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Pay to Play: Sask. environmental groups fighting back against EV road tax

Regina, Saskatchewan — An environmental advocacy group in Saskatchewan is asking the provincial government to pump the brakes on its electric vehicle tax that came into effect at the beginning of October.

The Saskatchewan Environmental Society, alongside the Saskatchewan Electric Vehicle Association, SaskEV and the Tesla Owners Club of Saskatchewan, wants to see 10,500 EVs on the road before the government considers implementing the $150 charge to pay for road maintenance in the province. That amount of EVs would make up 1.3 percent of light-duty vehicles currently on the road in Saskatchewan.

SaskEV’s Jason Cruickshank says that he feels the tax works against the province’s best interests.

“An electric vehicle tax creates financial barriers to new low-carbon technologies and sends the wrong message to those looking at investing in our provincial mining industry,” said Cruickshank.

According to the Government of Canada, electric cars are five times more energy-efficient than conventional gas vehicles. They produce zero tailpipe emissions and can run on 100 percent sustainable renewable resources.

The government said it is not considering changing its approach related to the road use fee on electric passenger vehicles.

There are currently only about 600 EVs on the road in Saskatchewan.

“Starting the tax now tells the world that Saskatchewan doesn’t want electric vehicles or the money, jobs, and investment they bring,” said Tyler Krause, president of the Tesla Owners Club of Saskatchewan. 

“The world is transitioning over to electric vehicles. A punitive tax like this makes the Saskatchewan government look backwards like they are against investment and growth.”

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