Posts Tagged ‘electric vehicles’

Eco Credit Webinar – Friday, Jan. 22, 9:00 am PST – Energize Your Tax Planning With Energy/ Eco-Credits

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

The above link and related articles will provide you with an overview of the wide-variety of valuable, but often overlooked, federal and state energy and pollution-control equipment credits.

These credits typically range from 10% to 50% of the “qualified” cost of the equipment (excluding installation) – but in some limited cases can be as high as 100% of the equipment cost.

Technology is changing at a rapid pace and so are the tax incentives.  New credits are being considered every week at the state and federal levels; therefore, it pays to do your research and fully understand these benefits before you make the capital investment.

These credits can dramatically reduce the cost of being an early adopter of these cleaner, yet more expensive, processes.

To participate in a comprehensive eco-credit webinar on Friday, January 22nd at 9:00 am  PST, or to access the archived webinar if you miss it, please click the following link:

Gas vs. Electric – Nissan Chief Predicts Slow EV Adoption

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Carlos Ghosn, head of the Nissan-Renault alliance predicts that only 10% of vehicles will be powered by electricity in 2020.

Despite consumer and political support to move away from carbon-based fuel sources for our vehicles, Mr. Ghosn’s observations will undoubtedly draw some fire from the alternative fuel industries.

An uptick in oil prices, increased taxes on petroleum products and/ or other government intervention could dramatically accelerate the adoption of  electric and other alternative fuel vehicles.


Green Tech Investments Yield Golden Tax Breaks

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

Going Green – Without Breaking the Bank


Despite the challenging economy and related capital market gyrations, business owners across the country are continuing to invest in a variety of eco-friendly technologies.  Businesses that choose to invest in green technologies do so for a variety of reasons including: 

-     Being socially responsible, 

-     Reducing long-term operating costs, 

-     Public relations/ employee relations benefits, 

-     Securing tax benefits 

-     Or most likely a combination of these factors. 

A sampling of the type of investments that business owners are making to reduce their energy costs, as well as their carbon footprint , include: 

-         Developing their own power sources, such as solar, cogeneration, geothermal, etc.,

-         Purchasing more energy efficient office and processing equipment,

-         Acquiring alternative powered vehicles,

-         Installing pollution control and energy control systems,

-         Adopting or improving their office and plant recycling programs,

-         Using more renewable raw materials and supplies,

While great strides are being made to reduce the carbon footprints of businesses and individuals, these new eco-friendly shoes can come at a very high price.   Many technologies are still being proven in the marketplace, and proven technologies such as solar, LNG powered vehicles, and LEEDS certified buildings require significant investment and long-term pay-back.

As positive as these eco investments are on the environment and the communities these businesses operates in, business owners will still naturally look to the lowest cost method for greening their business.  Unfortunately, sometimes this means deferring the planned upgrades until cash flow is sufficient to justify the significant up-front costs.

On the bright side, there are a large number of federal and state tax incentives, including eco-credits such as energy and pollution control tax incentives, hiring credit incentives research & development credits and accelerated depreciation benefits (through December 31, 2009) readily available to a large cross-section of industries.  The combination of state and federal credits, and bonus/ section 179 asset write-offs can dramatically reduce the after-tax cost of green infrastructure.

Energy Incentives (Just a Sampling)

-         Federal Solar Credit of 30% on Solar Panels and related equipment,

-         Federal Small Wind Energy Credit of 30% (Maximum Rating of 100 kilowatts),

-         Cogeneration energy production from alternative fuel sources – 30% federal credit

-         Alternative Fueling Stations, including electric recharging stations – federal credit equal to the lesser of: i) 50% of the eligible costs, or ii) $50,000 per station.  More pricey hydrogen station credit caps are increased to the lesser of: 30% or $200,000 per station.  See:  for more info on plug-in recharging stations.

-         Hybrid or Electric Vehicles – $2,500 to $15,000 per electric vehicle purchased or a 10% credit for conversion costs to convert a conventional or hybrid vehicle to a plug-in electric format.  The pay-back period can be relatively quick at $3 per gallon,

-         Federal bonus depreciation at 50% of asset costs and IRC Section 179 “expensing” of most tangible personal property for assets purchased by December 31, 2009 also offer significant up-front tax advantages,

-         Federal and state Research & Development costs for developing or refining new equipment or processes

For companies that design, manufacture, assemble or distribute green technology products, some of the largest tax incentives come in the form of Location Based Incentive Credits (LBICs) which are available to most companies operating in any of the over 8,000 federal, state and local tax incentive zones throughout the country.   Therefore, companies are very wise to carefully choose where they establish or expand their business in order to minimize their federal and state tax burdens.

