COLUMBUS, Ohio — Brian Will is a member of Sustainable Grandview, a grassroots organization formed in 2009 that encourages residents to reduce their carbon footprint.
He says the new annual registration fees for electric and gas electric hybrids may be a deterrent to some motorists who are considering going green.
- On January 1, owners of gas-electric hybrids began paying an annual registration fee of $100, and $200 per year for strictly electric vehicles
- The fees are expected to be used for improvements to roads and bridges
- The director of Smart Columbus says the electric vehicle movement not only helps mitigate climate change, but also creates a platform for economic growth
“I do have great concerns that we are disincentivizing people from taking actions that help the environment and the Statehouse, to me did not seriously consider the impact on people that would be looking to buy cars, particularly at the lower end and middle end for electrical vehicles and hybrids,” said Will.
On January 1, owners of gas-electric hybrids began paying an annual registration fee of $100, and for those strictly electric vehicles, $200 per year.
Gasoline drivers, on the other hand, will have their cost spread out over the course of the year, with 10.5 cents per gallon towards the gas tax.
The gas tax went into effect in July after the increase was announced in April.
The fees are expected to be used for improvements to roads and bridges.
State officials began saying almost a year ago that Ohio faces a shortfall of hundreds of millions of dollars for road and bridge maintenance and construction over the next decade.
“Every car on the road has to pay their fair share for the roads they are using,” said Jordan Davis, Director, Smart Columbus. “When we were talking to the legislature, they shared that the average vehicle, based off of their cost per mile that they estimated, pays about $200 dollars a year in gas tax. So that's how the $200 dollars a year was rationalized.”
Although electric and hybrid vehicles only account for 2 percent of new sales nationwide, that number is expected to trend upward this decade.
Director of Smart Columbus Jordan Davis says the electric vehicle movement not only helps mitigate climate change, but also creates a platform for economic growth.
“All of these jobs will be impacted by this electric transition, and so it’s in our best interest to get ahead of it,” said Davis.
Will agrees and says more action is needed to combat climate change. He also hopes legislators will consider lowering the registration fees during the next budget.
“The more people that start driving electric vehicles and hybrids, then over time we can impact the health conditions of our community and impact the sustainability of our community. We just need more dramatic action at the federal, state and local levels to address climate change and the environment,” said Will.