Government incentives for plug-in electric vehicles

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Plug-in electric vehicles subject to incentives in some countries include battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicle conversions. Shown here is a Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid recharging

Government incentives for plug-in electric vehicles have been established by several national and local governments around the world as a financial incentive for consumers to purchase a plug-in electric vehicle. The amount of these incentives usually depends on battery size and the vehicle all-electric range, and some countries extend the benefits to fuel cell vehicles, and electric vehicle conversions of hybrid electric vehicles and conventional internal combustion engine vehicles.

Asia[edit]

China[edit]

BYD e6 all-electric taxi in Shenzhen, China.

The Chinese government adopted a plan in 2009 with the goal of turning the country into one of the leaders of all-electric and hybrid vehicles by 2012. The government's intention was to create a world-leading industry that would produce jobs and exports, and to reduce urban pollution and its oil dependence. However, a study found that even though local air pollution would be reduced by replacing a gasoline car with a similar-size electric car, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by only 19%, as China uses coal for 75% of its electricity production.[1]

The Chinese government uses the term new energy vehicles (NEVs) to designate plug-in electric vehicles, and only pure electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are subject to purchase incentives.[2] On June 1, 2010, the Chinese government announced a trial program to provide incentives up to 60,000 yuan (~US$9,281 in June 2011) for private purchase of new battery electric vehicles and 50,000 yuan (~US$7,634 in June 2011) for plug-in hybrids in five cities.[3][4] The cities participating in the pilot program are Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Hefei and Changchun. The subsidies are paid directly to automakers rather than consumers, but the government expects that vehicle prices will be reduced accordingly. The amount of the subsidy will be reduced once 50,000 units are sold.[3][4] In addition to the subsidy, the Chinese government is planning to introduce, beginning on January 1, 2012, an exemption from annual taxes for pure electric, fuel-cell, and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Hybrid vehicles will be eligible for a 50% reduction only.[5]

In 2011, only 8,159 electric cars were sold in China despite a 120,000 yuan subsidy. Unsubsidized lead-acid EVs are produced without government approval at a rate of more than 30,000 per year in Shandong and requires no driving license because the top speed is less than 50 km/h. They cost 31,600 yuan and have been the target of criticism from major car manufacturers.[6]

A mid-September joint announcement in 2013 by the National Development and Reform Commission and finance, science, and industry ministries confirmed that the central government will provide a maximum of US$9,800 toward the purchase of an all-electric passenger vehicle and up to US$81,600 for an electric bus. The subsidies are part of the government's efforts to address China's problematic air pollution.[7]

As a result of the government support and new incentives issued in 2014, production of new energy vehicles between January and August reached 31,137 units, up 328% from the same period of 2013. Domestic production during the first eight months of 2014 includes 6,621 plug-in hybrid sedans and 16,276 all-electric cars.[8]

India[edit]

Mahindra e2o which is manufactured in India

In November 2010, the Government of India, through the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), announced a subsidy of 950 million for electric vehicles. The subsidy provided benefits up to 20% on the ex-factory price, with a maximum benefit of 100,000 on electric cars, 4,000 on two-wheelers, 5,000 on high speed two-wheelers, 400,000 rupees for electric minibuses, and 60,000 for three wheelers. To claim the subsidy, manufacturers that to certify that 30% of the components where made in India. The scheme ended on 31 March 2012.[9][10][11]

In April 2014, the Indian government announced a new plan to provide subsidies for hybrid and electric vehicles. The plan will have subsidies up to 150,000 for cars and 30,000 on two wheelers. India aims to have seven million electric vehicles on the road by 2020.[12]

Various state governments and cities provide their own subsidies:[13]

  • Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Lakshadweep don’t levy VAT
  • Chandigarh, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Gujarat & West Bengal offer partial rebate on VAT
  • Delhi also provides a 15% subsidy of the base price of select electric cars, like REVA. It also exempts such cars from road tax and registration fees.

Japan[edit]

The Japanese government introduced the first electric vehicle incentive program in 1996, and it was integrated in 1998 with the Clean Energy Vehicles Introduction Project, which provided subsidies and tax discounts for the purchase of electric, natural gas, methanol and hybrid electric vehicles. The project provided a purchase subsidy of up to 50% the incremental costs of a clean energy vehicle as compared with the price of a conventional engine vehicle.[14] This program was extended until 2003.[15]

In May 2009 the National Diet passed the "Green Vehicle Purchasing Promotion Measure" that went into effect on June 19, 2009, but retroactive to April 10, 2009.[16] The program established tax deductions and exemptions for environmentally friendly and fuel efficient vehicles, according to a set of stipulated environmental performance criteria, and the requirements are applied equally to both foreign and domestically produced vehicles. The program provides purchasing subsidies for two type of cases, consumers purchasing a new passenger car without trade-in (non-replacement program), and for those consumers buying a new car trading an used car registered 13 years ago or earlier (scrappage program).[16][17]