A small sampling of the 40 state and numerous federal LBIC programs  include:

-         The California Enterprise Zone Program ( available in 42 Zones throughout the state, which offers:

  •  hiring credits up to $13,000 per year/ per qualified employee
  • equipment credits up to 10.75% on pollution control, energy control, technology, manufacturing and processing equipment used exclusively in a Zone,
  • lender tax exemption for loans to businesses operating exclusively in a Zone
  • Employee-Level credits up to $525
  • Favorable permitting, bidding, grants and loans

-         Florida Enterprise Zone Program available in numerous regions throughout the state provides benefits including: hiring credits, equipment tax breaks, sales tax benefits, and property tax reductions,

  -         Federal Empowerment Zone Program (up to $3,000 per qualified employee/ per year)

-         Federal Renewal Community Program (up to $1,500 per qualified employee/ per year)

-         Federal Rural Renewal County Program (up to $4,800 per qualified employee/ per year)

-         Federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) Program available to business operating in any location – from $2,400 to $4,800 per qualified employee and up to $8,500 for Welfare-to-Work employees.

Federal and state grants and more liberal loans are also available for these assets.

 Businesses that either purchase or sell energy and pollution control equipment and spend the time educating themselves on the very beneficial green/ eco credits, state enterprise zone programs, federal tax incentive programs, can enhance their cash flow and profits and will gain significant competitive advantages. 

Read additional green tech blog entries below or review the article library at:

For more information on identifying Location Based Incentive Credit Zones, please refer to:

New Vehicle Tax Deductions and Credits. Watch Your (GVW) Weight and Your AMT. Plus: Lease vs. Buy Information.

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Related Articles:

Download LABJ Going Green Yields Big Tax Breaks article 3.2008  Eco-Related Credits

Download LBBJ Buy or Lease article 2.2007  Lease vs. Buy Article

Download Purchasing vs. Leasing (LB MBZ Dealer) Lease vs. Buy PowerPoint (2006)

Download Automobile Financing Stats Feb 2009  75% of Vehicles are Financed or Leased – a trend that started 90 years ago – February 2009 Automobile Magazine

Please scroll through blog and "Library" section for additional tax credit articles including business depreciation increases for business vehicles in my February 15th blog.

The 2009 Federal Stimulus Package which was signed into law on February 17th contains a favorable incentive for purchasers (but not lessees) of a new car, motorcycle, truck, or SUV weighing less than 8,500 pounds [(determined based on Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)], which includes passenger and cargo capacities, as well as Recreational Vehicles of any weight. 

To illustrate, Hummer models H1 and H2 are ineligible since they have GVW's exceeding the 8,500 threshold. However, Hummer H3 models are under the weight limit, therefore are eligible for the new sales/ excise tax deduction.


To determine the GVW of the vehicles on your target list, check out:

The purpose of this tax provision was to jump-start the ailing auto industry – both manufacturers, as well as retailers.  It might be a little too late, but auto dealers are certainly seeing people on their lots making reference to this tax break.


Months after enactment, there continues to be a fair amount of taxpayer confusion regarding the specifics of this new incentive.  Since the legislation started off as a tax credit, but morphed into a tax deduction (which is only worth approximately 1/3 the value of a credit) in the Senate, most vehicle shoppers still think this is a tax credit.


The new federal tax deduction allows non-business taxpayers to deduct the sales or excise tax attributable to the first $49,500 of the new vehicle purchase.  Taxpayers with Adjusted Gross Incomes (AGI) of less than $250,000 (Joint Filers) or $125,000 (Single) can claim the full benefit on both domestic and foreign vehicles purchased on or after February 17, 2009 and no later than December 31, 2009.   Those making more than these thresholds will be subjected to phased-out benefits.  Therefore, family members who might be over these limits should evaluate who will be using the vehicle and who should make the purchase in order to maximize the benefit.


Business taxpayers will generally not benefit under this provision since they are generally required to capitalize the sales or excise tax as part of the acquisition of the vehicle.  The capitalized costs will then be eligible for Section 179, bonus, or regular depreciation expense.

If a California based non-business taxpayer purchases a Cadillac Escalade (a 7,200 pound "lightweight" SUV) for $75,000 in Los Angeles County, they would be entitled to a sales tax deduction of $4,579 ($49,500 limit times 9.25% sales tax rate).  The $4,579 deduction represents a federal tax savings of approximately $1,511 (2% of the purchase price or 3% of the $49,500 maximum purchase price) for a taxpayer in the 33% tax bracket. This example presumes that the purchaser uses the vehicle solely for personal purposes.   Sales tax associated with the business-use percentage of vehicle will generally reduce the Schedule A or “above the line” deduction and such amount must be capitalized and will impact the annual business depreciation deduction.


