We are doing our best to track the growing list of federal and state-based incentives for purchasing an electric car or plug-in hybrid. See how much you can save to get behind the wheel of an electric-drive plug-in vehicle. Help us keep the list up-to-date by letting us know if you have info about new or changing incentives.
Buyers of plug-in hybrids and electric cars benefit from a tax credit of $2,500 to $7,500, depending on the size of the battery in the car. On the low end of the spectrum, cars with 4 kWh battery packs will qualify for a $2,500 tax credit. The credit maxes out at $7,500 for cars with a 16 kWh battery pack, like the Chevy Volt. The credits were provided as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as the “stimulus bill.” The incentive begins phasing out after an automaker sells 200,000 vehicles that are eligible for the credit.
Many electric utilities around the country offer special rates, including time-of-use (TOU) rates, to reduce the cost of powering an electric car or plug-in hybrid. The reduced EV rate can significantly reduce the cost of charging your car. Check with your local utility company for exact rates and other details.
Several major insurance companies, such as Farmers, offer discounts of 5 percent or more for owners of electric and hybrid cars. Inquire with your insurance agent for details. We will continue to investigate which companies offer the best rates for EV owners and will post to this page.
Some states offer EV buyers and businesses a credit for the purchase and costs of charging equipment.
On Friday, December 18, 2015, President Obama signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 (H.R. 2029). Division Q, the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act (PATH Act), retroactively extending the tax credit for EV charging infrastructure for 2015 and going forward for 2016 (www.afdc.energy.gov) Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit. Section 182 extends the tax credit for alternative fuel infrastructure through December 31, 2016. Fueling equipment and related infrastructure for electricity are eligible for a tax credit of 30 percent, up to $30,000. Retroactive for EV Charging Infrastructure placed in service in 2015. This means if you installed EV charging in 2015, you can take advantage of this credit for your investment. Residential fueling equipment may receive a tax credit up to $1,000.
Drivers converting a car into a plug-in hybrid, or a gas-powered car into an electric vehicle, had received a tax credit equal to 10 percent of the conversion cost. But that federal incentive ended on December 31, 2011. Individual states, such as Colorado and Florida, provide additional incentives, such as rebates and state tax credits.
Reduced license fees are available for electric cars and some plug-in hybrids. A tax credit of up to $75 is available to individuals for the installation of EV charging outlets in a house constructed by a taxpayer. Arizona grants carpool lane access for most EVs and plug-in hybrids, but that program was limited to 10,000 vehicles and has reached its capacity.
The state designates some parking areas for carpool operators only. All alternative fuel vehicles qualify for the parking privilege and don’t require a special license plate like the HOV program. Plug-ins also qualify for a significantly reduced vehicle license tax.
The Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) offers rebates for the purchase or lease of qualified vehicles. The rebates offer up to $2,500 for light-duty zero emission and plug-in hybrid vehicles that the California Air Resources Board (ARB) has approved or certified. The rebates are available on a first-come, first-served basis to individuals, business owners, and government entities in California that purchase or lease new eligible vehicles. In periods when funding exceeds current budgets, waiting lists can form.
In September 2016, the program received an influx of an additional $133 million, enough to fund more than 50,000 additional rebates. Households earning more than $300,000 and individuals reporting more than $150,000 per year are no longer eligible. For more information, including a list of eligible vehicles and other requirements, see the CVRP website.
The LA Department of Water and Power’s “Charge Up L.A.!” program offers residents a rebate of up to $500 toward charging equipment and installation. Visit the program website for more details.
Burbank Water and Power in Burbank, Calif., offers rebates on electric vehicle charging stations as follows: up to $500.00 for residential equipment and up to $1,000.00 for commercial stations. In addition, a discounted per kWh rate for use of public EV charging locations is set to $0.1744 for off-peak hours, and $0.3053 during peak hours. See more information on incentives in Burbank.
Sacramento offers free or discounted parking to individuals or small businesses certified by the city's Office of Small Business Development that own or lease EVs with an EV parking pass in designated downtown parking garages and surface lots. Free EV charging is also provided in several parking garages.
For public agencies, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s (Air District) PEV Rebate Program provides funding through vouchers that are issued in these amounts: (1) $2,500 per light-duty zero-emission vehicles, including battery electric and hydrogen electric vehicles; (2) $1,000 per light-duty plug-in hybrid electric vehicles; (3) $500 per zero-emission neighborhood electric vehicles; and (4) $2,500 per zero-emission motorcycles. Vouchers may be redeemed on a reimbursement basis, and must be issued prior to the purchase or lease of vehicles. For more information: http://www.baaqmd.gov/Divisions/Strategic-Incentives/On-Road-Vehicles/Pu...
An unlimited number of white HOV access stickers were issued beginning on January 1, 2011. Cars that meet these requirements are typically certified pure zero emission vehicles (100 percent battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell) and compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles. Per AB 266, the expiration date for the white stickers was extended to January 1, 2019.
Green Clean Air Vehicle decals were originally available to the first 40,000 applicants that purchased or leased cars meeting California's transitional zero emission vehicles (TZEV) requirement, also known as the enhanced advanced technology partial zero emission vehicle (AT PZEV) requirement. Per SB 286, the expiration date for the green decals has been extended to January 1, 2019. Per budget trailer bill, SB 853 (Statutes 2014, chapter 27), the green decal limit was increased by 15,000 to 55,000 decals effective July 1, 2014. Now, per AB 2013, effective January 1, 2015, an additional 15,000 decals will be available for a new maximum of 70,000.
Solo drivers of conventional hybrid gas-electric cars that had been issued yellow stickers are no longer eligible for HOV access.
Many utilities offer discounted rates for residential vehicle charging during off-peak hours, including PG&E, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, SDG&E, Riverside Public Utilities, and others.
The "Remove II Program" is administered by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (APCD) and provides incentives for the purchase of low emission passenger vehicles, light duty trucks, small buses, and trucks with Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings of 14,000 pounds or less. The program offers between $1,000 and $3,000 per vehicle and varies according to the emission certification level and size of the vehicle. Vehicles must be powered by alternative fuel, electric, or hybrid electric motors. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District is made up of eight counties in California’s Central Valley: San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and the San Joaquin Valley Air Basin portion of Kern. Rebate vouchers are available for the purchase of electric vehicles in qualifying counties up to $3,000.
In June 2009, Sony Pictures Entertainment established an employee incentive of up to $5,000 when they buy either a hybrid electric vehicle or install solar voltaic panels on their residence.
· Related Law: CA AB-1092 - enacted summer 2014: California bill, now law, which requires new construction projects with four or more off-street parking spaces to include at least one EV charging station per every four off-street parking spaces. Details:http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml.
In May 4, 2016, Colorado passed HB 1332, which provides buyers of light-duty EVs a $5,000 incentive. The Colorado tax credit can be assigned to a dealership or finance company in exchange for the dealer slashing $5,000 off the purchase price. In this way, the tax credit becomes immediately available when you buy the car. See more details on HB 1332.
Grants are also available to local governments for the installation of EV charging stations. Grants are prioritized based on the local government's commitment to energy efficiency. For assistance with grants contact Colorado-based plug-in car readiness website.
· Related Law:CO SB-126 - enacted summer 2014: Colorado bill, now law, which prohibits a landlord or condominium owner association from limiting a tenant or unit owner from installing EV charging equipment for their own use at the residence. Details:http://legiscan.com/CO/text/SB126/2013.