Senate Committee Considers EV Tax Incentives

EVAA endorses comprehensive and far-reaching federal tax incentives for battery, hybrid and fuel cell electric vehicles and infrastructure.

Published: 13-Feb-2002

WASHINGTON, D.C., FEBRUARY 12, 2002 – The Electric Vehicle Association of the Americas (EVAA) applauded Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) for including comprehensive and far-reaching federal tax incentives for battery, hybrid and fuel cell electric vehicles and infrastructure in legislation he plans to bring before his Committee tomorrow.

"EVAA has been working for many years to secure federal, market-based tax incentives for electric drive technologies. Thanks to the leadership and vision of Chairman Baucus and a number of his colleagues on the Senate Finance Committee including Messrs. Hatch, Rockefeller and Jeffords, Americans may finally get affordable, attractive, clean transportation alternatives to today’s gasoline-powered vehicles which contribute mightily to America’s dangerous dependence on foreign oil," stated Eugene Zeltmann, Chairman and CEO of the New York Power Authority and EVAA’s utility Co-Chair.

The Finance Committee description of the "Energy Tax Incentives Act of 2002" indicates that the legislation will extend and enhance the existing federal tax credit for battery electric vehicles, providing a tax credit for qualifying vehicles that ranges from $3,500 to $40,000 depending on the weight and/or range until December 31, 2006.

Fuel cell electric vehicles would receive between $4,000 and $40,000 depending on the weight of the vehicle, and would be eligible for an additional credit ranging between $1,000 to $4,000 depending on the fuel efficiency. Importantly, the bill recognizes that fuel cell electric vehicles may not reach the commercial market in the immediate future, so the credits will remain available until December 31, 2011.

Hybrid electric vehicles would receive a credit between $250 to $10,000 depending on the weight of the vehicle and the maximum power available from the battery’s system. Hybrid vehicles also would be eligible for additional credits depending upon the vehicle’s efficiency, weight category and for heavy duty vehicles upon meeting stated emissions standards. The hybrid tax credits are available through December 31, 2006.

Finally, the legislation would extend the current, $100,000 tax deduction for alternative fuel refueling property which would include charging equipment and hydrogen refueling property and would provide an additional 50% credit, up to $30,000.00 for alternative fuel refueling property installation until December 31, 2006.

The Senate is scheduled to begin consideration of comprehensive energy legislation, which likely will include an energy tax component, later this week. EVAA continues to work with a broad coalition of environmental organizations, public interest groups, and other alternative fuel organizations to assure that the Senate, like the House which passed its energy package this summer, recognizes the national energy security and environmental imperatives of providing market-based federal incentives and programs that can assist industry in bringing new, clean and efficient transportation options to American consumers.

EVAA Policy Committee Chair and Ford Motor Company’s Legislative Manager Curt Magleby stated, "This legislation will set the stage for a consumer-based and technology-led transformation in the transportation industry. New technologies will offer fuel economy gains without the traditional trade-offs of reduced vehicle size, safety, performance or utility. Tax incentives provided to consumers during early market introduction of these advanced technology vehicles is needed to build up production volumes and make them cost-competitive with conventional vehicles. We applaud the Senate for their comprehensive approach and consumer-based focus that will accelerate the introduction of alternative fuel, battery, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles into the market."

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