Tonnage and acquisition tax reductions[edit]

The cost of the Mitsubishi i MiEV in Japan falls from ¥4 million to ¥2.8 million after all government incentives are discounted from the sales price.[18]

New next generation vehicles, including electric and fuel cell vehicles, plug-in hybrids, hybrid electric vehicles, clean diesel and natural gas vehicles are exempted from both the acquisition tax and the tonnage tax.[17][19] Acquisition taxes on used vehicles will be reduced by 1.6% to 2.7%, or between 150,000 yen (~US$1,600) and 300,000 yen (~US$3,200). Electric and fuel cell vehicles have a 2.7% reduction while plug-in hybrids have a 2.4% reduction.[17][20]

These incentives are in effect from April 1, 2009 until March 31, 2012 for the acquisition tax which is paid once at the time of purchase. The tonnage tax reductions are in effect from April 1, 2009 until April 30, 2012 and the incentive is applicable once, at the time of the first mandatory inspection, three years after the vehicle purchase.[17][19] As an example, the amount exempted for the purchase of a new next generation vehicle is 81,000 yen (~US$975) corresponding to the acquisition tax, and 22,500 yen (~US$271) for the tonnage tax, for a total of 103,500 yen (~US$1,246).[17]

Automobile tax reductions[edit]

Consumers purchasing new next generation electric vehicles, including fuel cell, benefit of a 50% reduction of the annual automobile tax. These incentives were in effect from April 1, 2009 until March 31, 2010, applicable only once.[17]

Incentives for purchasing new green vehicles[edit]

Subsidies for purchases of new environmentally friendly vehicles without scrapping a used car are 100,000 yen (~US$1,100) for the purchase of a standard or small car, and 50,000 yen (~US$550) for the purchase of a mini or kei vehicle. Subsidies for purchasing trucks and buses meeting the stipulated fuel efficiency and emission criteria vary between 200,000 yen (~US$2,100) to 900,000 yen (~US$9,600).[16][19][20]

Subsidies for purchases of new environmentally friendly vehicles in the case of owners scrapping a 13-year or older vehicle are 250,000 yen (~US$2,700) for the purchase of a standard or small car, and 125,000 yen (~US$1,300) for the purchase of a mini or kei vehicle. Subsidies for purchasing trucks and buses meeting the stipulated fuel efficiency and emission criteria vary between 400,000 yen (~US$4,300) to 1,800,000 yen (~US$19,000).[16][19][20]

All incentives for new purchases with or without trading were applicable in Japan's fiscal year 2009, from April 1, 2009 through March 31, 2010.[19][20]

South Korea[edit]

In July 2016, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced a plan to make electric car batteries run longer, build a network of charging stations and make electric car purchases and ownership more affordable. The government expects that the current and future policy programs will help increase the electric car market share in South Korea to 0.5% in 2017, up from 0.2% in 2015, and to achieve 5.3% in 2020.[21]

The government subsidy has in place a one-time purchase subsidy for electric cars. Effective July 8, 2016, the subsidy was increased to 14 million won (US$12,100) from 12 million won (US$10,400). Also starting in 2016, the purchase tax surcharges of electric cars will be reduced, and all-electric car drivers will benefit from reductions in insurance premiums, expressway tolls and parking fees. The government plan calls for the deployment of fast charging stations in 2020 to be available at an average of one within a two-kilometer radius in the capital city of Seoul. In addition, 30,000 slow charging stations will be strategically located at about 4,000 apartment complexes nationwide by 2020.[21]

The government's plan also includes the development of an electric car battery, beginning in 2016, with energy density high enough to more than double the travel distance on a charge to 400 km (250 mi). The government expects to increase the global market share of South Korean electric cars to match that of South Korean gasoline and diesel cars, which reached 8.5% based on sales by South Korea's two main car exporters, Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors.[21]

Europe[edit]

Electrification of transport (electromobility) figures prominently in the Green Car Initiative (GCI),[22] included in the European Economic Recovery Plan. DG TREN is supporting a large European "electromobility" project on EVs and related infrastructure with a total budget of around €50 million as part of the Green Car Initiative.[23]

There are measures to promote efficient vehicles in the Directive 2009/33/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles[24] and in the Directive 2006/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2006 on energy end-use efficiency and energy services.

