I recently discovered that as part of Ohio’s new bill to raise money for roads and bridges, they also passed a new $100 registration fee on hybrids and a $200 registration fee on electric cars ( https://www.cleveland.com/open/2019/05/ohio-owners-of-electric-hybrid-cars-say-new-taxes-fees-are-punitive.html). The reason for these fees is supposedly because these vehicles use less gasoline, so they therefore do not pay as much in tax from gasoline purchases.
This argument for electric cars makes sense since they do not use any gasoline. However, the hybrid car tax appears to be excessive. Let’s do some comparisons to prove my point.
2006 Toyota Prius
This is the car I drive. It’s got over 249k miles on and it keeps on running. According to FuelEconomy.gov it gets an average 46 MPG. If I drive an average of 15,000 miles per year, I would consume a little under 327 gallons of gas. The new gas tax is .105 per gallon. That means I would pay an additional $34.24 a year in fuel tax at the pump. Not bad. However, we now need to add in the new $100 registration fee for my hybrid, which brings my grand total to $134.24 a year to fund the roads.
2006 Toyota Camry (or other similar 25 MPG sedan)
I don’t drive this car, but lets assume that there are quite a few cars out there like this and they average 25 MPG. If this car also travels 15,000 miles per year, it would consume 600 gallons of gas. With the new gas tax, the owner of this car would pay an additional $63 a year at the pump. However, they don’t have a $100 registration fee, so therefore, it stops right there.
The Interesting Part
If we take into account the full fuel tax of $.385, the total tax paid comes out to be $225.55 and $231 respectively. That sounds a bit more fair until you start looking at higher mileage vehicles that are not hybrids. For example, a 2006 Toyota Corolla can average 29 MPG, which means in the end, they only pay a total of $199.14 in fuel taxes per year, compared to the Prius $225.55.
We’ve been assuming 15,000 miles a year. Let’s look at some other mileages:
Prius (46 MPG) – $200.44
Camry (25 MPG) – $184.80
Corolla (29 MPG) – $159.31
Prius (46 MPG) – $183.70
Camry (25 MPG) – $154
Corolla (29 MPG) – $132.76
The only way to save more money driving a Prius, at least in regards to taxes is to drive more to get your money’s worth. Not an ideal situation. If you’re someone who drives less than 15,000 miles a year, you’re probably better off with a good old fossil fuel burner that gets reasonable mileage and you’ll likely come out ahead when it comes to the new taxes to fun Ohio’s roads.