Ohio’s New Electric Car Road Use Tax

It had to happen, of course, and I have no problem with it. That is, those of us who drive electric cars have not been paying for road use. While that might have been be OK for a while to stimulate electric car development, it was not sustainable – particularly with all these new Teslas whispering around. Gotta fill those pot-holes and prop up those bridges. Ohio now requires a surcharge of $200 per year to register an electric car. We just paid ours. Other states are beginning to do this, as well, but the Ohio surcharge is at the top of the range. (1) So, I wondered how our car compared with gas cars under this new scheme.

Here is what I found:

For a normal year, Ohio seems to have a fair scheme, and contrary to some complaints I had heard and read, (2)(3) electric cars are not costing more in road taxes than gas and oil burners. Tax-wise in Ohio we’ll still be about $130 a year cheaper on average. It seems to me that this scheme must be much easier and cheaper to administrate than the gas pump tax method. So maybe it’s a win-win. (4)

And, let’s not forget that electric cars are, first — cheaper to run quite apart from the tax issue (which really isn’t an issue) and, second — an essential part of solving the climate crisis. We really have no choice.


  1. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/2019-12-30/states-hike-fees-for-electric-vehicle-owners-in-2020
  2. https://www.sierraclub.org/compass/2018/04/don-t-be-fooled-annual-fees-electric-vehicle-drivers-are-not-fair
  3. https://www.wcpo.com/money/consumer/dont-waste-your-money/hybrid-car-owners-angry-over-new-fees-and-taxes
  4. https://www.startribune.com/why-do-electric-vehicle-owners-pay-a-surcharge-in-minnesota/567086711/