I would love to see your source on this statement, because I believe it to be false.
Also, there is plenty of diesel being run in the winter in places like ND, you just use the winter formulation and don't use pure bio-diesel. It does take more battery to start then a regular gas engine. On the other hand, hydrogen has serious problems with cold weather (Honda's engineers pointed this out on one of the weekly news programs).
Well, it did last 10 years with ~267,000 miles. It wasn't a great car, but it did ok. I learned to hate the dealership enough that I wouldn't buy another car from them, and the four recalls were a little much. Some of the recalls where kinda scary (brake recall - damn anti-locks sounded like a jackhammer).
I gave it to my uncle who is a good mechanic, so he will probably fix it up and give it to someone to drive another 100,000.
Look at it this way, suppose no employer took withholding taxes and on April 15, you had to come up with the whole amount. The likely outcome is most people will not have saved enough during the year and cannot make the huge payment. It is much easier for everyone concerned to pay in incremental chunks.
As a side note, the states that I have lived in (ND, SD, MN) have never had a vehicle inspection on a yearly basis. I would guess that is limited to the coasts.
Also, the thought that all these people with lower income that would have the biggest problem with a yearly payment should take mass transit, assumes a community has mass transit. This is generally not true of rural areas.
The other problem with this whole thing is to assume that my small car causes the same wear and tear on the roads as an SUV and should pay the same per-mile tax. The reason a per-gallon gas tax works is that the SUV will be paying more taxes due to worse fuel economy. Making me pay the same as a SUV owner is a joke,
Gas, for all its problems, has an excellent infrastructure. We have created solutions for storing, transporting, and taxing it. The gas tax is probably one of the easiest to pay and doesn't sneak up on you because it is payed in relatively painless small amounts.
Non-liquid solutions (electricity) are going to be a problem. I would imagine in a sane plan (not Oregon), we would just increase the cost of electricity to account for the roads or mandate that cars have a special plug-in (the paddles for example), and tax that electricity differently. This assumes we improve the power grid so everyone can actually plug-in a vehicle without blowing it up.
I was hoping bio-diesel (made from non-food crops) would be the energy winner, since so much of the current infrastructure and taxing policies could be reused.
Oregon's plan is going to be a pain for the people just getting by and it is so wrong headed from a travelers point of view it isn't even funny. The logistics of this system are so out of whack - I can only imagine the coming IT boondoggle.
Oregon - simple solution - increase your gas tax and use gas and motor licensing fee money only on roads and not your other pet projects.
Tourists like it though.