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The higher fees apply to hybrids with batteries larger than 4.0 kWh, focusing on plug-in hybrids that can avoid the pump.

Michigan is set to implement new vehicle registration fees starting January 1, including controversial penalties for certain hybrids and electric vehicles.

All owners face a 20-percent increase in registration costs, but electrified vehicles face additional fees that could multiply the total registration payout compared to previous levels.

Hybrid electric vehicles under 8,000 pounds face a $30 fixed tax plus an additional $2.50 for each one cent the motor fuel tax is above 19 cents. As of January 1, the penalties add up to $117.50 per vehicle.

Notably, the bill defines "hybrid electric vehicle" as any partially electric vehicle with a battery of at least four kilowatt-hours and also capable of using gasoline, diesel or alternative fuel to propel the vehicle. The 4.0-kWh limit appears to exempt most mild hybrids that can't be charged off the grid to avoid fueling up at the gas station. The first-generation Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid represents the starting point with a 4.4-kWh battery, good for an all-electric EPA range rating of just 11 miles.

Confusingly, the Detroit Free Press reached out to an owner of a 2011 and 2007 Toyota Prius who claims his renewal fees spiked to $339. The first-generation Prius PHEV was not introduced until 2012, suggesting his standard Prius should not be affected by the increased fee structure.

Owners of battery-only pure EVs will experience an even steeper penalty of $100 plus $5 for each cent the motor fuel tax exceeds 19 cents per gallon. The total additional tax will start at $135 per vehicle.

"As the motor fuel tax increases over time due to inflationary indexing, registration taxes on hybrid and nonhybrid electric vehicles will increase according to the above provisions," the bill states.