SASKATOON -- Saskatchewan’s electric vehicle (EV) society is calling on the provincial government to start investing in EV infrastructure rather than imposing a $150 fee on EV owners.

In the spring provincial budget, the Sask Party introduced Canada’s first tax on EVs. The government said the goal of the fee is to recoup gas tax revenue EV owners would not contribute too, which helps maintain and fix provincial highways.

Automotive experts disagreed with the provincial government’s decision to impose an annual fee on EV owners, considering EVs are still in an early-adoption phase in Saskatchewan.

Currently Saskatchewan has 403 EVs registered in the province according to Saskatchewan Government Insurance.

Following the budget announcement the SaskEV Society is calling on the province to support EVs and to begin working with the provincial utility company to build EV infrastructure.

The group launched an online petition in April. So far the petition has garnered nearly 700 signatures.

“We call on the provincial government to delay their proposed tax on electric vehicles until October, 2023 with an intention to review the policy six months prior to that date,” the petition reads. “Further, the province should direct SaskPower to commit $2 million per year and $10 million over the next five years on EV fast-charging infrastructure in our province.”

The group is calling on the Saskatchewan government to follow the lead of other provinces and the federal government, to offer incentives for more EV adoption