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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
If you get a WI registration renewal for your G1 Insight that specifies you owe the extra $75 hybrid fee, submit a WI DOT form MV1020. Check the "Other" box. Attach an NHTSA VIN decoder output for your VIN with a note indicating that the "Primary Fuel Type" is "Gasoline" and not "Hybrid" or "Electric". Also include your renewal certificate. This is a recommendation I received from a WI DOT representative. It doesn't cost much to do. It may or may not be rejected (DOT person wouldn't say). Hopefully, if it is rejected they will say why, but probably not. If we all do it, maybe WI DOT will notice!

If you are submitting a new registration/transfer after Oct 1st, 2019, please do the same thing.

The $75 fee is showing up on recent renewals (prior to Oct 1st, 2019). The expectation is that will be on all renewals and registrations after Oct. 1st.

Check the more detailed discussion...

B
 

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Should I submit the MV 2010 form now to get my title corrected before they send a renewal notice? Or do you think it’s a futile effort? Strongly considering getting a Hobbyist or Collector plate this year.... but this error will still cause the one time cost to be way more.....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Should I submit the MV 2010 form now to get my title corrected before they send a renewal notice? Or do you think it’s a futile effort? Strongly considering getting a Hobbyist or Collector plate this year.... but this error will still cause the one time cost to be way more.....
It is a lot easier to respond to a registration renewal. You actually may have difficulty doing a title correction since the WI DOT person I talked to said they are still not sure how this is supposed to work. But they were required to have renewals processed before things are actually settled. I'll be hoping to see success on renewals and then do my existing title(s). They aren't due until 2020.

B
 

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Hrm. Will have to look at my paperwork. Thanks for the tip

- Park
 

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It is a lot easier to respond to a registration renewal. You actually may have difficulty doing a title correction since the WI DOT person I talked to said they are still not sure how this is supposed to work. But they were required to have renewals processed before things are actually settled. I'll be hoping to see success on renewals and then do my existing title(s). They aren't due until 2020.

B
Likewise; my renewal won’t be due until 2020. Guess I’ll wait for the notice and see what they send me.
 

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This is such ****ing bullshit and I am pissed off. We try to get cars that are better for the environment and they penalize us. The government provides incentives to buy electric vehicles because they want us to have cleaner air and reduce our dependence on foriegn oil. But then they upcharge for being efficient/clean. So many mixed messages.

Meanwhile, the jackasses buying pickup trucks for literally no reason don't get dinged for anything. Heavier vehicles cause more wear on our roads, but nope, doesn't matter, let's **** over people driving efficient vehicles. I cannot wait for society to collapse, I'm going to cut off so many heads.
 

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This is such ****ing bullshit and I am pissed off. We try to get cars that are better for the environment and they penalize us. The government provides incentives to buy electric vehicles because they want us to have cleaner air and reduce our dependence on foriegn oil. But then they upcharge for being efficient/clean. So many mixed messages.

Meanwhile, the jackasses buying pickup trucks for literally no reason don't get dinged for anything. Heavier vehicles cause more wear on our roads, but nope, doesn't matter, let's **** over people driving efficient vehicles. I cannot wait for society to collapse, I'm going to cut off so many heads.
I understand the point about incentives to buy electric vehicles to have cleaner air and reduce our dependence on (foreign) oil and now these very vehicles are getting punished. I spend time in Michigan and Illinois and both states have terrible road surfaces. Clearly money for road repairs needs to come from somewhere, especially since less money is coming from gasoline taxes with high-efficient cars; EV's don't contribute to this fund at all. The whole road infrastructure system needs to be reevaluated. I'm not sure what these states need to do in order to fund road repairs in the future in a manner that's fair to everyone.
 

