Auto Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit

There are tax incentives associated with purchasing certain electric and hybrid vehicles. IRC 30D allows taxpayers who own qualifying vehicles acquired after December 31, 2009 to take a credit of $2,500 to $7,500. Qualifying vehicles include the Ford Fusion Energi, Ford Focus Electric and Mercedes B Class EV, amongst others. Check out the IRS website to see if your new four wheeled plug-in vehicle qualifies for the credit.


Paula is a rideshare driver who purchased a qualifying plug-in vehicle during 2018. Paula originally owed $9,000 in taxes, but after qualifying for a $4,000 Plug-In Electric Drive Credit her tax liability decreased to $5,000. Not only did Paula save on her taxes, but she also reduced her operating costs out on the road.


Cole, a real estate agent from Yuma, Arizona recently closed a large deal and wanted to have some fun. He cashed in his commission check and purchased a fleet of electric ATV's for his family and close friends. Since he had taken advantage of the Plug-In Electric Drive Credit when he purchased the Ford Fusion he uses in his business, he assumed he could do the same with his ATV fleet. Unfortunately, Cole overlooked that the it does not apply for vehicles manufactured to be used off public streets so won't be eligible for the tax credit on this purchase.


Ian, an expert in global warming, is constantly on the road educating the public on issues facing our planet. At the beginning of the year he purchased a qualifying vehicle so he could reduce his carbon footprint while traveling for business. When it came time for Ian to prepare his tax return and redeem his Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit, he found that he had misplaced the receipt for his vehicle and was unable to obtain a duplicate copy from the dealership. Because he doesn't know the cost of the vehicle or have any supporting documents to substantiate his purchase, sadly, he will be unable to claim the credit.


  • The credit is calculated by taking $2,500 plus, $417 for a vehicle which draws propulsion energy from a battery with at least 5 kilowatt hours of capacity, plus an additional $417 for each kilowatt hour of battery capacity in excess of 5 kilowatt hours. The maximum credit allowed for a vehicle is $7,500.
  • The credit phases out based on how many vehicles have been sold to date in the U.S. As to the date of this article, no qualifying vehicles have reached the phase out limits. For up to date information on qualifying vehicle sales in the US, check here.
  • The following electric vehicles do not qualify for the credit 1) vehicles manufactured to be used off of public streets (i.e. golf carts) 2) low speed two and three wheeled vehicles such as scooters, motorcycles, etc. (qualified prior to 2014) and 3) Trucks weighing over 14,000 pounds.
  • To apply for the credit you'll need to have the year, make and model of your vehicle, your VIN, the vehicle cost, and the date the vehicle was placed into service. You'll also need to be able to support your personal and business use of the vehicle.
  • After completing Form 8936 you can claim the credit for business use of your vehicle on Form 3800 as part of the general business credit. You can claim the credit for personal use of your vehicle on Form 1040 line 54.

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