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Illinois car manufacturer upset with Sandoval’s proposed EV fee hike

Monday, May 13, 2019

* Last week

Electric truck and SUV startup Rivian filed a patent application for fast-charging electric vehicle batteries at different voltages using a switch mechanism. The technology could reduce the cost of electric vehicles and make high-speed charging systems easier to use.

The patent describes a configurable battery that when used in an electric vehicle can accept charging voltages of either 450 or 900 volts and use less expensive components. The system can manage a potential fault in a battery module without disconnecting the load, making it more reliable.

Rivian, based in Plymouth, Mich., is raising funds to complete development and launch production of the all-electric R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV  it unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.

Both are billed as adventure vehicles that can easily navigate rugged terrain and would compete directly with Ford vehicles including the F-150, Ranger pickup truck and upcoming Bronco SUV. Deliveries of the five-passenger R1T pickup and seven-passenger R1S SUV are expected to start in late 2020, according to Rivian. The vehicles will deliver up to 400-plus miles of range and have off-road capability, the company says.

Earlier this year the company raised $700 million in a financing round let by Amazon. In April, Ford Motor Co. invested $500 million in Rivian, saying it will use the company’s “skateboard” platform to develop a new electric vehicle.

Rivian’s manufacturing plant is in Normal.

* Also last week

A proposed hike in Illinois’ annual registration fee for electric vehicles, from $17.50 to $1,000, is being called unfair by current EV owners, and a sales disincentive by manufacturers — just as the new technology is beginning to gain broader traction. […]

Tesla said it opposes the Illinois fee increase. Electric truck startup Rivian, which is slated to begin production at its factory in downstate Normal next year, was more outspoken.

“Imposing fees on EVs that are over 400 percent more than their gasoline-powered counterparts is not only unfair, it discourages promising new technology that will reduce our dependence on petroleum, reduce emissions, and promote the Illinois economy,” Rivian spokesman Michael McHale said.

Electric vehicles represented just 2 percent of total American auto sales last year. Only about 15,000 are registered in the state. The sponsor needs to take a breath.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

28 Comments »
  1. - Precinct Captain - Monday, May 13, 19 @ 12:14 pm:

    Sandoval is next scheduled to take a breath when the tricentennial rolls around.


  2. - PublicServant - Monday, May 13, 19 @ 12:28 pm:

    I wonder if Sandoval knows how many Hispanics those manufacturers employ who would be hurt by his ridiculous proposal?


  3. - Not a Billionaire - Monday, May 13, 19 @ 12:28 pm:

    The Constitutional amendment is in trouble. This capital bill is well troubled with nonsense like this the sin revenues are in trouble And where is the budget. Isn’t it time for Madigan and Pritzger to get their act together?


  4. - Chicagonk - Monday, May 13, 19 @ 12:40 pm:

    Everyone should be upset with Sandoval’s poorly written bill.


  5. - Fixer - Monday, May 13, 19 @ 12:40 pm:

    This fee almost seems like a punitive measure on the part of Sandoval. It took all of a couple minutes of napkin math to figure out this is a much higher fee than what a purchaser would pay in fuel taxes had they bought a standard vehicle. The rep couldn’t figure that out?


  6. - Just Stop - Monday, May 13, 19 @ 12:41 pm:

    If a serious capital bill emerges, it will come from the House as always, pass late, and the Speaker will adjourn and turn off the lights forcing the Senate to acquiesce as usual.

    Marty, also per usual, once again relegated to a blow hard bully wanna be . . . . . . .


  7. - Former State Worker - Monday, May 13, 19 @ 12:43 pm:

    The registration fee obviously needs to be scaled back. Not sure how they can justify keeping it anywhere close to $1,000 when it doesn’t really add that much revenue.

    How many people does Rivian employ at the Normal factory?


  8. - Moe Berg - Monday, May 13, 19 @ 1:00 pm:

    The top EV registration fee in the country is $200. $1,000 is laughably unreasonable.