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For sure.... the system is flawed - and very unfair. EVERYONE depends on good roads, whether you own a car or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
PLEASE NOTE...My current recommendation is that gas-only Prius owners should NOT use this procedure to contest their status at this time. You can PM me to discuss the details...but PLEASE consider delaying this if you are a gas-only Prius owner.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
DANGER...DANGER...It is possible that WI DOT will use the "Fuel Type Secondary" field from the VIN description to try to categorize vehicles as "Full Hybrids". I hadn't noticed it until now. For G1 Insight owners, what that means is for model years to 2003, you will likely be able to directly contest the fee since the Fuel Type Secondary field is blank. As of 2004, the field says "Electric"...probably what WI DOT is precisely looking for. So, new recommendation is that, if you have a 1999 to 2003 G1 Insight and you get a registration renewal form that charges you the $75 hybrid fee, immediately contest is as noted, but specify that the "Fuel Type Primary" field is "Gasoline" and that the "Fuel Type Secondary" field is blank. 2004-2006 G1 owners may want to wait to see if there is success for the 1999 to 2003 cars. If they beat the fee, it would seem reasonable for the owners of the newer Insights to contest based on both fairness (same basic vehicle, different fee) and the fact that all G1 Insights fall in the "Mild Hybrid" category (cannot power the vehicle using electricity alone). Interestingly enough, the mild hybrid Malibu Eco also has "Electric" in the "Fuel Type Secondary" field. So if WI DOT is using this alone as the red flag, it won't work very well. Plenty of inconsistency! Plenty of stupidity!

B
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I'm not sure why I'm involved in this. Just a cranky, retired old guy I guess. I can handle the fee. What I can't handle is the stupidity...

Anyhow...here's my take on a strategy...

1) Get 1999-2003 Insight hybrids exempted from the fee (per above)
(if that doesn't work, make sure other mild hybrids like Chevy Malibu Ecos are exempted, and then request a comparable exemption)
2) Request and hopefully get 2004 to 2006 Insight hybrids exempted citing the requirement for a comparable exemption with equivalent vehicles - 1999-2003 Insights.
3) Request and hopefully get exemptions for gas-only Prius on the basis that it has equivalent efficiency performance to exempted Insights.
4) Find ways to expose the fact that, without the ability to collect the fee from gas-only Prius(s), there is insufficient budget to justify the administration costs to collect EV and PHEV fees **.

My feeling on this is WI DOT is not "the enemy" and would just as soon see this all go away. The more complicated it gets, the more queries and complaints, and the more times they have to change definitions and procedures, or go back to the legislature to get clarifications or changes, the more likely that someone, somewhere in power will throw up their hands and give up. It's a thought at least.

What I'm up to now, and encourage others to be up to, is checking what fees will be charged to what vehicles going forward. The WI DOT will not tell me directly, so it looks like it will require indirect methods. My method is send queries to the WI DOT on their contact form. Find a local car of interest where the VIN is available. Or contact a colleague and get the VIN for their car that they may...or may not...be selling to you. Enter the VIN on the form and then write the WI DOT request with something like:

I'm considering purchasing this (vehicle description - in my test case "2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco" I found on a Madison Craigslist dealer post that included the VIN). Is this vehicle subject to the hybrid electric vehicle surcharge.

See what you get and then we can compare it to the NTHSA VIN decoder output to see what matches with what against which vehicles trigger the fee.

Wish us good luck!

B

** Keep in mind that the likely next best selling "hybrid" in WI is probably the Volt which looks to have far less than 10,000 on the street...compared to what I believe is over 100,000 for the gas-only Prius
 

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Discussion Starter #12
OK...One step accomplished. When requesting whether the "2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco" is subject to the hybrid electric vehicle surcharge, the response I received was:

"This vehicle is a flex fuel vehicle and not subject to the hybrid electric vehicle surcharge."

This, despite the fact that the NHTSA VIN decoder lists:
EngineEngine ModelLUK - BAS, Ecotec.
EngineFuel Type - PrimaryGasoline
EngineFuel Type - SecondaryElectric
EngineElectrification LevelMild HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle)

Sure seems to qualify as a "Hybrid Electric Vehicle" though explicitly Mild HEV

For comparison, my 2002 Honda Insight lists:
EngineEngine ModelECA1
EngineFuel Type - PrimaryGasoline
EngineFuel Type - Secondary
EngineElectrification Level

So nothing at all indicating hybrid

The 2004 Honda Insight looks like:
EngineEngine ModelECA1
EngineFuel Type - PrimaryGasoline
EngineFuel Type - SecondaryElectric
EngineElectrification Level

So, there's the trouble with Secondary Fuel Type, but otherwise comparable to the Malibu but with Electrification Level blank.