As of April 2011, 15 of the 27 European Union member states provide tax incentives for electrically chargeable vehicles, which includes all Western European countries plus the Czech Republic and Romania. Also 17 countries levy carbon dioxide related taxes on passenger cars as a disincentive. The incentives consist of tax reductions and exemptions, as well as of bonus payments for buyers of PEVs, hybrid vehicles, and some alternative fuel vehicles.[25][26]

Austria[edit]

Electric vehicles are exempt from the fuel consumption tax, levied upon the first registration, and from the monthly vehicle tax. In addition to tax breaks, hybrid vehicles and other alternative fuel vehicles benefit from a fuel consumption tax that pays bonuses to passenger cars with low carbon dioxide output. Alternative fuel vehicles, including hybrids, qualify for as much as €800 (around US$1,120) in annual bonuses. This bonus was valid from 1 July 2008 until 31 August 2012.[25][26]

Belgium[edit]

The Belgian government established a personal income tax deduction of 30% of the purchase price including VAT of a new electric vehicle, up to €9,190. Plug-in hybrids are not eligible.[27][28][29] This tax incentive ended on December 31, 2012.[30] There is also available a tax deduction up to 40% for investments in external recharging stations publicly accessible, to a maximum of €250.[28] The Wallonia regional government has an additional €4,500 eco-bonus for cars registered before December 31, 2011.[31]

Czech Republic[edit]

Electric, hybrid and other alternative fuel vehicles used for business purposes are exempt from the road tax.[26]

Denmark[edit]

Denmark was planning to introduce a greater number of battery driven electric cars on the streets — charged on renewable energy from the country's many wind turbines — ahead of the UN Climate Summit that descended on Copenhagen in December 2009. Around a third of the electricity is generated by wind turbines.[32][33]

Electric vehicles weighing under 2,000 kg are exempt from the new car registration tax since 1985, but available models were so limited that by 2009 only 497 EVs are registered in the entire country.[29][34] The registration tax in Denmark is based on the vehicle's purchase price, and is set at 105% if the vehicle price is up to DKK79,000 (around US$13,250) and 180% if the price is above DKK79,000.[29] The government also grants free parking in downtown Copenhagen for EVs.[34] This exemption does not apply to hybrid electric vehicles.[29] As of 2015 there are around 4,000 electric cars in Denmark.[35]

Estonia[edit]

No grants towards the purchase of Plug-In or Electric vehicles at the moment and no government plans (2016). From 2011 to 2014 Estonia has allocated a total of 9,000,000 in grants towards the purchase of battery electric vehicles (ended 7 August 2014).[36] From 2011 to 2014, KredEx has allocated grants totaling 10,500,000; the average grant per car was 16,500. The grant for the purchase of electric cars has helped put more than 650 electric cars on Estonia’s roads. With the same transaction, a country-wide quick charging network (CHAdeMO 500V/120A and Type2 400V/32A) was established.

Finland[edit]

The Prime Minister of Finland (2003–2010) Mr. Matti Vanhanen has mentioned that he wants to see more electric cars on Finnish roads as soon as possible[37] and with any cost to the governmental car related tax incomes.[38] Charging at home from motor and cabin heating outlets (common in all Nordic countries) has been determined to be a possible load on the grid, although this load is expected to mainly take place at night when overall demand is lower. If all cars in Finland run totally on electricity, it will add 7-9 TWh annually to the load, which corresponds to 10% of Finland's annual consumption.[39] On-line route planners like http://www.uppladdning.nu/ list a daily growing number of free charging outlets set up by merchants and private individuals, making it possible to drive an EV for free from Helsinki through Sweden all the way to Copenhagen.[40]

France[edit]

Since 2008 France has a bonus-malus system offering a financial incentive, or bonus, for the purchase of cars with low carbon emissions, and a fee, or malus, for the purchase of high-emission vehicles. The bonus applies to private and company vehicles purchased on or after 5 December 2007 and are deduced from the purchase price of the vehicle. The malus penalty applies to all vehicles registered after 1 January 2008, and is added at the time of registration. Since 2009, every family with more than two children receives a deduction from the malus of 20 g of CO2 per km per child.[41]

2012-2014
Electric cars purchase under a battery leasing contract, such as the Renault Zoe, are eligible for the full €6,300 bonus for zero CO2 emission vehicles.

