REGINA -- A group of electric vehicle owners rallied outside the legislative building in Regina to protest the Government of Saskatchewan’s new annual fee for drivers.

The fee was announced in the latest provincial budget and will go into effect Oct. 1.

The government says it’s an effort to recoup fuel tax money from residents who drive fully electric vehicles.

Electric vehicle owners will pay the annual $150 fee when renewing their license plates. It’s in lieu of the road tax which is built into the price of gasoline. The revenue goes toward road repairs.

“It isn’t going to make a significant payment to maintaining the highways like the government is trying to claim,” John Klien with Regina Car Share said.

There are 40 electric vehicles registered in the province. Saskatchewan is the only province assessing a surcharge.

“Well web think right now we have such a low adoption rate in the province, it’s one of the lowest in the country and you’re slowing down the inevitable growth of electric vehicles by doing this," Joel Murray, Tesla owner, said.

Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) said 403 vehicles in the province are registered as electric vehicles.

The government said it anticipates collecting about $60,000 annually through the tax.