    In a dense urban/suburban area like Sandoval represents, you’d hope he might have some understanding that the more gasoline powered trucks and cars, the more air pollution in districts like his.

    That air pollution has negative effects for children, especially Latinx kids. In 2015, the Environmental Defense Fund reported: “Latino children are 40 percent more likely to die from asthma than non-Latino whites, and nearly 10 percent of Latino children under the age of 18 suffer from this chronic respiratory illness.”

    More EVs won’t completely solve that problem, asthma has a variety of causes and aggravating factors, but its part of the solution - even more so in a region where most electricity is generated from non-carbon sources.


  9. - Cook County Commoner - Monday, May 13, 19 @ 1:04 pm:

    When and if EV usage negatively impacts tax revenues dedicated to road upkeep, the additional taxes collected for increased electrical usage by charging stations may make up the difference.


  10. - Huh? - Monday, May 13, 19 @ 1:06 pm:

    $1000 per year for license plates is nutty.


  11. - Fixer - Monday, May 13, 19 @ 1:06 pm:

    Former State Employee, most recent numbers I can find show they’re currently employing about 70 people in Normal with plans to start hiring more in the near future.


  12. - Downstate Illinois - Monday, May 13, 19 @ 1:08 pm:

    But electric vehicles need to pay their fair share of they want to share the roads. I don’t know if $1,000 is too much or too little but the basic thrust of this idea is sound. They don’t pay gas tax so they should pay in some other fashion.


  13. - City Zen - Monday, May 13, 19 @ 1:11 pm:

    $995 would have drawn far less scrutiny.


  14. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, May 13, 19 @ 1:16 pm:

    Can anyone point to the part of the bill that states the fee will be $1000.

    I can’t find it.


  15. - Been There - Monday, May 13, 19 @ 1:17 pm:

    ===The rep couldn’t figure that out? ===
    You couldn’t figure out he is a senator?

    Anyway, my guess is the electrics didn’t want any raise at all and didn’t want to compromise. So he threw out this ridiculous fee to spite them (something we all know Marty is good at). I think it will end up somewhere around $200. More than regular gas cars but less than what the average pay in gas taxes.


  16. - Wylie Coyote - Monday, May 13, 19 @ 1:20 pm:

    Electric vehicles have paid $17.50 annual registration as an incentive for well-to-do Chicagoans to buy a Tesla for their quick trips around the city. I wonder if Marty talked to Cullerton and asked him if the $1000 registration fee was a good idea?


  17. - Soccermom - Monday, May 13, 19 @ 1:30 pm:

    This is not just about the tax bracket of the people who own the cars. It’s also about creating an enormous disincentive for people to buy vehicles that will help to ease the environmental burden of transportation. These car owners are already paying sales tax on these expensive vehicles — that’s a good thing that we should encourage.

    This was just a spectacularly bad idea.


  18. - Suburbs - Monday, May 13, 19 @ 1:36 pm:

    Obviously that will not be the final amount in the final bill. It will be less. But they do need to pay for the roads too.


  19. - Nick - Monday, May 13, 19 @ 1:44 pm:

    They only pay 17.50 a year

    That’s ridiculous


  20. - Former State Worker - Monday, May 13, 19 @ 1:52 pm:

    ==Can anyone point to the part of the bill that states the fee will be $1000.

    I can’t find it.==

    It’s included in the summary of HB 3233:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1coGldUR-HWV6oeuhiioPGJ_cLUWEj5ZZ/view


  21. - {Sigh} - Monday, May 13, 19 @ 1:58 pm:

    =Illinois car manufacturer upset with Sandoval’s proposed EV fee hike=

    {sigh} The same manufacture that is receiving tax credits…. In addition to $4 million in local incentives, Rivian is set to receive {😳} $49.2 million in state tax credits over 15 years if it meets employment and investment targets for the Normal facility. Those goals include creating 1,000 new jobs by 2024.