Until July 31, 2012, a premium up to €5,000, under the bonus-malus system, was granted for the purchase of new cars with CO2 emissions of 60 g/km or less which benefited all-electric cars and any plug-in hybrid with such low emissions. Vehicles emitting up to 125 g/km or less, such as conventional hybrids and natural gas vehicles, were granted up to €2,000.[29][42] The incentive could not exceed 20% of the sales price including VAT, increased with the cost of the battery if it is rented.[29]

Effective on August 1, 2012, the government increased the bonus for electric cars up to €7,000 but capped at 30% of the vehicle price including VAT. The price includes any battery leasing charges, and therefore, electric cars which need a battery leasing contract also are eligible for the bonus. For example, an electric car sold for €23,333 including VAT was eligible for the maximum bonus of €7,000. The emission level for the maximum bonus was raised to 20 g/km or less. Cars with emission levels between 20 and 50 g/km were eligible to a bonus of up to €5,000, and between 50 and 60 g/km were eligible to a bonus of up to €4,500. After this limit, the bonus dropped to €550.[43]

The fee schedule for the bonus-malus was modified in 2013. Effective November 1, 2013, the bonus was reduced from €7,000 to €6,300 for all-electrics and any other vehicle with CO2 emissions of less than 21 g/km. Vehicles emitting between 21 and 60 g/km, such as plug-in hybrids and conventional hybrids, were eligible to a bonus up to €4,000, and for emissions between 61 and 90 g/km up to €150, down from €550. Effective January 1, 2014, the fee schedule for the malus was increased to a maximum penalty of €8,000 from €6,000 for vehicles emitting over 200 g/km. Flex-fuel vehicles remained exempt from the malus fee. A neutral class applies to vehicles emitting between 91-130 g/km.[41][44]

2015-2016

From April 1, 2015, a super-bonus was introduced, increasing the financial incentive to a cumulative total of €10,000, consisting of the regular bonus of €6,300 for purchasing a pure electric car, plus up to €3,700 for customers scrapping a diesel-powered car in circulation before 1 January 2001. In the case of plug-in hybrids with CO2 emission levels between 21 and 60 g/km, the purchase bonus was €4,000 plus the scrapping premium of €3,700. Also a specific €500 grant was introduced for families which are below the income tax threshold who buy an ordinary new or second hand car below certain CO2 emission thresholds or a hybrid or electric car.[45]

Electric cars equipped with a range extender, such as the BMW i3 REx, are entitled to the €6,300 bonus if emitting between 21 and 60 g/km of CO2.

Effective January 4, 2016, the €6,300 bonus limited to 27% of the purchase price of vehicles emitting up to 20 g/km was kept. This bonus corresponds to pure electric vehicles and those equipped with a range extender. Vehicles emitting between 21 and 60 g/km are entitled to a €1,000 bonus. This bonus corresponds to the majority of plug-in hybrids. Conventional hybrid passenger cars emitting between 61 and 110 g/km with sufficient level of hybridization, with an electric motor with an output power of not be less than 10 kW, are entitle to a €750 bonus.[46] Diesel-powered hybrids, such as the PSA Hybrid4, are no longer eligible for the bonus, even if the car emits less than 110 g/km of CO2.[47]

The combined €10,000 super-bonus for the purchase or lease of a new all-electric car was maintained. To be eligible for the additional scrappage bonus, the old diesel-powered car have to be owned for at least a year and in circulation before 1 January 2006. The new vehicle must not be sold within 6 months of acquisition or have traveled less than 6,000 km (3,700 mi).[46]

The scrappage bonus for the purchase of an all-electric car was maintained at €3,700, while the bonus for plug-in hybrid car emitting between 21 and 60 g/km was set at €2,500. Only individuals or professionals are eligible for the scrappage bonus. Commercial vehicles are not eligible. Neither demonstration vehicles are eligible to the superbonus unless the vehicles are sold or leased within one year following the date of first registration.[48] As of September 2016, the scrappage bonus of €3,700 for trading in old diesel-powered cars has been granted to more than 10,000 purchase transactions.[49]

2017

As of September 2016, the government proposal to be in force from 1 January 2017 provides that the €10,000 super-bonus for scrapping a diesel vehicle over 10 years-old will be renewed. However, the bonus for the purchase of a pure electric car will drop to €6,000 from €6,300 in 2016, but to compensate, the additional scrappage bonus will be increased to €4,000 from €3,700 in 2016. Also, the government plans to introduce a purchase price cap to the vehicles eligible for the bonus, and to introduce a new bonus for two-wheeled motor vehicles. For the more polluting vehicles, the government intends to increase the maximum malus fee to €10,000 from €8,000 in 2016 for vehicles emitting more than 191 g/km, lowering the limit from 200 g/km in 2016.[50]

The government intends to maintain the €1,000 purchase bonus for plug-in hybrids with a CO2 emission level between 21 and 60 g/km. However, the proposal does not include anything about the conversion premium for scrapping a 10-year-old diesel car for the purchase of a plug-in hybrid. The purchase bonus for non-rechargeable hybrid vehicles will be eliminated.[50]

Germany[edit]

Chancellor Angela Merkel announced her goal to bring 1 million electric vehicles on German roads at the 2010 Electromobility Summit in Berlin.