Then, the 2015 gas-only Prius:
EngineEngine Model2ZR-FXE+3JM
EngineFuel Type - PrimaryGasoline
EngineFuel Type - SecondaryElectric
EngineElectrification Level

Same as Insight for fuel types and electrification level...So exempt 2002 Insight to exempt 2004 Insight to exempt up to 2015 gas-only Prius

As of 2016, the Prius VIN starts showing:
EngineElectrification LevelStrong HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle)

So that appears to be the first that clearly matches the WI DOT specifications. But, exempt 2015 gas-only Prius to exempt 2016 and over gas-only Prius.

I'm still waiting for WI DOT to tell me what their decision process based on VIN research is. If they continue to stonewall, I will see if there is an open records method for getting this information.

In the meantime, I (we) REALLY REALLY need to know what registration renewals look like for 1999 to 2003 Insights, and 2004 to 2006 Insight look like. Is the $75 fee applied?

B
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Rather than waiting to see what happens with hybrid fees on 1999-2003 and 2004-2006 Insight registration renewals, the shortcut is to use the method mentioned above.

Find a local, or even national, '99-'03 or '04-'06 Insight of interest for sale (Craigs, CARFAX, whatever) where the VIN is available. Or maybe contact a fellow Insight owner and get the VIN for their car that they may...or may not...be selling to you. Enter the VIN on the WI DOT contact form and then write the request with something like:

"I'm considering purchasing this 2001 Honda Insight. Is this vehicle subject to the hybrid electric vehicle surcharge."

See what you get and then we can compare it to the NTHSA VIN decoder output to see what matches with what against which vehicles trigger the fee.

The more people that do this, the more WI DOT will notice that something is afoot. I think that is a good thing...

Time is kind of the essence since this whole thing goes totally live on October 1st. Everything helps!!!

B

PS...I can't give you my VINs because WI DOT already has mine and they know me by name and VIN reference....

PPSS...It looks like 2004 and 2005 Insights are vague on their "Hybrid" status in the VIN info. But the 2006 specifically says that the "Electrification Level" level is "Hybrid", so those will be a little trickier. I'll be looking to test the 2004s and 2005s first.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
As stated in the thread title, it is really critical that you contest your $75 registration fee if you receive a renewal form that includes it. This is especially true for 1999-2003 Insights. 2004 and 2005 are a little trickier. And 2006 is really tricky, but it would be great to get them to successfully contest as well. So, if you do actually have a registration renewal for an Insight, submit the MV1020 "Registration Correction Request" form as soon as you can. I'd be interested to know what on the renewal form indicates that you owe the $75 fee (does is say "full hybrid" in some field, or what)? In any case, on the correction form, check the "Other" box and describe the "error" as something like:

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(for a 1999-2003 - first attempt...if it fails, then try next one used for 2004-2005)
This vehicle does not include a VIN code identification in the "Engine" "Fuel Type - Secondary" field of "Electric" and therefore cannot be classified as a "Full Hybrid Vehicle" for the purposes of the Hybrid-Electric Vehicle fee. As such, this vehicle is not subject to the additional $75 registration fee.

(for a 2004-2005 - first attempt...if it fails, then try the next one used for 2006)
This vehicle does not include a VIN code identification in the "Engine" "Electrification Level" field of "Hybrid" and therefore cannot be classified as a "Full Hybrid Vehicle" for the purposes of the Hybrid-Electric Vehicle fee. As such, this vehicle is not subject to the additional $75 registration fee.

(for a 2006 - first attempt...if it fails, we need to do something like stating it has the same, exact functional specification as the 1999-2005 Insights that are exempt...but need to exempt those first. Or we can maybe state that it has the same pertinent, functional specifications as a Chevy Malibu Eco - which we can provide and which is exempt, and therefore the Insight is also exempt)
This vehicle is not a full hybrid in that it cannot be powered using electricity alone. It, therefore, falls in the category of "Mild Hybrid" as specified in the Legislative Fiscal Paper #696 dated May, 2019 and titled:

Hybrid-Electric Vehicle Fee Definition
(Transportation -- Transportation Finance)
[LFB 2019-21 Budget Summary: Page 408, #10]

"2. The U.S. Department of Energy states that two types of hybrids exist in today's U.S. automobile market:
'Mild hybrids - also called micro hybrids - use a battery and electric motor to help power the vehicle and can allow the engine to shut off when the vehicle stops (such as at traffic lights or in stop-and-go traffic), further improving fuel economy. Mild hybrid systems cannot power the vehicle using electricity alone.'"

