There are many incentives for people who have a hybrid or electric car. In Ohio the incentives include the Ohio Hybrid Tax Credit (bill): SB 32 (previously SB 107) would create a nonrefundable state tax credit for individuals who purchase a new hybrid vehicle. The income tax credit is $3,000 for new hybrid vehicles that achieve a combined EPA fuel economy rating of 40 or more mpg. The tax credit is $2,000 for new hybrid vehicles that achieve less than 40 mpg. Introduced 02/10/09 and referred to Ways and Means Committee and the Economic Development Committee.
There are also many federal incentives. These include;
Federal Plug-in Hybrid Tax Credit: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 modifies the credit for qualified plug-in electric drive vehicles purchased between 12/31/2009 and 12/31/2011. The minimum amount of the credit for qualified plug-in electric drive vehicles is $2,500 and the credit tops out at $7,500, depending on the battery capacity. To qualify, vehicles must be newly purchased, have four or more wheels, have a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 14,000 lbs, and draw propulsion using a battery with at least four kilowatt hours that can be recharged from an external source of electricity. The full amount of the credit will be reduced with respect to a manufacturer’s vehicles after the manufacturer has sold at least 200,000 vehicles. The credit will then phase out over a year.
Federal Plug-in Hybrid Conversion Tax Credit: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides a tax credit for plug-in electric drive conversion kits. The credit is equal to 10% of the cost of converting a vehicle to a qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicle and placed in service after Feb. 17, 2009. The maximum amount of the credit is $4,000. The credit does not apply to conversions made after Dec. 31, 2011. A taxpayer may claim this credit even if the taxpayer claimed a hybrid vehicle credit for the same vehicle in an earlier year. See the IRS website for more information on Alternative Motor Vehicle Credits.
Federal Hybrid HOV Waiver: On 03/10/06 the House of Representatives approved a $284 billion highway bill (H.R. 3) that included a waiver for states to be allowed to open the HOV lanes to hybrid cars rated at least 45 miles per gallon. Senator Jim Talent’s (R-MO) successfully introduced an amendment to the Senate highway bill that would give states the discretion to open up their HOV lanes to hybrid vehicles that achieve at least a 50 percent increase in fuel efficiency in the city and a 25 percent increase in fuel efficiency in combined city-highway miles over the non-hybrid model, regardless of the number of passengers and as long as it meets any Tier 2 federal emissions standard. This allowed vehicles such as the Ford Escape Hybrid to qualify. President Bush signed H.R. 3 into law the week of 08/08/06. The EPA provided guidance on this law on 05/17/07, noting that hybrid vehicles that achieve at least a 50 percent increase in fuel efficiency in the city and a 25 percent increase in fuel efficiency in combined city-highway miles over the non-hybrid model, and met federal Tier 2, Bin 5 emissions standards would qualify for the exemption, but states can opt to toughen EPA’s criteria, though may not reduce them. Details of the EPA guidance can be found here.
Federal Tax Credits for Advanced Vehicles: On 08/08/05, President Bush signed the comprehensive energy bill into law. Included were new tax credits for advanced vehicle technologies ranging from $250 to $3,400 depending on the vehicle’s level of fuel economy improvement. For a limited time, quality hybrids like the Honda Civic Hybrid, Toyota Prius or Ford Escape Hybrid qualified for tax credits in the range of $1,700-$3,150. The tax credits were available from January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2010, though they expired earlier for the most popular hybrids. The full tax credits are available until a manufacturer reaches 60,000 vehicles sold (60,000 for Toyota, 60,000 for Ford, etc.). Once a manufacturer has sold 60,000 vehicles, a one-year “phase out” will begin after the next complete calendar quarter; 50 percent of the credit will be available for that manufacturer’s hybrids in the first two quarters of the phaseout period and 25 percent in the final two quarters.
Update: Toyota, Honda, and Ford have met the 60,000 sales threshold. Federal tax credits are no longer available on hybrid vehicles from these automakers. An IRS list of the currently available tax credits for the 2010 and 2011 models of BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Mercedes, Mercury, and Nissan hybrids can be found here. Not yet listed on the IRS website is the tax credit for the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid that will go on sale in mid-December. It will qualify for a $1,300 federal tax credit, however the credit expires on 12/31/10.
Hybrid HOV (bill): HB1634 would extend the period for which states may allow low emission and energy efficient vehicles to use high occupancy vehicle facilities from 09/30/09 to 07/01/12. The bill was introduced 03/19/09 and was referred to the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit 03/20/09.