"Nationale Plattform Elektromobilität" (NPE)[51] is a German government initiative to develop Germany into a leading market for electric mobility.[52] In May 2010, under its National Program for Electric Mobility, Chancellor Angela Merkel set the goal to bring 1 million electric vehicles on German roads by 2020.[53] However, the government also announced that it would not provide subsidies to the sales of plug-in electric cars but instead it will only fund research in the area of electric mobility.[54] Electric vehicles and plug-ins are exempt from the annual circulation tax for a period of five years from the date of their first registration.[29][55] In 2016, the annual circulation tax exemption was extended from five to ten years, backdated to 1 January 2016.[56]

The private use of a company car is treated as taxable income in Germany and measured at a flat monthly rate of 1% of the vehicle's gross list price. So plug-in electric cars have been at a disadvantage since their price tag can be as much as double that of a car using a conventional internal combustion engine due to the high cost of the battery. In June 2013 German legislators approved a law that ends the tax disadvantage for corporate plug-in electric cars. The law, backdated to 1 January 2013, allows private users to offset the list price with €500 per unit of battery size, expressed in kilowatt hours (kWh). The maximum offset was set at €10,000 corresponding to a 20 kWh battery. The amount one can offset will sink annually by €50 per kilowatt hour.[57] The range criteria will rise to 40 km (25 mi) starting in 2018.[58] As part of the package of financial incentives approved in 2016, private owners of plug-in electric vehicles that charge their cars in their employer premises are exempted from declaring this perk as a cash benefit in their income tax return. Employers who provide this perk are allowed to discount from their income tax a 25% of the lump sum value of the cash benefit. These two fiscal benefits apply only from 1 January 2017 until the end of 2020.[59]

Smart ED all-electric car (right) and Opel Ampera plug-in hybrid (left) in Germany

In August 2014, the federal government announced its plan to introduce non-monetary incentives through new legislation to be effective by 1 February 2015. The proposed user benefits include measures to privilege battery-powered cars, fuel cell vehicles and some plug-in hybrids, just like Norway does, by granting local governments the authority to allow these vehicles into bus lanes, and to offer free parking and reserved parking spaces in locations with charging points.[60][61] Not all plug-in hybrids will qualify for the benefits, only those with CO2 emissions of no more than 50 g/km or an all-electric range of over 30 km (19 mi) are eligible.[62]

According to the fourth progress report of the German National Electric Mobility Platform, only about 24,000 plug-in electric cars are on German roads by the end of November 2014, well behind the target of 100,000 unit goal set for 2014. As a result, Chancellor Angela Merkel recognized in December 2014 that the government has to provide more incentives to meet the goal of having 1 million electric cars on the country’s roads by 2020. Among others, and based on the recommendations of the report, the federal government is considering to offer a tax break for zero-emission company cars, more subsidies to expand charging infrastructure, particularly to deploy more public fast chargers, and more public funding for research and development of the next generation of rechargeable batteries.[63][64]

Purchase incentive

At the beginning of 2016, German politicians from the three parties in Mrs. Merkel's ruling coalition and auto executives began talks to introduce a subsidy for green car buyers worth up to €5,000 (US$5,500) to boost sales of electric and plug-in hybrid cars.[65] As of February 2016, the German government proposal is for the auto industry to cover 40% of the cost of the purchase subsidy. Private buyers would get the full €5,000 subsidy, while corporate buyers would receive €3,000 for each electric car, and the program is expected to run until 2020, the deadline set to achieve the goal of 1 million electric cars on German roads. Incentives will fall by €500 each year.[66] In March 2016, Nissan Europe announced its support to the green car incentive and its commintment to double the government's E-premium incentive when buying a Nissan electric car, with a reduction of the purchase price of the same amount of the subsidy. Nissan Center Europe CEO said "we remain convinced that the goal of one million electric cars by 2020 is still achievable." According to Nissan if from now on electric car sales double every year until 2020, it is still possible to achieve the government goal.[67]

The Tesla Model S, and other premium cars with a purchase price over €60,000 (US$67,800) are not eligible to the purchase bonus.

