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New bill is charged with bringing more electric vehicle production and sales to Ohio

Sen. Michael Rulli speaks about his bill at the Ohio Chamber of Commerce
Jo Ingles
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Sen. Michael Rulli speaks about his bill at the Ohio Chamber of Commerce

It includes incentives for companies that make the cars as well as businesses and consumers who buy them.

Some tech companies that have been setting up shop in Ohio say they want to be green, and that includes using electric vehicle fleets. Auto manufacturers have taken notice and have been making more electric-powered vehicles to meet those demands. One state lawmaker has a bill that he says would encourage more electric vehicle (EV) production and sales in Ohio.

Republican Sen. Michael Rulli (R-Salem) says automakers have pledged to invest $330 billion dollars on electric vehicle production by 2025. He says his bill would help make sure Ohio gets a piece of that.

“With this, we will lay out an electrification blueprint for the state to show us how we go forward the next 20 years,” Rulli says.

The bill provides $15 million for EV manufacturers who retool traditional production facilities and $10 million in grants for colleges and trade schools that train workers for those facilities. It also gives incentives to entities that develop more charging stations. And it would create a task force charged with helping the industry grow.

Steve Stivers, president and CEO of Ohio Chamber of Commerce
Jo Ingles
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Steve Stivers, president and CEO of Ohio Chamber of Commerce

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce supports the legislation. Stivers says it demonstrates to existing automakers that Ohio is serious about remaining a strong partner to the industry as it shifts to new green technology. And he thinks the incentives in the bill will convince businesses to come and grow here. "We want Ohio to be part of those discussions," Stivers says.

John Walsh, founder and CEO of Endera
Jo Ingles
/
Statehouse News Bureau
John Walsh, founder and CEO of Endera

Tax incentives for electric or hybrid vehicles

About 30 states have laws on the books that require a special registration fee for plug-in electric vehicles. Ohio is one of them. Ohioans with plug-in electric vehicles pay $225 when they renew their registration. Those with hybrid vehicles pay $100. Some states that require fees allocate part of them to support charging stations. Ohio doesn't do that. Stivers defends requiring EV owners to pay a special fee in Ohio since they aren't paying taxes at the gas pump, saying it's only fair because they use the state's roads too. And he points out EVs save drivers money by not having to buy or buy as much fuel. Ohioans who have cars that rely on gas pay 38.5 cents a gallon.

John Walsh, founder and CEO of Endera, a technology company that specializes in electric commercial vehicles, says companies are going green with or without incentives. "We are starting to see the adoption of EV fleets without subsidies across the country. And so regardless of the point of sale incentives, other states such as California, Colorado, New York, and New Jersey might have over Ohio. It's already happening. It's already happening because, especially when you lease a vehicle, an EV, it's cheaper," Walsh says.

This bill does include incentives for consumers and businesses that purchase a fleet of EVs. It gives a sales tax exemption of up to $2000 for the purchase or lease of new all-electric vehicles, up to $1000 for the purchase or lease of new plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and up to $1000 for the purchase or lease of used all-electric vehicles. There are limits though. To be eligible for the tax exemption, sedans must have a base model MSRP below $55,000 and below $80,000 for vans, pickup trucks, and SUVs.

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