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Ask Renewable Rayna: Electric Vehicles and Tax Credits

Renewable Rayna

Renewable Rayna Presents Monthly Energy Advice & Information

Question: Chevrolet has hit a milestone, but what does it mean for the drivers in the natural state?

Electric vehicles have been a topic of Arkansas legislation recently, and we have all heard about more and more manufacturers committing to manufacturing more electric vehicles in the years to come.  For example, Volvo has committed to producing a hybrid-electric version of every internal combustion engine (ICE) they produce starting this year, and Tesla has let it slip they are in the works of producing their new model Y.

To support the new battery electric vehicle technologies, the federal government created a federal rebate for all-electric and plug-in hybrid cars purchased in or after 2010.  This credit made EV drivers eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500. This credit amount originally varied based on the capacity of the battery used to power the vehicle.  With most newer vehicles qualifying for full credit, the credits will and are starting to increase as more and more are manufactured and sold.

Chevrolet Bolt

Chevrolet EV Credits 

For example, Arkansas drivers have until the end of March to buy a Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle and some other EV models to receive a full tax credit of $7,500.

That’s because General Motors has surpassed 200,000 cumulative electric vehicle sales, the ceiling set per manufacturer by the federal government to offer buyers a $7,500 tax rebate. In April, the rebate drops to $3,750. The rebate will decrease by an additional fifty percent in October and the buyer-rebate will be eliminated in April 2020.

Chevrolet carries three variations of plug-in electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles which include the Bolt, the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and the Spark EV, says Jim Cain, GM spokesman.

Andrew Lachowsky, an employee of the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas who made the shift from driving an Infiniti G35 Coupe to driving a Chevrolet Volt, says, “I didn’t feel like I lost anything in going to the Volt. I think this will be a major reason people will begin purchasing electric vehicles (EVs) – they are fun to drive.”

How Do You Get the Credit? 

When you file your annual tax returns, you’ll need to fill out an IRS Form 8936 and include it with your return. Unfortunately, if you buy your car in January, you’ll have to wait until the following year’s returns before you can enjoy your credit.

Honda Clarity

You may not be able to get a Chevrolet EV with a full federal tax credit much longer, but there are a variety of other vehicles that you can take advantage of the full credit of $7,500 such as the Honda Clarity Plug-in-Hybrid (PHEV), the full battery electric Nissan Leaf, and the BMW i3s, which are all available to Arkansans for local pickup and can be serviced in state such as McLarty Auto Group.

BMW i3s

But wait….what can you do if you don’t have a federal tax liability, but you still want to be able to take a tax credit?  There are programs in place just for you. For example, you may have read about a program Today’s Power, Inc. is offering to help organizations who cannot monetize the tax benefits recognize them and save.

For more information over electric vehicles, charging infrastructure, tax credits and programs, visit todayspower.com

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