Should Pickup Trucks Fees Subsidize Future Tech?

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Our friends over at are proposing an interesting idea based on the size, weight and actual usage of your pickup truck. The author, David Boldt, lives in Texas and notes that governmental subsidies for many popular electric vehicles will soon run out, along with the fact that many cities in the Lone Star State, as you might expect, are heavily populated with large pickups. Why not have pickup truck owners pay an added registration fee (based on the weight of their pickup) to make up for lost governmental cost breaks?

Yes, there are quite a few flaws in this thought process here, but it's likely something that will be suggested by some politician in the near future. It seems like politicians are always pretty good at suggesting what should be done with other people's money or choices.

Boldt suggests that basing a "surcharge" on weight, size and usage could make up for the lost dollars from the government and provide a pool of money to help support more forward-looking technologies and EV solutions. It might even make sense if we can encourage those who may not need a full-size pickup (although he's not clear how we would make those determinations) to move down to a more appropriately-sized mid-size choice.

From our side of the fence, it's always interesting to hear people — mostly car guys — make the argument that most people who purchase and drive pickup trucks don't really use them as they were intended. This is from the same people who purchase sedans with four seats but spend the vast majority of their time with only one person in the vehicle, or sports car drivers that never take them on a track and rarely get more than 10 or 20 mph over the speed limit. Yet when a pickup truck isn't hauling cord wood for the majority of its odometer reading, that somehow is an abuse of power and wasted resources. I'm guessing these same people probably have a spare bedroom or dining room or a large portion of their backyard that never gets used, either, but we're not talking about restricting people from buying the house they want.

When will these people figure out that pickup trucks are not always about what they do most of the time, but more about what they can do if the situation calls for it? There's a "just in case" aspect to pickups and 4x4s that don't apply to the common automobile. From what we've heard when talking to pickup truck owners, whether they're using all or a majority of that capability (or bed capacity), sometimes having that "just in case" ability is worth the extra cost. photo by Mark Williams


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Yes. From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

In NH your registration cost is based off the value of the vehicle. So people buying $70k trucks, are already paying a premium over people buying $30k cars.
I believe there is also an extra charge for large commercial vehicles based off of the GVWR.

The government should have never given the incentives in the first place. Innovation and products must stand on their own merit or else they die in the market as they should.

Communist California must not be allowed to continue.

Registration fees were implemented to pay for the Spanish American War....much like toll's were a way to pay for building highways. These fees were supposed to end once the debt was paid off.

I never like roundabout ways of controlling something. It generally leads to roundabout results. Is the weight of the truck a problem? I think not. I suspect that it is the perceived fuel consumption. I used to work with a guy that was so proud of driving a hybrid to work and his contribution to the environment. I pointed out that I could drive my 1991 F250 with a 460 engine to work and burn less fuel because I lived 1/20th as far from work as he did. We both had free choices on where to live. He should live with his choice. He got angry over that but the vehicle alone is not the point. The point is how much fuel you burn. Another case is when Al Gore's son was caught going 110mph in his Prius. I suspect that even a Prius burns a lot of fuel at 110mph. So, if you want to control carbon based fuels simply control carbon based fuels through the use of fuel tax but in lieu of other taxes, don't use the extra revenue to grow the government. Not having those extra taxes would be an extra incentive in itself to buy electric cars.

Pickups have already made impressive gains in fuel economy and more are coming. Are you going to tax hybid, PHEV and pure electrics or fuel cell trucks just because they are heavy? Don't complicate things. Keep It Simple, Stupid!

Cutting massive spending at the top of our enormous government will free up money for future tech. Government can no longer be a get-rich-quick pyramid scheme for juiced-in popularity contest winners in our society.

There's way too much money wasted on nonsense, while the programs that need it most, suffer. As a tax-paying New York State resident I know this first hand.

In the meantime, it's up to the manufacturers to whip up cash for research on new ideas.

The President's trade wars are the reason why we are losing money it remains to be seen how this will end. 90% of truck buyers only need a Honda Ridgeline. I am for for charging wealthy gas guzzling fullsize pickup owners more money.

the FAKE Jeff S.

Regarding the topic---for your answer just look at how Congress spends the money from the US Highway Trust Fund (the tax you pay on tires). They spend it on silly green-tech ideas that have nothing to do with improving roadways and bridges.

Answer. Write to your Congressman and let him know that we don't need another green tech program paid for by guys who buy trucks. The Washington liberals love to "punish" truck owners at a time when more people than EVER are buying trucks and big SUVs

@fake papajim--I like green tech because there is no Republican air or Democratic air. We all breathe the same air, and we must keep fighting for a cleaner future.