One tricky element associated with this new tax incentive may limit the tax savings to a very small number of taxpayers.  If the taxpayer is subject to the federal Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) for 2009, and the taxpayer claims this deduction on Schedule A, along with other allowable deductions, the sales/excise tax might yield no federal tax benefit since the AMT system will add this deduction back to AMT Taxable Income.  Non-itemizers who are allowed to deduct this expense "above the line" (without the use of Schedule A), will be allowed to deduct the full amount for both regular and AMT purposes.  However, from a practical perspective very few non-itemizers are subject to AMT anyway, so the exemption from AMT will be very limited.


While we are on the subject of vehicle deductions, it is worth noting that as part of the federal Stimulus Package, Congress also increased the first year auto depreciation limit for business vehicles by $8,000 for a revised 2009 limit of $10,160, and $11,160 for light trucks and vans.  These revised limits are the same as the temporary 2008 increase and will only apply to new and used vehicles placed in service during calendar 2009.  Of course this presumes 100% business-use, the personal use will proportionately scale back these new limits. 


A number of hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles also continue to be eligible for federal and state tax credits (see below) – but watch out for production limits and caps on the credits.


Despite the turmoil in the auto industry, and potential limits on the new sales/use tax deduction, it is a good time to consider purchasing a new vehicle in order to save some federal taxes.



Vehicle Credit Summary


 NEW for 2009

The federal Stimulus Package added a new   Plug-In Electric Vehicle Credit – Base credit of $2,500 per vehicle for purchaser with phase-down after 200,000 units produced.   The vehicles will not be eligible for the Section 30B hybrid credit.

Recurring Tax Credits

Credits For CA Auto Dealers

  Download BC_Auto Rebates With EZ_PROGRAM


  Passenger Vehicles

The following detailed listing of vehicles and summary of the rules was provided by Commerce Clearing House (CCH):

The credits allowed for new advanced lean burn technology motor vehicles and new qualified hybrid motor vehicles were phased out for vehicles manufactured by Toyota Motor Corporation (viz., Toyota and Lexus models) and purchased on or after October 1, 2006. No credit may be claimed on post-September 30, 2007 purchases of these vehicles. The credit for Honda vehicles purchased on or after January 1, 2008 is also subject to a reduced amount and no credit is allowed for purchases on or after January 1, 2009.

Hybrid or lean technology Toyota vehicles (including Lexus vehicles manufactured by Toyota) purchased before October 1, 2006 qualify for 100 percent of the credit. Taxpayers buying qualifying Toyota vehicles on or after October 1, 2006 and on or before March 31, 2007 may claim 50 percent of the otherwise allowable credit. Vehicles purchased on or after April 1, 2007 and on or before September 30, 2007 are eligible for 25 percent of the credit. The credit is not allowed for vehicles purchased on or after October 1, 2007 (IRS News Release IR-2006-145, September 20, 2006). The allowable credit for Toyota and Lexus hybrid vehicles purchased on or after October 1, 2006 and before October 1, 2007 are provided in the ending charts below.

50 percent of the otherwise allowable credit may be claimed for Honda vehicles purchased in the first two quarters of 2008 and 25 percent in the last two quarters of 2008. No credit will be allowed for purchases after 2008 (Notice 2007-98, 2007-50 I.R.B. 1160). The reduced Previous Termhybrid creditNext Term amounts for Honda vehicles purchased in 2008 are in the ending charts below.

2005 Model Year

l2005 Ford Escape 2WD HEV Hybrid –$2,600


l2005 Ford Escape 4WD HEV Hybrid –$1,950


l2005 Honda Accord Hybrid AT and Navi AT –$650**


l2005 Honda Civic Hybrid CVT and MT –$1,700**


l2005 Honda Insight CVT –$1,450**


l2005 Toyota Prius –$3,150*

2006 Model Year

l2006 Chevrolet Silverado 2WD Hybrid Pickup Truck –$250


l2006 Chevrolet Silverado 4WD Hybrid Pickup Truck –$650


l2006 Ford Escape Hybrid 2WD Front Wheel Drive –$2,600


l2006 Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD –$1,950


l2006 GMC Sierra 2WD Hybrid Pickup Truck –$250


l2006 GMC Sierra 4WD Hybrid Pickup Truck –$650


l2006 Honda Accord Hybrid AT and Navi AT –$1,300 ($650 credit if vehicle does not have updated control calibration)**


