Angie’s List: Electric Cars

Despite current low gas prices, the demand for electric vehicles may soon surge as manufacturers prepare to debut new, affordable models that can go as much as 200 miles between charges.

If you’ve been thinking of going from a gas-powered or hybrid vehicle to all electric, there are some things you should know.

Plug-In Electric Drive Vehicle Credit (IRC 30D)*

Internal Revenue Code Section 30D provides a credit for Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicles including passenger vehicles and light trucks.

For vehicles acquired after December 31, 2009, the credit is equal to $2,500 plus, for a vehicle which draws propulsion energy from a battery with at least 5 kilowatt hours of capacity, $417, plus an additional $417 for each kilowatt hour of battery capacity in excess of 5 kilowatt hours. The total amount of the credit allowed for a vehicle is limited to $7,500.

The credit begins to phase out for a manufacturer’s vehicles when at least 200,000 qualifying vehicles have been sold for use in the United States (determined on a cumulative basis for sales after December 31, 2009). For additional information see Notice 2009-89.

Section 30D originally was enacted in the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 amended section 30D effective for vehicles acquired after December 31, 2009. Section 30D was also modified by the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) 2013 for certain 2 or 3 wheeled vehicles acquired after December 31, 2011 and before January 1, 2014.

The vehicles must be acquired for use or lease and not for resale. Additionally, the original use of the vehicle must commence with the taxpayer and the vehicle must be used predominantly in the United States. For purposes of the 30D credit, a vehicle is not considered acquired prior to the time when title to the vehicle passes to the taxpayer under state law.

Notice 2009-89 applies to vehicles acquired subsequent to December 31, 2009 and provides procedures that a vehicle manufacturer may use if it chooses to certify that a vehicle meets certain requirements that must be satisfied to claim the Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit and the amount of the credit allowable with respect to that vehicle


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