Additional registration fees have not deterred EV and Hybrid owners, such as Lisa Boerger, of Cincinnati, with her Tesla Model Y. (Courtesy photo)

Hybrid, electric vehicle fees no deterrent for some

DARKE COUNTY – For those looking at their hybrid and electric vehicle-owning neighbors with jealousy during record-high gas prices, you may want to look again. Those owners have not entirely escaped, mainly in higher vehicle registration fees, not that it has been a deterrent.

While standard vehicle registration renewal fees are $31, not including taxes and other fees, electric owners have an additional $100 annual fee, and hybrid $200. The additional fees were introduced almost two years ago to boost gas tax revenues. Jeremy Boerger, 47, of Cincinnati, formerly of Greenville, owns a 2016 Tesla Model S. What drove him to make the purchase? He says he was done with traditional vehicles after being stung by the VW (Volkswagen) emissions scandal, also known as Deiselgate or Emissiongate. Where the German manufacturer was found to have rigged the cars to pass emission tests, and a class-action lawsuit followed.

Boerger used part of the settlement as a down payment for a Tesla, the only viable electric vehicle manufacturer at the time, he said. When asked if the additional annual state fee was a deterrent, Boerger stated, “In 2016, there was no thought of the license fee, so that wasn’t a factor. But I don’t mind paying a little more. Since Ohio dedicates sales tax on roads and bridges, EVs are essentially riding for free.”

Ohio wasn’t the only state to adopt the higher fees, with some owners and green energy groups expressing dismay at what they see as unfair and a potential impediment to future electric and hybrid vehicle purchases. However, when Ohio State Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 74, the state’s transportation bill, into law in March 2021, the fees continued. Transportation budget funds are mainly collected and supported via gas taxes and motor vehicle-related fees such as vehicle registration, titles, and licenses. HB 74 will see $8.3 billion in appropriations for the Fiscal Years 22-23. Those funds cover the Ohio Department of Transportation’s roadway infrastructure, including highway improvements and safety projects, emergency repairs, and transit, as well as transportation programs through the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Public Works Commission, and the Department of Development.

Still, the state fees don’t appear to be a detractor for those such as Boerger. His family went on to purchase a second Tesla and enrolled in a “green power generation” from his electrical company. “Since part of the benefit of an EV is zero emissions, it’s peace of mind that the extra electricity we’re consuming is coming from wind, hydro, and solar,” said Boerger.

Regarding those state fees when purchasing an electric or hybrid vehicle, Boerger shared costs savings from no oil changes to the original brake pads and rotors still in good working order. The latter is due to regenerative braking, which eases wear and tear and prolongs usage.

Boerger continued, “We recognize that maintaining roads and bridges are important, and since we don’t pay a gas tax, EV owners need to do something to pay their share. It’s not elegant, but it’s a start.”

Additional registration fees have not deterred EV and Hybrid owners, such as Jeremy Boerger, of Cincinnati and formerly of Greenville, with his Tesla Model S. (Courtesy photo)

Beth Royer-Delong

Bethany J. Royer-DeLong is a lifelong Darke County resident and has been a part of the newspaper industry for nearly two decades. An eye for the world of work, leadership, mental health, and humor whenever possible, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Applied Psychology and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership. Contact her at broyerdelong@darkecountynow.com.

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