This dash display of a typical hybrid electric vehicle shows the flow of power from the gasoline engine and the electric motor to the drive wheels. Also notice that engine is also charging the high-voltage battery. James Halderman photo

Reader questions what State of Ohio thinks a hybrid is


Stephen S. writes by email: “I just got my registration today for my Lexus RX450h vehicle. I had to pay an additional $100 plus the $71 for tags. I do not know if you would be interested in writing an article about how unfair this new tax is but I am not very happy about it. I drove my Lexus 9,900 miles last year, getting 25 miles per gallon, according to the car’s digital read-out. One hundred dollars is totally unfair. What do you think?”


I think the people in charge of the license bureau in Ohio think like about half of the people in the country, that a “hybrid” needs to be plugged in to charge the high-voltage batteries.

The gasoline engine is used to charge the batteries in a hybrid electric vehicle. The word “hybrid” means that is has two sources of propulsion. It can be powered by the gasoline engine or by an electric motor or a combination of the two. There is no need to plug in the vehicle into an electrical outlet.

While most hybrids do achieve better fuel economy than the same non-hybrid version of the same vehicle, taxing the higher fuel economy version is like taxing all four-cylinder cars and not taxing six-cylinder cars.

What to do? I suggest that you write to the governor of the State of Ohio and complain.

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