KUSA - Thousands of Coloradans received a letter from the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles in an attempt to find out who owns an electric plug-in vehicle.
That's because new legislation goes into effect on January 1, 2014. House bill 13-1110 requires electric car drivers to pay a new fee of $50 a year. The fee will go towards helping to fund public roads, which is usually collected through a gas tax. Electric cars don't use gasoline.
"The $50 annual fee is really to make it equal across all playing fields," Colorado Department of Revenue spokesperson Daria Serna said. "[It] is to help fix highways and roads - just like we do with the gas tax."
Some of the fee will also go towards a grant fund.
"That's going to be parceled out to different local jurisdictions so they can add electric motor vehicle - or electric plug-in stations," Serna said.
But first Colorado has to figure out who owns an electric car - and the state can't tell just by looking up the VIN number.
The state sent out a letter to thousands of people who own cars that could be electric. Thousands of hybrid drivers got the letter too. It says drivers must respond by Halloween - about whether or not they drive a plug-in vehicle.
However, the letter needs some clarification.
"This letter went out to a large number of people. And those people are pretty much everyone who owns a type of hybrid," Serna said. "There is some confusion there. We do understand that it [the letter] states that you should return it whether you own one [electric plug-in] or not. If you do not own a hybrid vehicle that is a plug-in electric vehicle you do not have to respond. Just those that actually own an electric plug-in car need to respond."
Those who own hybrids, not plug-ins, can disregard the letter.
"Just ignore the letter and you'll be fine," Serna said.
Electric car drivers will also get a decal to put on their car. It will allow drivers to use charging stations across the state.
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