If gas tax disappears, California may charge drivers by miles traveled: Roadshow

Q: I am concerned about how the roads will be affected when gas tax revenues disappear. Does Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order consider how to pay for our roads?

Ed Oldynski, Martinez

A: This is the third column on Gov. Newsom’s call for new vehicles sold in California to be zero-emission vehicles, starting in 2035.

Your concern is a major one. The state is looking ahead, testing a pilot program involving 5,000 drivers who track their mileage through smartphones and odometers. They’re looking at a possible vehicle mileage fee to make up for the loss of gas tax revenues.

Q: We have charged our electric car at home in the middle of the night since 2017, except for a few trips to Los Angeles, which required a daytime charge. My guess is that’s when the bulk of charging occurs for most folks. The grid is pretty free at that time.

Frank Gurnee, Fremont

A: Yes, it is, and that’s what numerous EV owners do.

Q: Why not embed vehicles with solar panels? Start with electric vehicles to increase range and reduce demand.

George Escobedo, San Jose

A: An interesting idea. Some EV manufacturers, like Tesla, hope to improve vehicle range so that they can travel more than 500 miles on a single charge. That’s good enough to pass the Bay-Area-to-Disneyland test.

Q: I don’t feel that electricity for autos will be a problem. I have two electric cars. I do not recharge them during the hot part of the day, when electricity is needed to cool homes and businesses. I charge them between midnight and dawn, when there’s more than enough electricity available.

Oh, and by the way, the governor’s executive order doesn’t say that there will be no gasoline cars in California, only that new ones must be zero emission. We can keep our gas buggies ’til they die. I’ve got a ’55 Buick that fits the bill.

Richard Friedman

A: Yes, a ’55 Buick is in the gas buggy category, especially if it’s still running in 2035.

Q:  I agree that it’s beyond time that we take drastic efforts to curb climate change, yet progress toward that goal appears to be completely off the table. World leaders know that economic growth is their ticket to staying in power and they never willingly take any steps that can result in reduced or negative growth. When was the last time you heard any leader talk about reducing world population or consuming less? Imagine a world with half the people and substantially reduced consumption, and you have a world with no climate change problem.

Dinesh Desai, Los Altos

A: You have the final say for today.

Join Gary Richards for an hourlong chat noon Wednesday at www.mercurynews.com/live-chats. Look for Gary Richards at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow, or contact him at mrroadshow@bayareanewsgroup.com or 408-920-5335.





Go to Source
Author: Gary Richards