You'd think electric and hybrid cars said something awful about North Carolina's mom, what with how they want to ban Tesla sales and now this extra fee for hybrid and electric car owners. I don't think the reason is that a Prius suggested that sweet Mrs.Carolina put a Whopper on lay-away, but rather that old favorite reason: money.
See, like many states, North Carolina pays for its roads and related infrastructure with a gasoline tax. Cars that use less gas means less money in gas taxes for the state. Hence the $50 (hybrid) and $100 (electric) annual registration extra fees for these more efficient cars.
While it's easy to see why NC is doing this, it's a pretty lousy way to go about it, mostly because it penalizes efficiency, which is a bad idea any way you look at it. While it's unlikely that the fees will actually disuade people from buying these cars, there's still got to be a better way that can encourage less reliance on fossil fuels, which really will be better for everybody.
Besides, what about those crazy hypermiling freaks with their Geo Metros covered in cardboard aero panels? Those bastards are getting 50 MPG+ and getting away with it, scott free!