Who doesn’t love their hybrid or electric vehicle? After all, didn’t you buy this fuel efficient beauty because it’s super cool, energy saving and environmentally correct? Of course you did. But, there may be some extras in store for anyone who owns one of these vehicles in the DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia metropolitan area. What are they? Read on.
District of Columbia Hybrid Incentive Programs
The DMV Reform Amendment Act exempts owners of hybrids and other alternative fuel vehicles (that get 40 mpg or higher) from excise tax and reduces vehicle registration charges. How does this work? The owner of any new motor vehicle that achieves a city fuel economy rating of at least 40 mpg will pay a reduced registration fee of $36 for the first two years of the vehicle’s registration, half of the fee paid for a conventional vehicle ($72). After that, the owner of the hybrid, electric or energy saving vehicle will have to pay the regular registration fee. For more information, contact Elizabeth.Berry@dc.gov or Corey.Buffo@dc.gov.
Maryland Hybrid and Electric Car Incentive Programs
HB 61 (entitled, “Qualified Hybrid Vehicles – Exemption from Motor Vehicle Emissions Test and Inspection Requirements,” enacted by the 2003 Maryland General Assembly) exempts qualified hybrid electric vehicles from motor vehicle emissions testing requirements. A tax credit is also allowed against the excise tax imposed for the purchase of qualified hybrids and energy saving vehicles, not to exceed $2,000.
Owners of hybrid cars can qualify for great discounts on parking at 15 city-owned parking garages in Baltimore. The plan cuts between $32-$85 from the monthly parking fees for owners of the fuel-efficient vehicles. The city of Baltimore will limit participation to 200 vehicles and monthly, contract parking. Drivers of the three most fuel-efficient models can apply for a special decal that will let them park in designated spots in city garages. For more information, check out Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).
Virginia Clean Fuel Express Lanes
If you live in Northern Virginia, for example, and own an electric car or hybrid, your vehicle may be eligible for “clean special fuel vehicle” license plates which offer access to express lanes. These vehicles can be driven in high occupancy toll lanes under rules established by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. No small thing in high traffic Northern Virginia. Of course, not every clean energy car is eligible for these license plates. To qualify for this special vehicle program, you must submit a “License Plate Application. Virginia’s DMV’s Special Registration Work Center is the only division that can issue, reissue or transfer clean special fuel plates. Toll free numbers have been set up to take advantage of this program. For more information, check out Virginia’s Department of Transportation (VDOT).
There are certainly other incentives in place to encourage purchase of hybrids and electric vehicles. In September 2008, Tyson’s Corner Center designated 15 hybrid-only parking spaces. These coveted spaces are distributed throughout the mall’s parking lots and may be found adjacent to store entrances.
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA)
US Department of Energy
Budget and Green Vehicles
Buyers Guide, Car and Driver Magazine
Hybrid and Electric Center
The Green Automotive Community