l2006 Honda Civic Hybrid CVT –$2,100**


l2006 Honda Insight CVT –$1,450**


l2006 Lexus RX400h 2WD and 4WD –$2,200*


l2006 Mercury Mariner 4WD Hybrid –$1,950


l2006 Toyota Highlander 2WD and 4WD Hybrid –$2,600*


l2006 Toyota Prius –$3,150*

2007 Model Year

l2007 Chevrolet Silverado 2WD Hybrid Pickup Truck –$250


l2007 Chevrolet Silverado 4WD Hybrid Pickup Ttruck –$650


l2007 Ford Escape 2WD Hybrid –$2,600


l2007 Ford Escape 4WD Hybrid –$1,950


l2007 GMC Sierra 2WD Hybrid Pickup Ttruck –$250


l2007 GMC Sierra 4WD Hybrid Pickup Truck –$650


l2007 Honda Accord Hybrid AT and Navi AT –$1,300**


l2007 Honda Civic Hybrid CVT –$2,100**


l2007 Lexus GS 450h –$1,550*


l2007 Lexus RX 400h 2WD and 4WD –$2,200*


l2007 Mercury Mariner 4WD Hybrid –$1,950


l2007 Nissan Altima Hybrid –$2,350


l 2007 Saturn Aura –$1,300


l2007 Saturn Vue Green Line –$650


l 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid –$2,600*


l2007 Toyota Highlander Hybrid 2WD and 4WD –$2,600*


l2007 Toyota Prius –$3,150*

2008 Model Year

l 2008 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid –$1,300


l2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid 2WD and 4WD –$2,200


l2008 Ford Escape 2WD Drive Hybrid –$3,000


l2008 Ford Escape 4WD Drive Hybrid –$2,200


l2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid 2WD and 4WD –$2,200


l2008 Honda Civic Hybrid CVT –$2,100 (for purchases in 2007)**


l2008 Mazda Tribute Hybrid 2WD –$3,000


l2008 Mazda Tribute Hybrid 4WD –$2,200


l2008 Mercury Mariner 2WD Hybrid –$3,000


l2008 Mercury Mariner 4WD Hybrid –$2,200


l2008 Nissan Altima Hybrid –$2,350,


l 2008 Saturn Aura Hybrid –$1,300


l2008 Saturn Vue Green Line –$1,550

2009 Model Year

l2008 Ford Escape 2WD Drive Hybrid –$3,000


l2008 Ford Escape 4WD Drive Hybrid –$1,950


l2008 Mercury Mariner 2WD Hybrid –$3,000


l2008 Mercury Mariner 4WD Hybrid –$1,950

*Credit Amounts for Toyota and Lexus Vehicles Under Phaseout Rule

Credit amounts for Oct. 1, 2006 – March 31, 2007 purchases of Toyota and Lexus Vehicles:

l 2007 Camry Hybrid –$1,300


l2006, 2007 Highlander 2WD or 4WD Hybrid –$1,300


l2005, 2006, 2007 Prius –$1,575


l2007 Lexus GS 450h –$775


l2006, 2007 Lexus RX400h 2WD or 4WD –$1,100

Credit amounts for April 1, 2007 – September 30, 2007 purchases of Toyota and Lexus Vehicles:

l2007 Lexus GS 450h –$387.50


l2008 Lexus LS 600h L Hybrid –$450


l2006, 2007, 2008 Lexus RX400h 2WD or 4WD –$550


l 2007, 2008 Camry Hybrid –$650


l2006, 2007 Highlander 2WD or 4WD Hybrid –$650


l2008 Highlander 4WD Hybrid –$650


l2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 Prius –$787.50

No credit is available for purchases of Toyota and Lexus hybrid vehicles after September 30, 2007 (IRS News Release IR-2006-172, November 6, 2006; Notice 2006-78, 2006-41 I.R.B. 675; IRS News Release IR-2007-28, February 8, 2007; IRS News Release IR-2007-186, November 8, 2007).

