In my most fuel efficient cars post, I highlighted the Nissan Leaf as the top mpg (equivalent) vehicle on the market for under $30K. But a key component of that was the U.S. federal tax credit of $7,500 knocking the sticker price down from $29,010 to $21,510.
I mentioned that some states further offered additional tax incentives on top of the federal credit, which prompted a reader to ask for a list of those states.
It was a great question. Without the tax incentives these vehicles just don’t make sense economically. With them, there is a chance they could actually make you money back by saving hundreds, if not thousands a year on fuel and maintenance costs. And if you can also sleep better at night for the added environmental benefit, why wouldn’t you?
Let’s first take a look at the federal tax credit and which vehicles can claim it.
Federal Electric Vehicle Tax Credit
Electric vehicle and hybrid tax credits are fairly straightforward at the federal level.
For starters, hybrid tax credits are a thing of the past at the federal level.
Electric vehicles are eligible for a $7,500 tax credit, with a few caveats:
- It must be purchased in or after 2010.
- You must be the original owner.
- To get the full credit, the vehicle must be within the first 200,000 of that model sold (then phase-out occurs).
You can see a full list of requirements at the Fueleconomy.gov electric vehicle tax credit site.
Now, there are even more vehicles (21 total) that qualify for the federal tax credit (if you can find them).
Electric Vehicle Tax Credits by State
Now comes the tricky part. Each state has slightly different electric and hybrid tax credits and incentives. I’ll highlight what I was able to dig up, but you will need to do some further digging and check with your state to make sure these incentives still apply (I just don’t have the resources to keep up with each state). If your state is not listed, my unearthing came up empty. If I missed something in your state, let me know and I’ll add it.
Rebates are available through the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) for the purchase or lease of qualified vehicles up to $2,500 in electric vehicle rebates for the purchase or lease of new, eligible zero-emission and plug-in hybrid light-duty vehicles. There are income limits to pay attention to, however.
Colorado’s electric vehicle tax credits have been extended through 2021. The have an interesting formula to determine the credits:
(Purchase price or sum of lease payments) x (battery capacity in kWh) / 100 = State credit amount
Nissan Leaf Example: $21,300 (base price of Leaf after $7,500 federal credit) x 24kWh / 100 = $5,112 Credit
The maximum Colorado state credit is $6,000.
The Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate (CHEAPR) offers rebates of up to $3,000 for Connecticut residents who purchase or lease a new eligible battery electric, fuel cell electric, or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.
The state of Delaware is offering electric vehicle rebates totaling either $1,000 or $1,500 depending on vehicle purchase price.
Louisiana offers an income tax credit for 50 percent of the cost of converting or purchasing an alternative fuel vehicle or constructing an alternative fueling station. Alternatively, a tax credit of 10 percent of the cost of the motor vehicle, up to $3,000 (whichever is less) is available for alternative fuel vehicles registered in the state.
Effective July 1, 2014, H.B. 1345 and S.B. 908 (2014) replace the existing tax credit by providing a tax credit equal to $125 times the number of kilowatt-hours of battery capacity of the vehicle, or up to $3,000. Check out the Maryland DOT plug-in tax credit page for more info.
Update: it looks like funds for this program have been depleted.
The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources has a program called Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles (MOR-EV), which offers rebates of up to $2,500 to customers purchasing PEVs. The program has launched.
Zero-emission vehicles sold, rented, or leased in New Jersey are exempt from state sales and use tax. This exemption is not applicable to partial zero emission vehicles, including hybrid electric vehicles. The definition of “sale” in the law includes rentals and leases. Thus, the exemption is applicable to the sale, rental or lease of a new or used zero emission motor vehicle on and after May 1, 2004.
The New Jersey DOT has more info.
For tax years beginning before January 1, 2020, Oklahoma provides a one-time income tax credit of 45% of the cost of converting a motor vehicle to operate on certain alternative fuels, or for 45% of the incremental cost of purchasing a new Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) AFV.
Rebates of $2,000 will be offered for PHEVs and EVs (battery system capacity equal/greater than 10 kWh) until 250 rebates are disbursed or December 31, 2016, whichever occurs first.
Rhode Island is offering rebates of $2,500 for electric vehicles, with total funds of $400,000.
For years between 2012 and 2017, the credit is equal to $667, plus $111 if the vehicle has at least five kWh of battery capacity, plus an additional $111 for each additional kWh, with a maximum allowed credit of $2,000. Here are more details.
For vehicles purchased after 1/1/2015: The State provides an income tax credit of $1,000 for the original purchase of new qualifying Plug-in hybrid vehicles registered in Utah. The state provides an income tax credit of 35% of the vehicle purchase price, up to $1,500, for an original equipment manufacturer natural gas, propane, or qualifying electric vehicle registered in Utah.
New passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles purchased before 7/1/2019 that are dedicated AFVs are exempt from the state motor vehicle sales and use taxes. Qualified vehicles must operate exclusively on natural gas, propane, hydrogen, or electricity.
Let me know if I missed anything!
Electric Vehicle Tax Credit Discussion:
If you live in one of these states are these incentives, matched with the federal credit enough to make you consider an electric vehicle purchase?