Laura Hancock, “Ohio owners of electric, hybrid cars say new taxes, fees are punitive”

Owners of plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles now have to pay $200 a year in registration fees. Owners of standard hybrids must pay $100.

The gas tax will increase by 10.5 cents a gallon to 38.5 cents.

I’m happy to see that Ohio’s increasing their gas tax. 10.5 cents was leaving a lot at the pump, not to mention the environmental benefit of dissuading fossil fuel use.

That said, I’m disheartened that electric vehicle (EV) owners are having a fee levied on them as well. Consider this: The more efficient your car is, the more this universal flat fee disproportionately affects you.

The Environmental Protection Agency determines his model of the Tesla [Model] 3 gets an equivalent of 126 miles a gallon.

“We would have to drive it 65,111 miles per year to earn the $200 a year tax,” [Spofforth] said.

If anyone’s curious how Mr. Spofforth came up with that number, it’s $200 annual EV fee / $0.385 per gallon gas tax = 526.3 annual gallons * 126 MPGe = 66,313.8 annual miles per year. Strictly from a CO2 standpoint, EV owners are getting majorly ripped off. Electrek reader DegreeThis points out that the $200 was calculated based on what the average gasoline car would pay annually. The math works out to something like 15,000 annual miles / 28.5 MPG = 526.3 annual gallons * $0.385 = $202.62. From a road-use standpoint, which is undoubtedly why this regulation exists, it appears to be quite fair.

However, EVs are an incredible commitment for new owners, especially those that have never driven anything but a purely gasoline powered vehicle. Adding a barrier to entry like an immediate $200 fee upon registration is the exact opposite of what needs to happen. Since research tends to agree that EVs are a benefit to public health and to the greater climate, one would think that they would be granted an exemption from paying the same fees levied on a gas-powered SUV driven alone on a 60-mile daily commute.

Obviously, letting EVs drive for free forever is not a sustainable way to run a state, but at least let them get a foothold in the market before you start to tax them out of existence. EVs eligible for this new fee (including plug-in hybrid vehicles) accounted for only 0.74% of total automobile sales in Ohio last year.