An incentive scheme to promote plug-in electric vehicle adoption was approved in April 2016 with a budget of €1 billion (US$1.13 billion). A total of €600 million (US$678 million) is reserved for the purchase subsidies, which are expected to run until all the money is disbursed, estimated to last until 2019 at the latest. Another €300 million (US$339 million) are budgeted to finance the deployment of charging stations in cities and on autobahn highway stops. And another €100 million (US$113 million) would go toward purchasing electric cars for federal government fleets. The program is aimed to promote the sale of 400,000 electric vehicles. The cost of the purchase incentive is shared equally between the government and automakers. Electric car buyers get a €4,000 (US$4,520) discount while buyers of plug-in hybrid vehicles get a discount of €3,000 (US$3,390). Premium cars, such as the Tesla Model S and BMW i8, are not eligible to the incentive because there is a cap of €60,000 (US$67,800) for the purchase price.[68][69][70] Only electric vehicles purchased after 18 May 2016 are eligible for the bonus and the owner must keep the new electric car at least nine months. The same rule applies for leasing.[56]

As of September 2016, BMW, Citroën, Daimler, Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Renault, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo had signed up to participate in the scheme.[56][71] In May 2016, Nissan announced the company decided to raise the bonus with an additional €1,000 (US$1,130) to €5,000 (US$5,650) for customers of its all-electric Leaf car and e-NV200 utility van.[72] The online application system to claim the bonus went into effect on 2 July 2016.[73] As of September 2016, a total of 26 plug-in electric cars and vans are eligible for the purchase bonus.[71] According to the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA), a total of 4,451 applications have been made for the government subsidy for the purchase of a plug-in electric model as of 30 September 2016, consisting of 2,650 all-electrics and 1,801 plug-in hybrids.[71] As of 30 September 2016, the federal states with the most claims are Bayern (1,130), Baden-Württemberg (873), and Nordrhein-Westfalen (726).[71]

As of 1 September 2016, the following 26 plug-in electric cars and vans are eligible for the purchase bonus: Audi A3 e-tron, BMW 225xe, BMW 330e, BMW i3, Citroën Berlingo Electric, Citroën C-Zero, Ford Focus Electric, Kia Soul EV, Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive (B 250e), Mercedes-Benz C350 e, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Mitsubishi Outlander P-HEV, Nissan e-NV200 5- and 7-seater Combi, Nissan Leaf, Peugeot iOn, Peugeot Partner Electric, Renault Kangoo Z.E., Renault Zoe, Smart Fortwo electric drive, Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, Volkswagen e-Golf, Volkswagen e-Up!, Volkswagen Golf GTE, Volkswagen Passat GTE, and Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid.[71]

Greece[edit]

All electric and hybrid vehicles are exempt from the registration tax.[26]

Iceland[edit]

All electric vehicles are exempt from VAT up to Íkr 6,000,000, and the tax is applied at the normal rate for the remainder of the price.[74] Electric vehicles also get free parking in the city center for up to 90 minutes, which also applies to cars with CO2 emissions of less than 120 g/km and weigh less than 1,200 kg, which excludes several electric cars such as the Tesla Model S.[75]

Ireland[edit]

The Opel Ampera plug-in hybrid is available in several European countries.

Series production EVs were exempted from VRT until December 2012.[76] The VRT exemption was replaced by a €5000 credit against the tax.[77] Annual motor tax for EVs is €120.[78] The Government has set a target of 10% for all vehicles on Irish roads to be electric by 2020.

The ESB eCar electric vehicle charging network serves as the main charging network for the island of Ireland and has rapidly expanded in recent years. Currently the network is free to use with an RFID card provided by ESB to EV owners who wish to use the network. The network aims to provide rapid charging every 30 km on major routes and as of 2015 has almost 2000 standard charging points (all provide connection via IEC 62196 Type 2 Mennekes, around half are 22 kW with the remainder a mix of 3.6 kW and 7.4 kW). There are around 100 CHAdeMO rapid chargers with over 70 located outside the Dublin Metro area.[79] All rapid chargers installed since mid-2014 have been triple standard CHAdeMO/Combined Charging System/AC 43 kW. Four rapid chargers in Dublin and two rapid chargers in Belfast were co-funded by the EU as part of the UK/Ireland RCN program.[80] The UK charging network operated by Ecotricity has a single CHAdeMO only rapid charger at IKEA Belfast.[81] This is the sole rapid charger on the island that is not part of the ESB eCars network.

Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland offers a government grant of up to €5,000 for the purchase of a new electric car.[82] Electric and hybrid vehicles had a reduction of up to €2,500 off the registration tax between July 2008 and December 2010.[29] However this grant is only available on vehicles on an approved list of models [83] which must be sold by a dealer registered for the scheme.[84] No grant applies where a vehicle is imported privately. The grant is reduced to €3,800 for business purchasers or those who require finance to purchase the vehicle, however some importers will report financed private sales as cash sales to acquire the full grant.