First article in a long time that stayed on topic with so far good discussion without the bashing.

I would be furious! I dont use my truck and get better mileage than any other GM owner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

pappa Jim is a wobbo. Full-size trucks have false cult advertising. Make these wealthy pickup owners pay their fair share or get them off the road. And another thing.

@ fake imposter TNTGMC

Hey, keep it up jealous man. My 6.2L get better FE than anything u have, all while have 420 HP. Lol

I'd be upset too, getting suckered into something that supposedly gets best in class, buts falls WAY short!! Lmfao

I love it!!

Great commentary from PUTC .

Air pollution is a state/local issue. People in LA care about air pollution because their local air quality sucks. The rest of the population with just a few exceptions live in places where the air quality is usually good-to-excellent.

Air quality problems in Los Angeles persist because they live in a bowl with mountains all around. They've had smog since the early 1960s and it won't change until local officials find a way to reduce the number of miles are residents drive.

No amount of enforcing air-quality rules on somebody living in Colorado will help people in LA.

The President's trade policies have upended the economic world order. China will retaliate and win. I will bevoting for Biden in 2020.

[edit] it won't change until local officials find a way to reduce the number of miles are residents drive.

number of miles AREA residents drive.

I like green tech because there is no Republican air or Democratic air. We all breathe the same air, and we must keep fighting for a cleaner future.

Posted by: Jeff S | Aug 2, 2018 8:56:29 AM

Great commentary.

papajim doesn't know what he is talking about.

I believe in common sense air control.

@the Fake TNT- you are just jealous because I get better FE even though I do not hand calculate and go by the digital thingy in the dash. Keep trying to shut me down, I will continue to ruin PUTC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TNT, please leave.

If they try that in Texas there's probably going to be riots. "Government is the problem." – Pres. Ronald Reagan

90% of us can do with a Honda Ridgeline?

Lol, within 2 weeks of owning my F-150 I had already towed my Buick home from the dealership with my 2.7 Ecoboost. That Regal on my trailer is a total of 5,000 pounds, the max tow rating on a Ridgeline.

The Ridgeline also has a fairly high (rated) payload weight but like some of the trucks from overseas with high payloads, it can't handle it as well.

Yup that Ridgeline, it only gets 2 more highway miles to the gallon then my F150.

Of course with that little V6 without a Turbo it will probly be wound up pretty tight to get up the steep hills....

Yeah, you can keep the Ridgeline.

Oh I have a friend that realized the Tundra is not the truck for him. Although it has been a good truck, because he tows a trailer with his pick up it was just not heavy enough so he got a Ram 4x4 crew 2500 6.4

From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

@ fake TNTGMC.... CT

I figured it out thats its you CT.....haha...u aren't fooling ANYONE!

U are the only one on here who ever mentions hand held FE over digital. You have been caught! No wonder why we haven't seen u comment for a few months. Your the spineless leach

BTW. I hand calculate it all jealous man...grow up!

@ papajim
It wasnt the real TNTGMC.

You are a liar TNTGMC. You constantly lie about the mileage you get. Or make a video on YouTube of this unicorn you have and post the link.

Or such your pie hole.

@ BA

I have a 2018 white GMC premium plus package SLT 6.2L Sierra. I got 20.8 hand calculated mpg running 82 mph on interstate 29 in South Dakota this past weekend coming from my lake house!

I have no reason to lie, fudge, could care less what u think though, BC u are just jealous and upset that u got suckered into drinking ford kool-aide. If PUTC would allow u to add pics. I'd post it here.

Maybe I got it. MY truck and thats my black 98 Chevy with 293k miles on it in the background.

Texas is becoming a Communist state? Putin is sticking his dirty nose into this? As Margaret Thatcher (Bless her heart!) once said: The problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out of somebody else's money... Texas, beware! Maggie was a very smart woman.

Pics can be fudged

ie, going downhill while claiming otherwise.

Make a video, put it on YouTube and post the link.

So shut it.

@ BA

Man u have issues. I gave u a PIC. If that's not good enough for u owe well

BTW.....YouTube videos are fudged to there fella

And can u have a debate/convo without name calling?


A picture of the exterior of a truck is your definition of proof for mpg?

OMG are you ever brain damaged.

@ BA

I gave u a pic of my truck that you said I dont own!!

Man again u can't even remember what u post

Take care little fella. Be jealous and envious.

