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

Plug-in hybrids with lower range, including the Toyota Prius Prime ($4,502) and Kia Optima Hybrid ($4,919), qualify for lesser but still substantial credits.

Make sure the automaker still has credits available.

Each automaker has a cap of 200,000 sales as far as tax credits are concerned. After that point, buyers have six months to continue receiving the $7,500 credit when they buy that brand of EV. For the following six months, buyers can claim half the credit ($3,750), followed by another six months in which they can claim half that amount ($1,875).

Tesla Model X

So far, Tesla is the only automaker to have its customer credits begin to phase out. Starting in 2019, the maximum credit will be $3,750.  General Motors will be the next (likely in 2019), followed a few years later by Nissan (possibly in 2020). The Dept. of Energy site that lists tax credit amounts also notes the schedule for the credits to phase out by automaker.

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