According to Paper #696:

"3. The Department indicates under the proposed definition change, DOT would apply the additional registration fee only to full hybrids. "

Therefore, this vehicle is not subject to the additional $75 registration fee.
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It IS worthwhile to do these in order and submit multiple times step by step. Keep them describing why it doesn't apply

Resist!!!

B
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I forgot to note that you should also include the the NHTSA VIN decoder output for your VIN that shows the fields referenced (Fuel Type - Primary, Fuel Type - Secondary and Electrification Level). Easiest is to "Show All Vehicle Details", "Show 100 Entrees", scroll down to the page that shows these entries, print out the page(s), mark the entries, and attach to the request.

Good luck!

B
 

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Discussion Starter #16
If we can get an organization to litigate this, the obvious basis is equal protection under the law for tax policy:

"Equal protection requires that classification rest on real and not feigned differences, that the distinction have some relevance to the purpose for which the classification is made, and that the different treatment be not so disparate, relative to the difference in classification, as to be wholly arbitrary."

If we get this done in Wisconsin, it maybe can get done in the other model legislation states. One nice thing about model legislation is that, if it is successfully challenged in one place, there is a pretty good chance (or at least a pretty good roadmap) to get it successfully challenged in another. Please feel free to be the first/next with a successful challenge in your state.

If we can't find a sympathetic organization to litigate, maybe we can consider a GoFundMe effort...long shot...but hey...

B
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The joke gets even better...the WI Legislature/WI DOT (and probably all the model legislation) appears to have gone to this US DOE page that gives a cursory, descriptive, public-facing discussion of hybrid cars and decided to make the included comments a "definition in law". Gotta laugh at these guys...

B

PS...It's easy to find competing discussion pages all over the web...
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
If you want to make a difference, maybe you can send something like this to the Gov Ever's "Voice Your Opinion" page. It's long and wordy. I don't consider that a disadvantage. And if you send the IDENTICAL thing, I also don't think that's a disadvantage. If he sees an active, unified and organized community out there, especially this community that maybe tends to vote Democratic, he may take notice. If he does hold up the fee and the legislature balks, maybe there will generate a little press and public notice for the issue. Again, step by step...
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Governor Evers,


I am a member of the community of hybrid-electric vehicle owners, specifically, gas-only hybrid-electric vehicle owners. I respectfully request that you instruct the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WI DOT) to stop collecting the $75 hybrid-electric vehicle fee that is now being imposed on gas-only hybrid-electric vehicles pending challenges to the legislative and WI DOT definitions that form the basis that justifies the fee, and to the processes and procedures WI DOT uses to select vehicles that will be charged the fee.

According to the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau Paper #696 dated May, 2019 and titled:

Hybrid-Electric Vehicle Fee Definition
(Transportation -- Transportation Finance)
[LFB 2019-21 Budget Summary: Page 408, #10]

You, as the recently elected Democratic governor of Wisconsin, proposed the following:

"Amend the definition of a hybrid-electric vehicle to mean a vehicle that is capable of using
both electricity and gasoline, diesel fuel, or alternative fuel to propel the vehicle. "

This definition is entirely arbitrary and unworkable. It does not provide guidance to citizens or to WI DOT as to which vehicles are and are not included as targets for the fee. In fact, every gas-only vehicle is covered by the definition in that they all use electricity to fire spark plugs to ignite gas to propel the vehicle. This means that the enforcement of the legislation is, by its nature arbitrary. On this basis, alone, the WI DOT should be instructed by you to stop collecting the hybrid-electric vehicle fee.

