Saskatchewan drivers with electric cars will soon be seeing a $150 annual fee added to their registration.

The new amendment to The Fuel Tax Act, 2000, introduced on the 20th, will come into effect on October 1st, 2021. It will be added on to the yearly price of SGI registration.

Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Donna Harpauer says the fee was introduced because with more residents buying electric cars, they’re not using traditional fossil fuels but still contribute to road wear and tear.

Some of the consumer cost associated with fossil fuels goes towards highway maintenance through the provincial fuel tax.

Based on the government’s calculations, they say the new road-use fee will ensure that owners of electric vehicles pay a comparable amount annually to drivers of fueled cars, which is approximately $150 a year as well.

All of that provincial fuel tax money, along with the new fee for electric cars, will go into provincial highway maintenance, the province notes. In the 2019-20 fiscal year, road maintenance costs reached nearly $616 million, while fuel tax revenues totalled $454 million.

Haurpauer adds that while this fee only applies to passenger electric cars, they could look at adding in possible commercial or inter-jurisdictional trucking or a fee at charging stations.