the upkeep, maintenance, and filling of potholes on the roads,” said Representative Bradley H. Jones, who earlier this month unsuccessfully pushed an amendment for the new registration fee. “The issue is really one of equity.”
Bottom line is, whether you have a carbon-spewing internal combustion engine or an ecologically-friendly electric, you're going to pay. How, then, should you make your decision when buying a car?
We've got to pay for this, too, if it's as good as the video says it is.
Update, 6/3/14: They're making progress:
The concept of using roads as solar cells seems like a great idea until you start considering all of the damage that streets regularly have to handle. From freezing water to overloaded vehicles, the nation's highways take a lot of punishment. However, that isn't stopping Solar Roadways from refining its concept for a sun-powered surface that you can drive on. It's latest big step is raising over $1.5 million in a crowdfunding campaign on the website Indiegogo that ends on May 31. We think the energetic solar freakin' roadway video (available below) had more than a little to do with attracting attention to the project.