As Oakwood passed an ordinance recently to add $5 to the vehicle tax to pay for street work, Drive Electric Dayton made a pitch to city officials to promote the use of electric vehicles. Pictured is the Earth Day ride in Oakwood.
Photo: CONTRIBUTED
Photo: CONTRIBUTED

Oakwood increases vehicle tax, encouraged to promote electronic vehicles

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Tim Benford, who is the president and founder of Drive Electric Dayton, said Oakwood should be prepared for the growing interest in EV vehicles.

“We’ve gone from zero members in mid-2017 to 383 members today of whom 37 live in Oakwood,” Benford said of his organization. “Our members own 179 EVs or hybrids of various kinds, including 98 Teslas.”

Drive Electric Dayton is an affiliate of Drive Electric Ohio and also of the Electric Auto Association. The organization provides electric vehicle education and advocacy throughout the Miami Valley area including training, information, local policy and connections.

EV owner Joe Fulford said that in the next 10 years the sales of electronic vehicles will surge because the price of batteries are going down.

“What you’re seeing is EV ownership reaching parity with gas powered vehicles,” he said. “You are sitting among a region that is the highest in 15 Midwest cities — 70 percent sales up since 2017.”

MORE: Oakwood considers increasing vehicle tax for streets

Fulford explained that sales of new electric cars are set to rapidly expand in 2019 and there is plenty of funding to available to help communities like Oakwood become involved in growing with the EV surge.

He noted that Columbus won a U.S. Dept, of Transportation Smart Cities challenge designed to help the winning city reshape its transportation system to become part of a fully-integrated city that harnesses the power and potential of data, technology, and creativity to re-imagine how people and goods move throughout their city.

Benford noted that his research shows that it costs an average of $1.11 an eco-gallon to fill-up an EV versus $2.71 to refuel a gasoline powered vehicle.

Oakwood does have plug-ins available for EVs, but Benford says that more should be planned for as the number of residents owning electric cars grows in the city and more visitors with EVs come in as tourists.

“The need may be minimal right now, but as Joe indicated the growth of EVs adoption appears to be exponential,” Benford said. “The International Energy Agency in its 2019 annual report predicts there will be no less than 250 million EVs on the road worldwide by 2030.”

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Council voted in favor of raising motor vehicle license fees $5 to generate thousands more for road maintenance and construction programs. The new tax is estimated to bring in $45,000 per year for streets.

Oakwood residents will pay a $5 permissive tax when they purchase or renew their motor vehicle license.

The current fee to register a vehicle in Ohio varies based on the type of vehicle being registered and where the customer resides, according to Lindsey Bohrer, spokeswoman with the Ohio Dept. of Public Safety.

“The license fees on a regular passenger vehicle are $34.50 and, depending on where the customer resides, the permissive tax fee can range from zero to $30,” Bohrer explained.

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