Business license renewals, in a state with a growing population of tech workers, drive up the prices of existing vehicles.
The prices of the new Tesla vehicles have risen sharply in recent months, the highest since October 2014, when Tesla started selling them in the state.
The increase is also the largest in the last five years, according to the state’s transportation department.
The price of a $45,000 car has more than tripled since last year, according the department.
Its average price has increased an average of 17 percent, the department said.
Drivers have been paying higher tolls to use Interstate 5, which connects the state to Alaska and Canada.
The state has no local toll lanes, so drivers pay tolls on the highway every time they drive.
The tolls add up to more than $5 per mile.
Driving in the middle of the night on I-5 is a bad idea, said Steve Burt, a retired airline pilot who lives in a town called Pemberton.
The extra cost of a license plate increases the chance of someone stopping you for a minor infraction and making a ticket, he said.
The state is trying to address the problem by building a new toll lane at I-80, from Alaska to Pemberts.
The lane will have tolls of $2.50 per mile and no other restrictions.
The new lanes, which are being built at a cost of $1.4 billion, are expected to be operational in 2022, when they will be installed in two locations.
Drivers who do not want to pay the tolls will be able to pay in cash, but the toll booths will not be staffed by the department and there will be no exit gates to help drivers leave the vehicle.
The new toll lanes will be a boon to the business community, said Bill Knepper, a professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Business who has studied traffic on Interstate 5.
“There’s a lot of revenue generated by people paying for their car to go through the toll booth,” he said in an interview.
Drives are more expensive than before, Knecker said, adding that a $1,000 fee for an auto is more than twice as expensive as before.
The new toll booths, he estimated, will generate about $100 million annually in revenue for the state, with the money being used to expand the highway.
Knepper said that while the new lanes will increase the costs of driving, they are unlikely to make the roads more congested.
A study commissioned by the Alaska Department of Transportation and commissioned by Tesla found that the toll system will not affect driving volume or congestion, and it estimated that the revenue generated from the new toll system could pay for a half-billion dollars worth of infrastructure improvements in the next five years.
There is a huge amount of demand for the highway in Pembertons town, Knaer said.
There’s been a huge increase in the number of people coming into town, and they’re all driving to Alaska, he added.
Tesla’s sales of its new electric vehicles in Alaska rose more than 40 percent last year.
(Reporting by Steve Bowers; Editing by Will Dunham)