Electric Cars Owners in Athens Shocked by Higher Registration Fees

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Electric car owners must now pay the highest registration fees in the state.

In April of 2019, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed a bill increasing the fees for registering hybrid and electric cars. The bill went into effect January 1, 2020.

Ohio University Student Lily Morris said her family owns electric cars because they are better for the planet than traditional gasoline vehicles.

“They’re great for the environment, they’re really efficient and sustainable and they should me more widespread,” she said.

Car charging in Morton parking lot.

The annual fee for traditional gasoline powered cars is typically around $34.50. However, this law raises those fees to  $100 for standard hybrids and $200 for electric and plug-in hybrids.

Morris scrunched her face in disbelief when she learned about the new fees.

The state gasoline tax also spiked when this new bill was signed. The tax on gasoline raised to 10.5 cents and diesel raised to 19 cents per gallon. Both the increased gas tax and higher registration fees for hybrid and electric vehicles will  help pay for road and bridge construction and upkeep.

Ohio isn’t alone though. More than 20 states have passed similar bills.

Charging station in Morton parking lot.

When debating the high fees on electric cars, lawmakers reasoned if owners of vehicles powered by gas had to pay for higher gas taxes, then the registration fees for electric and hybrid cars should be higher too.

“I think it’s ridiculous, honestly,” Morris said. “I think it discourages people from using the hybrid and electric vehicles that are obviously better for the environment so by discouraging it is taking away from this environmental movement we are trying to make sustainability and energy efficiency.”

Car charging in Morton parking lot.

Morris said she doesn’t think she’s alone in opposing the new fees and hopes in the future lawmakers will reconsider. But until then efforts like these to save the planet will come at a higher price.