**Credit Amounts for Honda Vehicles Under The Phaseout Rule

Credit amounts for January 1, 2008 – June, 30, 2008 purchases of Honda vehicles:

l2005 Accord Hybrid AT and Navi AT –$325


l2005 Civic Hybrid CVT and MT –$850


l2005, 2006 Insight CVT –$725


l2006 Accord Hybrid AT and Navi AT with updated calibration –$650


l2006 Accord Hybrid AT and Navi AT without updated calibration –$325


l2006, 2007, 2008 Civic Hybrid CVT –$1,050


l2007 Accord Hybrid AT and Navi AT –$650

Credit amounts for July 1, 2008 – December 31, 2008 purchases of Honda vehicles:

l2005 Accord Hybrid AT and Navi AT –$162.50


l2005 Civic Hybrid CVT and MT –$425


l2005, 2006 Insight CVT –$362.50


l2006 Accord Hybrid AT and Navi AT with updated calibration –$325


l2006 Accord Hybrid AT and Navi AT without updated calibration –$162.50


l2006, 2007, 2008 Civic Hybrid CVT –$525


l2007 Accord Hybrid AT and Navi AT –$325

No credit is available for purchases of Honda hybrid vehicles on or after January 1, 2009 (Notice 2007-98, 2007-50 I.R.B. 1160).

The IRS has announced that rebates or cash incentives offered by employers to employees to encourage the purchase of hybrid cars are taxable compensation. Employers must include the cash incentive amounts on the employees' year-end Form W-2. The amounts are also subject to income tax withholding and employment tax. For the exclusion for employee discounts to apply, the employer must produce the property and other requirements must be met (IRS News Release IR-2006-112, July 13, 2006).

The IRS has issued a list of qualified alternative fuel motor vehicles (QAFMV) and qualified heavy hybrid vehicles. QAFMVs, which are vehicles powered by alternative fuels (compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, hydrogen and any liquid at least 85 percent of the volume of which consists of methanol) or a combination of an alternative fuel and a petroleum based fuel, can have an allowable credit of up to $32,000. QAFMVs can be either new, original equipment installation vehicles or prior use vehicles that have been repowered to use an alternative fuel by an aftermarket installer. Qualified heavy hybrid vehicles, which are hybrid vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of over 8,500 pounds, can have an allowable credit of up to $12,000. The lists for both QAFMVs and qualified heavy hybrid vehicles are posted on the IRS website at,,id=157557,00.html (IRS News Release IR-2007-196, December 5, 2007).

The IRS has provided interim guidance, until regulations are issued, relating to the qualified heavy-duty Previous Termhybrid motor vehicle creditunder Code Sec. 30B(a)(3) and (d) and procedures for manufacturers, or domestic distributors of foreign manufacturers, to follow to certify that a heavy-duty hybrid vehicle qualifies for the qualified heavy-duty hybrid motor vehicle credit. Guidance is also provided to taxpayers who purchase vehicles regarding the conditions under which they may rely on the vehicle manufacturer's or a foreign vehicle manufacturer's domestic distributor's certification in determining whether a heavy-duty hybrid motor vehicle credit is allowable and the amount of the credit (Notice 2007-46, 2007-23 I.R.B. 1342).

NON: TEC01 P410F TEC01 #63 [TEC01 ]


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Car Tax Credits – 2009 Ted Conference Debut of Aptera 2e Electric Vehicle

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

View this photo   Aptera 1

View this photo   Aptera 2

View this photo   Aptera 3

View this photo    Aptera 4 

Attendees at last week's TED Conference  (Technology-Entertainment-Design) in Long Beach were exposed to some of the brightest minds in the world, as well as introduced to a variety of new theories, research and life-changing projects,

One of the products creating a huge buzz at the Conference is the latest design of Vista, California – based Aptera Vehicles. 

The Aptera 2e is a 1500 pound, three-wheeled, all-electric vehicle that converges the latest technologies into a very practical means of transportation.

The fiberglass shelled motorcycle (yes-the two front-wheeled drive/ one rear-wheel is classified as a motorcycle just like the similarly configured Can-Am Motorcycle), looks like a plane on wheels and has an amazingly low coefficient of drag at .15 – which adds to its energy efficiency.

The Aptera is virtually silent other than wheel and braking noise while it quickly accelerates off the line.  Reported top speed is 95 mph.  Despite its odd configuration, the Aptera 2e is surprisingly stable during high-speed turns.  In speaking with the engineers, the car has been glued to the road with no loss of control at speeds of up to 65.

Aptera is accepting refundable deposits of $500 to join the impressive list who have already ordered an Aptera 2e which are projected to begin delivery in late 2009.  The company is currently projecting that the Aptera will be priced between $25,000 and $40,000.

Federal legislation to expand the number and types of federal electric vehicles for the $4,000 federal tax credit is being considered in Congress.   Also see the February 15th blog for the 2009 federal Stimulus vehicle tax deduction.   Check out Aptera

View this photo   Check out TED