Auto Insurance Option for “Hybrid Upgrade”: Fireman’s Fund Insurance company is offering a “hybrid upgrade” as part of their Prestige Auto Premier policy. The upgrade allows owners to upgrade to a hybrid model during the first three model-years in the event of a total loss. This policy is only available in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland and Texas. For more information, visit their web site.
Insurance discount for hybrids (private): Hartford-based Travelers personal lines is offering nationwide a 10 percent discount on auto insurance to customers driving hybrid-electric models. The discount of up to 10 percent applies only to certain coverage’s and may not be available in all states. The discount is currently available in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana , Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey , New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Insurance discount for hybrids (private): Los Angeles-based Farmers Insurance Group of Companies is offering a 10 percent discount on auto insurance to customers who own a hybrid-electric or alternative fuel vehicle. The discount of up to 10 percent applies to all major coverage’s and is currently available in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. All new business customers receive the discount as of the new business date, and existing customers receive the discount upon renewal.
Hotel Discounts for Hybrid Drivers (private): A number of hotels are offering discounted or free parking and special room rates to customers who own or rent a hybrid. Guests driving hybrid cars park free at the 60 Renaissance Hotels & Resorts properties across the U.S. Kimpton Hotels offers special promotions for hybrid drivers-up to $20 off rooms, half-price parking, or both-at its properties in Boston, Washington, D.C., Portland and other cities. Additional hotels in California, including the Fairmont hotel chain, the Argent Hotel in San Francisco and the Little River Inn near Mendocino provide similar perks.
Electric Drive Vehicle Deployment Act, Electric Vehicle Deployment Act, Promoting Electric Vehicles Act (bill): H.R. 5442/S. 3442/S. 3511 would increase incentives for purchasers of electric drive vehicles. It would continue to give purchasers of electric vehicles the tax credit of up to $7,500 as well as up to an additional $2,500 to offset the cost of the vehicle, home charging equipment, parking, or other fees. These bills were referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources 05/27/10 and 06/18/10.
Tax Credit for Alternative Motor Vehicles (bill): H.R. 4990 would amend the Internal Revenue Code to extend the [alternative motor vehicle] tax credit for hybrids and diesels through 12/31/12 and increase the maximum potential amount of such credit to $4,000, up from $3,400 and an expiration at the end of 2010. It would also increase the number of vehicles qualified to receive the credit to 75,000. In addition, it would limit the tax credit to taxpayers whose individual adjusted gross income does not exceed $100,000 ($200,000 for a joint return). Introduced 03/25/10 and referred to Committee on Ways and Means.
Domestic hybrid extended tax credit (bill): Congressman Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) has introduced H.R. 4458, the ‘American Hybrid Tax Credit Act of 2005.’ The bill would give an additional $3,000 tax credit over and above the currently enacted federal tax credits for “a new qualified hybrid motor vehicle which is assembled in the United States.” The total tax credit would be capped at $6,000. This would currently apply to the Ford Escape Hybrid and Mercury Mariner. Models expected to be released in 2006 that would qualify for this extended credit would be the Toyota Camry Hybrid (built in Kentucky) and the Nissan Altima Hybrid (built in Tennessee). Referred to the Ways and Means Committee 12/7/05. This bill was not voted on in the 109th Congress, and was not enacted.
Lifting the 60,000 cap on the hybrid tax credit (bill): Senators Evan Bayh (D-IN), Joe Lieberman (D-CT), and Sam Brownback (R-KS) introduced a broad bill (S. 2025) that would remove the cap on hybrid tax credits as part of a package to reduce domestic oil usage. Representative Jack Kingston (R-SC) and Elliot Engle (D-NY) introduced a similar bill (H.R. 4409) in the House. Representative Chris Shays (R-CT) introduced a broad ranging energy bill (H.R. 4384) that in addition to several incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency across all energy sectors would remove the cap on hybrid tax credits. This bill was not voted on in the 109th Congress, and was not enacted.
Federal Tax Deduction (expired): H.R. 1308 Sec. 319 Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004
There was a one-time tax-deduction for clean vehicles from 2003-2006.
Eligibility for this deduction expired on 01/01/06, and was replaced by the federal tax credit for advanced vehicles. Vehicles purchased in 2005 are still eligible for this deduction on 2005 tax forms. Claim information can be found here.