This is an archived article that was published on in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

For several years Utah has awarded prejudicial tax incentives to compressed natural gas vehicles. Specifically, CNG cars qualify for a $2,500 tax credit, yet even cleaner electric vehicles only qualify for $750 for "the original purchase of a new vehicle."

That blatant inequity is unjustifiable, especially given the growing number of electric vehicles in the market, like the Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf, Tesla Roadster and Ford Focus Electric.

Other states are thus increasing their electric vehicle tax incentives accordingly. Yet in the recent Utah Legislature, state Sen. Stephen Urquhart, R-St. George, proposed in Senate Bill 226 a further reduction in the EV credit to a mere $605 (the cut was deleted in the final bill that the governor signed).

This bias in favor of natural gas makes no sense. How can Utah lawmakers justify giving greater incentives to CNG vehicles than to EVs, especially since the latter are cleaner, more efficient, cost less to fuel and are more readily available? Are our legislators truly committed to promoting cleaner vehicles, or merely subsidizing Questar Gas?

Utah needs to increase its EV tax incentive to the same $2,500 level as CNG vehicles— not reduce it!

Mark D. Larsen