Electric cars: some people love them and others hate them, but it's generally agreed upon that they pollute the air less than Hummers. But a proposal from Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell could have less people buying electric cars.

McDonnell said that Virginia's gas tax — which hasn't been changed or adjusted for inflation since 1986 — is no longer making the state money, so he suggested removing it altogether. To cover the loss in revenue, the governor wants to raise the state sales tax by 0.8 percent and charge electric and plug-in hybrid car owners $100 per year, in addition to a $15 new car registration fee that internal combustion customers also won't have to pay.

Now color me silly, but doesn't that sort of spur gas guzzler use while discouraging electric and plug-in hybrid sales at a time when the federal government is trying to increase fuel economy standards?

Think about it. Gas taxes mean that you pay more tax by using more gas. Under McDonnell's plan, you can use all the gas you want without paying extra for it, but owning an electric car will cost you. Based on where federal air quality and fuel efficiency standards are headed, his move seems counterintuitive. Well, unless he some secret plan to become the George Wallace of environmental reform.


On the plus side, road tripping around Virginia in a gasser would be a bit cheaper for a while. Although rest stop junk food — with its higher sales tax — would cost more. (Hat tip to Joe!)

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