Subsequent issues in defining arbitrary subsets of targeted vehicles accrue from that basic, vague definition. According to the discussion point of Paper #696:

2. The U.S. Department of Energy states that two types of hybrids exist in today's U.S. automobile market:

"Mild hybrids - also called micro hybrids - use a battery and electric motor to help power the vehicle and can allow the engine to shut off when the vehicle stops (such as at traffic lights or in stopand-go traffic), further improving fuel economy. Mild hybrid systems cannot power the vehicle using electricity alone. These vehicles generally cost less than full hybrids but provide less fuel economy benefit than full hybrids"; and

"Full hybrids, have larger batteries and more powerful electric motors, which can power the vehicle for short distances and at low speeds. These vehicles cost more than mild hybrids but provide better fuel economy benefits."

and:

"3. The Department indicates under the proposed definition change, DOT would apply the additional registration fee only to full hybrids. DOT indicates that it would search the vehicle identification number (VIN) for a hybrid identification as only vehicles that have full hybrid capabilities would carry this hybrid VIN identification."

The definitions in discussion point 2 are not from any technical papers prepared by the US DOE, but are instead from instructional, public facing pages that encourage the adoption of Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs). Reference:


They are entirely unsuitable for use as "definitions in law". There are other, more precise sources that that define different types of hybrid-electric vehicles that do not support the statements of discussion point 2. Nonetheless, in discussion point 3, WI DOT apparently specifies that the stated definition for "full hybrids" will be the basis for applying the hybrid electric vehicle fee. This method of classification has little or no relevance to the purpose for which the classification is made.

Discussion point 3 also states that WI DOT would "search the vehicle identification number (VIN) for a hybrid identification as only vehicles that have full hybrid capabilities would carry this hybrid VIN identification". This process has proven to be entirely opaque to citizen scrutiny. Requests to WI DOT to provide details on their VIN identification processes and procedures have gone unanswered. Citizen searches of VIN identification values for relevant vehicle models show inconsistent results. In addition, citizen evaluations of the VIN identification values show that some identical manufacturer and model vehicles across different years yield differing, potentially relevant VIN identification values. This means that the different classifications for different vehicles, with regard to imposition of the hybrid-electric vehicle fee, will not be "real", and will instead be feigned or arbitrary distinctions, in this case, model year.

Gas-only hybrid-electric vehicles exist on a continuum of energy efficiency that include small-engine turbos, vehicles that employ weight reduction, and vehicles that use alternative, but still taxed fuels, such as diesel. The imposition of the $75 fee on gas-only hybrid-electric vehicles is entirely disparate, relative to the difference in efficiency classification, as to be wholly arbitrary both for vehicles generally considered hybrid-electric, and any other efficient vehicle.

"Equal protection requires that classification rest on real and not feigned differences, that the distinction have some relevance to the purpose for which the classification is made, and that the different treatment be not so disparate, relative to the difference in classification, as to be wholly arbitrary."

There appears to be no motor vehicle taxation exemption under the "Equal Protection Clause" for this type of arbitrarily targeted fee. On all points, the gas-only hybrid electric fee is inappropriate, unfair, and probably illegal.

Again, as a member of the gas-only hybrid-electric community, and an affected Wisconsin citizen, I request that you, as governor, instruct the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WI DOT) to stop collecting the $75 hybrid-electric vehicle fee pending challenges to its implementation.

Sincerely,
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Not much action on this so far...nothing back from Gov. Evers. Nothing back from WI DOT regarding open records request on how this is going to work.

I'm really hoping some of you have received your registration renewals and can tell me if you have been charged the $75. So far, no feedback there. And, if you were charged, whether you've sent back the challenge. If so, I doubt anyone received a response yet. But if you did, and if you do, again, feedback would be great.

Finally, anyone can pretty much ask WI DOT about whether a vehicle with a specific VIN will be charged. Getting this info for 1999-2003 Insights, and 2004-2005 Insights, and for 2006 Insights would be really, really useful. If they are not going to be charged, it may be possible to release the very-interested Prius community to challenge the WI DOT $75 fee. It will be easier for them to contest.

So, any results, and any feedback would be fantastic!

B
 

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I tried to send that to him, but it's too long and cuts off 2/3 of the way through it. I am so ****ing irate about this. I think I'd rather photoshop registration stickers than pay this ****ing fee.
 
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