As of September 2014, plug-in electric car purchasers are eligible for a government credit worth up to €5,000 (about US$6,500). Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT), up to €5,000 is also waived for electric cars. Also, all-electric car owners pay the lowest rate of annual road tax, which is based on emissions. In addition, the first 2,000 electric cars registered in Ireland are eligible for installation of a free home-charging points worth about €1,000 (about US$1,300).[85]

Italy[edit]

Electric vehicles are exempt from the annual circulation tax or ownership tax for five years from the date of their first registration. Thereafter, EVs benefit from a 75% reduction of the tax rate applied to equivalent gasoline-powered vehicles.[26] In the region of Lombardy, electric vehicles are exempt from the annual ownership tax.[86]

Luxembourg[edit]

Buyers of electric vehicles and other vehicles emitting 60 g/km or less of carbon dioxide are eligible to receive a premium of €3,000 (around US$4,200), this premium ended 31 December 2011. In order to qualify for the rebate, the owner must have concluded an agreement to buy electricity from renewable energy.[25][26]

Monaco[edit]

Buyers of electric vehicles and plug in hybrids are eligible to receive €9,000 (around US$12,600) from the Monegasque Government. In addition vehicles owners are allowed to park free at any public parking facility.[87][88]

Netherlands[edit]

Launched in the Dutch market in 2013, the Mitsubishi Outlander P-HEV is the country's top selling ever plug-in electric vehicle.[89]

Considering the potential of plug-in electric vehicles in the country due to its relative small size and geography, the Dutch government set a target of 15,000 to 20,000 electric vehicles with three or more wheels on the roads in 2015; 200,000 vehicles in 2020; and 1 million vehicles in 2025.[90][91] The first government target was achieved in 2013, two years earlier, thanks to the sales peak that occurred at the end of 2013.[92] According to official figures, 30,086 plug-in electric vehicles with three or more wheels have been registered in the country through 31 December 2013.[90]

Initially, the Dutch government set incentives such as the total exemption of the registration fee and road taxes, which resulted in savings of approximately €5,324 for private car owners over four years,[26][93] and €19,000 for corporate owners over five years.[94] Other vehicles including hybrid electric vehicles were also exempt from these taxes if they emit less than 95 g/km for diesel-powered vehicles, or less than 110 g/km for gasoline-powered vehicles.[26] The exemption from the registration tax ended on January 1, 2014, and thereafter, all-electric vehicles pay a 4% registration fee and plug-in hybrids a 7% fee.[95]

In addition, the national government offers through the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment a €3,000 subsidy on the purchase of all-electric taxis or delivery vans. This subsidy increases to €5,000 per vehicle in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, and Arnhem-Nijmegen metropolitan area. An additional subsidy is offered by several local government for the purchase of full electric taxis and vans, €5,000 in Amsterdam and €3,000 in Limburg and Tilburg.[96][97]

Tesla Model S in Amsterdam. The Model S is the country's top selling all-electric car ever.[89]

In Amsterdam EV owners also have access to parking spaces reserved for battery electric vehicles, so they avoid the current wait for a parking place in Amsterdam, which can reach up to 10 years in some parts of the city.[98] Free charging is also offered in public parking spaces.[99] EV owners in the city of Rotterdam are entitled to one year of free parking in downtown and enjoy subsidies of up to €1,450 if they install a home charger using green electricity.[97] The city also introduced in 2014 a scrappage program to remove old polluting vehicles to improve air quality in the city. Rotterdam offers a €2,500 incentive for business buyers to replace the old vehicles with all-electric vehicles. The subsidy is only available to the first 5,000 applicants that buy an eligible vehicle before the end of December 2013.[97] Other factors contributing to the rapid adoption of plug-in electric vehicles are the relative small size of the country, which reduces range anxiety (the Netherlands stretches about 100 mi (160 km) east to west); a long tradition of environmental activism; high gasoline prices (US$8.50 per gallon as of January 2013), which make the cost of running a car on electricity five times cheaper; and also some EV leasing programs provide free or discounted gasoline-powered vehicles for those who want to take a vacation driving long distances. With all of these incentives and tax breaks, plug-in electric cars have similar driving costs to conventional cars.[99]

Initially, sales of plug-in electric car were lower than expected, and during 2012 the segment captured a market share of less than 1% of new car sales in the country.[99] As a result of the end of the total exemption of the registration fee, the segment sales peaked at the end of 2013,[100] and plug-in electric car sales reached a market share of 5.34% of new car sales in 2013.[101] The total cost of the tax exemptions for the Dutch treasury of the more than 22,000 plug-in electric vehicles sold in 2013 was estimated at €500 million (US$691 million).[102]

Norway[edit]

The Buddy and REVAi were among the top selling electric cars in Norway until 2010. Shown a free parking lot for EVs with charging stations.