@ BA

BTW....why are u so upset that my truck gets that good of mpgs?

I don't lie or fudge. Heck GMSRGREAT, andrwken, and other magazines have gotten great gas mileage with 6.2L.

U need to chill, relax, have a cup of coffee with you BFF Frank and get along with your day. Enjoy life

Your truck doesn’t get that good of mpg. The fact you keep lying about it is why I care. Liars can burn for eternity.

20+mpg at 82mph is you ticket to burn for eternity.

The President's trade policies have upended the economic world order. China will retaliate and win. I will be voting for Biden in 2020...Posted by: Ozman | Aug 2, 2018


China is in no position to "fight." Their debt-to-GDP ratio is worse than ours. Their corporations are full of mobsters and rip-off artists.

China is presently very concerned that international investors will pull out of the Chinese financial arena and invest in the EU countries and elsewhere. The US is by far China's biggest market. They don't want a "war" with their best customer.

They should make people like TNT pay to use their truck, or in his case, NOT use the truck. Any involvement the government has on all things is a good thing.....

H$LL NO!!! That's not the job of government!!! Private industry with their own capital and risk tolerance is the entity to fulfill that role. The only thing I want from my government is to protect me from foreign invaders and to preserve the union. Other than that.....Government keep out!!!

All vehicle models and brands that obtain the lowest fuel economy (Ram and Ford) during PUTC comparison testing should be heavily taxed to force them to catch up with the leading models and brands.(Silverado and GM).

man u fanboys are so jealous. U think what u want. I get that mpgs and u can't handle it so u make up excuse after excuses.

Get on with both your lives. Or dont I dont care. I know what my truck gets for FE. I'm in love with it and when I want to step on it there's TONs of power on hand at a given instant


When I travel 82 RPMs are at 1800 with the 8/spd tranny. With the 6.2L it never has to down shift in interstate 29 where I travel. It goes into 4 cylinder mode a lot bc of the open interstate.

Its not that hard to figure out...again. Go take a nap or something. U are a cranky individual who has been lied to by Ford for so many years, its hard to trust anyone. We all understand. Poor guy

I thought competition spurred innovation?

In the most part, the bigger the vehicle the less gas mileage, hence you pay more in gas taxes. They need to figure out a way to have the EV's and hybrids pay more in gas tax cause they are using the road as much as others

I thought competition spurred innovation?
Posted by: Robert Ryan | Aug 2, 2018

@Robert Ryan

I was thinking that the Law of Averages would assure that you'd offer something relevant to these discussions from time to time, but I might be wrong. Another totally irrelevant post from RR

Big oppressive government update:

The largest diesel recall in the history of the EPA announced today. The recall affects about 500,000 medium- and heavy-duty diesel engines in vehicles produced between 2010 and 2015. This is not related to the RAM 1500 3.0 diesel, but instead covers a number of Cummins products, including the 6.7 diesel found in RAM 2500 and 3500 pickups.

The California Air Resources Board discovered the problem in its emissions compliance testing.

California and federal law require that emissions control devices on all vehicles continue to be operational as they age.


So you do not think Competuon Spurs innovation? You must be the only person the planet that thinks that

The "Fees" people pay who buy trucks with capabilities beyond their "needs" are the added initial costs to the manufacturer/seller, fuel consumption, the higher costs to maintain/operate/repair the vehicle all of which generate profits for all the companies, people and products involved with these processes.

For someone who doesn't "need" a truck to pay these fees pointlessly is totally on them and a matter of choice as being foolish with one's money is not a crime.

The idea that these people should be taken advantage of by the government just because they are financially foolish seems to be oppressive and a conflict of interests for an institution that's purpose is to serve the public (ALL of the public). Yes I know there are million examples of where this is proven to not be what is actually happens but that also doesn't make it right or justify expansion of bad thinking/practices.

There is a difference between one choosing to be foolish with their money in their choices with dealing with the free market and what they choose to buy and why and being punished for exercising that freedom in a manor judged irresponsible by a government whos primary purpose is to ensure such freedom.

EVs funding needs to come freely from the free market. Demand for the product will justify supply and the better the product the higher demand will be. Manufacturers have the freedom to fund any project that will ensure their future with their present profits (most of which come from larger vehicles at least for the big 3 minus 1) or not (as we have all too often seen). Depending on their choice they will either thrive, be taken over, or go on welfare, or maybe cease to exist.

Regardless creatively oppressive taxation is not the answer.

TNT, love the defense, you must be really tired with all the defending you have to do on a daily basis.....

yet another totally irrelevant post from RR

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