Owners of the few dozen fully-electric vehicles already on Iowa’s roads will continue to enjoy a break on their registration fees under legislation that’s passed the Iowa Senate. Senator Todd Bowman, a Democrat from Maquoketa, says fees for new electric cars would be based on weight and value, just like the fees on regular-fuel vehicles.

“This bill repeals the reduced vehicle registration fee for an electric vehicle,” Bowman says. “There are currently 41 fully-electric vehicles in Iowa.” Those 41 cars will be exempt, but in the future, Bowman says fully-electric vehicles would no longer be assessed the current flat $25 registration fee.

“This includes vehicles like the Nissan Leaf or the Tesla Roadster,” he says. “This does not apply to hybrids like the Toyota Prius, but the bill does grandfather in the current 41 vehicles.” Charging more for electric vehicles is one of the recommendations from a task force studying ways to raise more money for road construction.

The panel also suggested raising fees on hybrid cars, but that has been controversial. Experts say owners of hybrid cars aren’t paying their share of the cost of road repairs, because superior gas mileage means they pay less in gasoline taxes.