Auto News

Time to Buy an Electric Car Before EV Incentives Get Axed?

December 13, 2018
Earlier this month, the White House announced their intention to eliminate electric vehicle incentives and rebates. If you’d planned on buying a new EV soon-ish, this move would all but take $7,500 out of your pocket! Even if the tax credits aren’t immediately shuttered by the government, the phase-out period for tax credits for most EVs – including GM models like the Chevy Bolt and Volt – is looming, which would also prevent you from cashing in on the full, sweet federal EV tax credit.

To put it simply: Now’s the time to buy your electric car. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Today!

Confused? Here’s Some Important Info About EV Tax Credits

  • As you shop for an EV, get to know which plug-in cars or electric vehicles qualify for a tax credit. Some popular EV models that are still subsidy-eligible include the aforementioned Chevrolet Volt and Bolt, Hyundai Ioniq and Sonata Plug-In Hybrid, Nissan Leaf, and Toyota Prius Prime Plug-in Hybrid. (A full list can be found here.)
  • Even without Congress ending the EV tax incentive program, these rebates will expire organically. Once an automaker sells 200,000 electric vehicles, the subsidy phase-out period begins (subsidies are gradually reduced by a percentage until they go away entirely). However, with the exception of Tesla and GM, most automakers won’t meet that sales quota by the end of 2018.
  • Tax credits range from $2,500 to $7,500, depending on the size of the vehicle and its battery capacity. For instance, because of its battery, the Prius Prime plug-in hybrid is only eligible for a ~$4,500 federal tax credit, while the latest Chevy Volt will net you the full $7,500.
  • If you plan on leasing an electric car or SUV, the federal credit will likely be factored into the cost of the lease, so you won’t be able to claim it outright.
  • EV tax credits cannot be transferred along with the vehicle; if you’re promised the rebate when buying a used EV, ask them to take the amount off the cost of the car instead. Only original owners qualify to receive the credit.
  • Many states and utility companies offer additional EV incentives, including off-peak charging discounts, among others. In Kansas, for example, KCP&L customers are eligible to receive a $3,000 rebate when purchasing a new Nissan Leaf. Check for available local EV incentives at
  • To claim the credit, you must submit an IRS Form 8936 and report that claim on your 1040 Income Tax Return Form.

If that $7,500 tax credit wasn’t enough of a reason to buy a new electric vehicle, consider the savings you’ll see by eliminating the gas station. Click here to find out how much it costs to fuel an electric vehicle in your state, and compare that to the cost of regular unleaded.

Join the r-EV-olution!


You Might Also Like