Claiming the $7,500 Electric Vehicle Tax Credit: A Step-by-Step Guide

If reducing carbon emissions and eliminating the use of gasoline are your goals, buying an electric vehicle is the way to go. However, there’s been a clear problem with the EV segment since 2010: not enough range for the money.

We can confidently say that’s changing, and by 2019 we will get several more models featuring over 200 miles of range at reasonable prices. Already, there are enough models that become affordable (under $23,000) once you apply the full $7,500 EV tax credit.

But how do you apply for that credit, and who qualifies to claim it? This part of the process can be confusing. Here are the details for knocking as much as $7,500 off the cost of an electric car.

Choose an EV that qualifies.

First, you need to make sure the plug-in model you are buying qualifies for the full credit. Every all-electric vehicle released in recent years (e.g., Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus Electric, Chevrolet Bolt EV) will work. But the list doesn’t end there.

Long-range plug-in hybrids like the Chevrolet Volt, Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, and Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid also qualify for the $7,500 credit. The U.S. Department of Energy keeps an up-to-date list of how much each plug-in car qualifies for in credits.

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