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Congress Lets Battery Vehicle Tax Credits Expire

Lack of action could impact future battery vehicle sales.

by on Dec.31, 2013

The failure to pass tax breaks, including one for electric vehicle chargers, could cause the battery car business to come unplugged, warn advocates.

The action – or more accurately, the lack of action – by Congress has been blamed for many things this past, gridlocked year.  To the list add the potential for the electric vehicle market to come unplugged.

Lawmakers have headed home for the New Year’s break allowing a package of 55 generally popular tax breaks expire, an issue that creates potential headaches and added costs for those who drink imported rum, those who use mass transit – as well as the railroads trying to maintain their rights of way – film producers, companies investing in R&D, and even teachers who buy supplies for their classrooms. Also affected are those interested in purchasing electric vehicles.

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While the tax credits for buying a battery car remain in effect, two other government incentives will expire at midnight: one providing a 30% tax credit for the purchase of a high-speed electric vehicle charger, up to $1,000.  The other covers 10% of the cost, up to $2,500, for the purchase of an electric motorcycle.

“It’s shameful” for Congress to head home without acting on the tax breaks, lamented Georgia’s Congressman John Lewis, a senior Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees tax laws.


California Unplugs $5,000 Battery Car Rebate Program

Buyers still get access to car pool lanes, however.

by on Jul.21, 2011

California has run out of cash for its electric vehicle incentive program.

Cash-starved California has pulled the plug on a program that provided a significant financial incentive for buyers of approved electric cars, such as the Nissan Leaf.

California was one of more than a dozen states that have enacted some form of cash incentives meant to spur the sale of high-mileage advanced-propulsion vehicles.  But the program was limited by the Golden State’s financial problems.  Nonetheless, buyers will still get at least one other much sought-after perk: stickers providing access to the HOV, or High Occupancy Vehicle, lanes, which can mean a significantly faster commute for those traveling alone.

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The federal government’s $7,500 tax credit for battery car buyers will remain in effect and, in fact, covers a broader range of products, including the Chevrolet Volt. The General Motors plug-in hybrid did not qualify in California because it did not meet the narrow definition of a so-called partial-zero-emission vehicle, or P-ZEV.