Salt lake city government

State says it’s not Big Brother by following your electric car

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah’s roads are maintained through gasoline sales taxes. But if you drive an electric car, you don’t need to refuel, of course. A state program gives electric vehicle (EV) owners a device to plug into their cars, which transmits the data to an app loaded on the driver’s smartphone.

As with utilities, drivers pay for what they use.

Paying by the mile doesn’t mean Big Brother is watching your electric car

The Utah Highway User Fee Program is a payment per mile instead of a tax paid per gallon on fuel.

If you drive an unconventional vehicle, you pay 1.5 cents per mile or a flat rate this year of:

  • Electric = $ 120.00
  • Plug-in hybrid = $ 52.00
  • Gasoline hybrid = $ 20.00

For more information or to register for the program, visit

But what if you’re an EV driver and don’t like the idea of ​​being followed by the government?

“We have taken all possible measures to ensure that data protection is secure,” Tiffany Pocock, program manager for road user charges at the Department of Transportation of the United Kingdom, told Matt Gephart of KSL TV. Utah.

She said the app allows the driver to track their own mileage, and the electric vehicle’s device is not connected to any phones. Pocock said UDOT does not have access to GPS data and can only read the number of miles logged in order to calculate the tax due.

Dave agrees to be followed. Debbie is not.

Debbie Dujanovic of KSL NewsRadio, Dave & Dujanovic, said she did not agree with the state following her movements if she was driving an electric vehicle. (She said she was considering buying a used Nissan Leaf electric car.)

Co-host Dave Noriega pointed at her cell phone and said she was already being tracked.

Dave, on the other hand, has no problem with Big Brother monitoring his mileage.

“In fact, I support him,” he said. “So when I finish, you know, being kidnapped, you know exactly where I was kidnapped. “

Debbie added that she typically drives around 12,000 miles per year. At 1.5 cents per mile, she would pay $ 180 in user fees per year, so she said she would choose the $ 120 plan.

But according to UDOT, the program is set up in such a way that participants do not pay more per year than they would have paid up front if they had chosen to pay the package.

Dave said he too would opt for the package.

“It’s not that bad if they stalk me. . . As long as you have a phone, you are followed. It doesn’t matter if it’s Google or the government, you are always being followed. The package is a good alternative if you are afraid of them following, ”he said.

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard on weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

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Mary Cashion

The author Mary Cashion