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-normal-rivian-auto-plant-20190215-story.html


  22. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, May 13, 19 @ 2:17 pm:

    Former State Worker.

    Thanks for the link. That looks like a bill introduced by Rep. Marcus C. Evans, Jr. as HB3233, Not Sandoval. The Sandoval bill in the Senate is SB2254.

    SB2254, the bill introduced by Sandoval, has this language modification in the same paragraph that HB3233 does not have.

    ===
    Sec. 3-805. Electric vehicles. The owner of a motor vehicle of the first division or a motor vehicle of the second division weighing 8,000 pounds or less propelled by an electric engine and not utilizing motor fuel, may register such vehicle for a 2-year registration period for a fee not to exceed an amount equal to three times the amount for an equivalent internal combustion powered vehicle
    ===

    It seems the Sandoval Senate bill is not the one increasing the rate to $1000. That appears to be in the house bill. The Sandoval bill caps electric vehicle fees at a max of 3X the normal combustion fee. In that case that would be $288 per year. That sounds more reasonable.

    Perhaps I am being confused by the details. Is there a reason the house bill details with the $1000 fee are being stated as being the details contained in the senate bill that does not have that fee, and in fact is capping the rate far below that amount?


  23. - Fixer - Monday, May 13, 19 @ 3:51 pm:

    You’re right, Been There, I mixed up which chamber Sandoval belongs to. My bad. The rest of the point stands though. A punitive charge like this is petty and is just going to generate bad press for something that should have been a relatively easy lift (increasing EV registration fees a reasonable amount).


  24. - VerySmallRocks - Monday, May 13, 19 @ 3:52 pm:

    This $1000 EV registration proposal is a conscious or unconscious attack by the old guard to ward off a new technology that will be very disruptive while reducing pollution and producing a superior driving experience. As an EV driver, I would be willing to pay the equivalent gas tax, both state and federal, based on my mileage. I am not willing to subsidize the oil industry and their cohort. The time has come to shift to a mileage/toll system to pay for our roads, as much as that would upset traditionalists. It is the 21st century.


  25. - Merica - Monday, May 13, 19 @ 4:45 pm:

    The registration for an EV should be $0.00. It’s called an incentive. We want people to buy these things. We may even have an EV plant in central Illinois some day (which would be the story of the decade and help lessen the blow when State Farm leaves). Of course EV’s are owned by the rich, so we’re cellphones and computers, but over time soon everyone will own one.

    This is bad publicity both on the state and national level. Makes the State’s Democratic Party look like idiots.

    In the past week I’ve driven through Michigan (90/294/195), Indiana (80 and 94), Illinois, Alabama (20/65), Tennessee (24/65), Florida 10/29(panhandle), Missouri (55) and guess who had the best roads? Illinois!

    Gotta unclasp the grip of the asphalt lobby from the GA


  26. - MyTwoCents - Monday, May 13, 19 @ 5:31 pm:

    The $17.50 for EVs is way too low and the proposed $1,000 is way too high. EVs should pay the same as any other vehicle plus an additional $75-$100 to replace the lost MFT revenue. There’s enough incentives for people to buy EVs without Illinois losing out on needed revenue over it.


  27. - {Sigh} - Monday, May 13, 19 @ 5:44 pm:

    =to replace the lost MFT revenue=

    Maybe the EVs should be the pilot for vmt? That would definitely replace lost MFT revenue. But I’m sure there would be outrage over that idea too. {sigh}


  28. - Anon - Tuesday, May 14, 19 @ 8:53 am:

    I’ve been saying for years that EV licensing is terrible. But this may be a bit far even in my view. Let’s start with just parity for what plates and licensing costs the gasoline cars. Then if you want to start charging for the part the gasoline folks pay for road “tax” at the pump - perhaps charge it as part of the electric bill somehow. These chargers and meters are supposedly pretty smart, they should be able to discern when the car is charging at night versus the household running its usual load. Then no one can cry unfair.


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