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Which States Offer the Best EV Incentives?

Purchasers of electric vehicles (EVs) have equal opportunity to qualify for the $7,500 federal tax credit, but whether one might get $0 to $6,000 in state incentives depends on where a person happens to buy and register the car.

At the extreme this could create a huge disparity between the haves and the have nots.

For example, let’s look at a 50-state-available Nissan Leaf:

Consider someone whose tax situation disqualifies him for the federal credit – and who is doubly unfortunate to live somewhere like Washington, D.C. where purchase incentives equal zip. Barring potential dealer discounts, he can buy the Leaf for its pre-tax MSRP of $29,650.

Now look at someone in a tax filing situation that lets her claim the full $7,500 on her federal return, and she also happens to be so fortunate as to live in Colorado where as much as $6,000 is offered – she can net the same car for $16,150.

Yes, like it or not, life is not fair for the would-be EV buyer. Or maybe it is fair depending on whose perspective you side with.

For their part, the states have the right to set laws to benefit their own residents – you may recall in 1861 “states’ rights” were partially cited as cause for the Civil War – and 150 years later a new kind of inequality persists for EV buyers in that some make out better than others.
The gas-electric Chevrolet Volt is eligible for the full $7,500 federal credit because of its larger sized battery, and is eligible for numerous state-level incentives.

The gas-electric Chevrolet Volt is eligible for the full $7,500 federal credit because of its larger sized battery, and is eligible for numerous state-level incentives.

We know of no Emancipation Proclamation pending for consumers who ostensibly stand to help America by purchasing a plug-in car – and in cases subsidies apply toward plug-in hybrids.

There are, however, 11 states offering varying degrees of liberation by way of incentives toward purchase ranging from $605 to $6,000 – and more help is on the way.

According to an overview for the National Conference of State Legislatures by Policy Specialist Kristy Hartman, as of July 2013 no less than 94 bills were pending in 20 states that encourage the purchase and use of hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles.

Of the proposed laws, only Massachusetts and New Jersey are considering actual purchase incentives.

Massachusetts’ proposed S.B. 171 would make available a credit for up to $2,500 to purchase a plug-in hybrid or Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV), and the state has half a dozen other pieces of alternative-fuel legislation pending.

New Jersey already offers a sales tax exemption for battery or fuel cell-powered Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV). Beyond this, it’s playing serious catch-up and S.B. 340 is one of 38 proposed alternative-fuel legislation proposals in the state, and would provide a tax credit of $5,000 for the purchase of an EV or $3,000 for a plug-in hybrid.

See the complete list of which states offer the best EV incentives

Hong Kong Investor Likely to Buy Fisker

The likely winner of the U.S. Department of Energy loan for Fisker is an investor group led by Hong Kong’s Richard Li.

Li, who is the youngest son of Asia’s richest man, is an early Fisker investor and beat out German investment group Fritz Nols AG and VL Automotive. Fisker hasn’t produced a vehicle in about 15 months and laid off most of its employees in April in order to save cash and currently owes the DOE $168 million.

Last month, the DOE determined that it had exhausted “any realistic possibility” to recoup the entire amount still owed by Fisker and opted to auction off the remainder of the loan. It is believed that bidders had to offer at least $30 million to participate in the Fisker loan auction, though the final amount has not yet been revealed.

If Li’s group turns out to be successful in purchasing the loan, they will be able to restructure Fisker unencumbered by the obligations of the DOE funds and potentially avoid a bankruptcy filing for the American electric automaker.

Read the complete story on the Fisker sale at

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