Saving on gas mileage, but paying higher fees: The cost of electric cars

Local News

Because the state loses gas tax money when people drive electric cars, it's making up for it somewhere else

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – How many of you are ready to plug in with an electric vehicle? Well, what if we told you the license plate for an electric car is going to be more expensive?

Your savings with a car that has advanced and cleaner technology really depends on how much you drive but the state doesn’t care about that. It wants a share and has just imposed a flat fee, which started Wednesday.

There is some sort of fee for electric or hybrid vehicles in 24 states now, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The fees range from $50 to $200.

In Ohio, the new fee is $100 for hybrid cars and $200 for electrics.

With over 9,000 electric vehicles registered in Ohio, the extra $200 will generate over $1.8 million for the state.

The surcharge fees compensate for the lack of gas usage.

Don Creed at Donnell Ford in Boardman explained the added miles per gallon models like the Fusion have over gas vehicles.

“Averaging around 41 miles per gallon around town,” he said. “Basically, it is a hybrid, not a plug-in. So every time you drive the car or put your foot on the brake, it does what is called regenerative braking. So it automatically charges the vehicle.”

The hybrid Fusions at Donnell sell 2-to-1 over the gas model. This hybrid car will now be taxed an extra $100 in addition to the state’s regular registration fee.

“You might not have to fill this up but every two weeks,” Creed said. “So you’re making less trips to the pump and this is why the state has decided to put a tax on this because they realize they are losing gas tax revenue on this.”

The money collected is required to be spent on state roads. However, just in mid-December, both local senators Michael Rulli and Sean O’Brien introduced a bill to give rebates for individuals and companies that purchase electric vehicles in Ohio.

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