North Carolina is joining a growing number of states raising fees for hybrid and electric car owners to make up for revenue those drivers aren't paying in gas taxes on their fuel-efficient vehicles.
The proposal strikes many owners of alternative-fuel vehicles and some advocacy groups as a wrong-headed approach to balancing energy independence with paying for infrastructure.
But policymakers and some experts argue taxing hybrid and electric vehicle owners is a matter of making sure all drivers help maintain the roads they use and construct new ones.
Experts widely blame dwindling gas-tax revenues on improving fuel efficiency. That's considered an environmental and national security win, but poses issues for infrastructure funding.