The Parliament of Norway set the goal to reach 50,000 zero emission vehicles by 2018. Among the existing incentives, all-electric cars are exempt in Norway from all non-recurring vehicle fees, including purchase taxes, which are extremely high for ordinary cars, and 25% VAT on purchase, together making electric car purchase price competitive with conventional cars.[103] As an example, by early 2013 the price of the top selling Nissan Leaf is 240,690 krone (around US$42,500) while the purchase price of the 1.3-lt Volkswagen Golf is 238,000 Krone (about US$42,000).[104] Electric vehicles are also exempt from the annual road tax, all public parking fees, and toll payments, as well as being able to use bus lanes.[103][105]

Government officials reserved in 1999 the "EL" prefix for exclusive use of all-electric vehicles in order to be able to enforce on the road the benefits available to EVs. As the "EL" series is set to end at "EL 99999" (most vehicles in the country have five-digit registration numbers between 10000 and 99999), the Norwegian Public Roads agency opted for the prefix "EK" in the second series of plates, to signify "elektrisk kjøretøy", Norwegian for electric vehicle. And because the sale of electric vehicles is expected to continue at a rapid pace, meaning that the second phase of license plates is likely to run out as well, the "EV" prefix has been set aside for future electric cars.[106] In July 2016, as the stock of "EL" prefix plates was almost depleted, the first electric vehicles registered with the new "EK" series were on the road.[107][108]

Until June 2013, plug-in hybrids have not been eligible for these benefits.[103][105] Because the Norwegian tax system levies higher taxes to heavier vehicles, plug-in hybrids are more expensive than similar conventional cars due to the extra weight of the battery pack and its additional electric components. Beginning on 1 July 2013, the existing weight allowance for conventional hybrids and plug-in hybrids of 10% will be increased to 15% for PHEVs.[109]

Electric cars have access to bus lanes in Norway. Shown a Nissan Leaf, the top selling plug-in electric car in the country since 2012.

In September 2013 the Norwegian Parliament approved, as part of the revised 2014 budget, an exemption from the 25% VAT for leasing electric vehicles effective on 1 January 2014.[110] However, as of September 2014, the exemption has not gone into effect because the Minister of Finance decided to defer the measure, pending a formal consultation with the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) to ensure that the VAT exemption for leasing was not in violation of the European Economic Area Agreement. The government's loss of revenue due to the still not implemented leasing exemption is estimated at about 47 million krone (around US$7.3 million) per year.[111][112] One Member of Parliament has criticized the government for the delay. He had argued that the initial VAT exemption for all electric vehicles was never approved in ESA. In addition, an ESA spokesman confirmed that the Government has not sent any request as of September 2014, nor has ESA received any complaints about Norway's original EV tax exemption. The MP said he will demand that the decision be implemented when Parliament meets in October 2014.[112]

The government's initial goal of 50,000 electric cars on Norwegian roads was reached on 20 April 2015. The plate "EL 60000" was granted to the 50,000th electric car registered.[113]

The target of 50,000 electric cars on Norwegian roads was reached on 20 April 2015, more than two years earlier than expected.[113][114] In early March 2015 negotiations began among parties represented in the Parliament to define the future of all motor vehicles and fuel taxes. The Liberal Party wanted all the benefits to continue beyond the established quota. The Ministry of Finance also made a comprehensive review of all motor vehicle taxes. The two purchase tax exemptions cost the government about 3 billion krone (around US$480 million) in lost revenue just in 2014, and up to 4 billion krone (around US$640 million) if all the other benefits are accounted for.[115] Despite passing the established cap of 50,000 electric cars, the tax benefits were expected to continue at least until the end of 2016.[116][117]

Phase out of incentives[edit]

In May 2015 the Government decided to keep the existing incentives through 2017, and the political parties in Parliament agreed to reduced and phase out some of the incentives. Beginning in January 2018, electric car owners will be required to pay half of the yearly road license fee and the full rate as of 2020. The value-added tax (VAT) exemption for electric cars will end in 2018, but replaced by a new scheme, which may be subjected to a ceiling that could be reduced as technology develops. The agreement also gave local authorities the right to decide whether electric cars can park for free and use public transport lanes.[118][119]

In March 2016, the Ministry of Transport issued new regulations for parking in locations with access to the general public. The new parking regulations, that go into effect on January 1, 2017, terminated the free parking for zero-emission vehicles, but established that Municipalities can introduce payment exemption for electric and hydrogen powered motor vehicles on municipal parking locations.[120] As of September 2016, the city councils of Trondheim and Tønsberg decided to introduce full payment for EVs from 2017; the cities of Bodø and Tromsø will introduce payment for parking in downton but exempted parking outside the city's center; and the cities of Oslo, Mandal and Drammen decided to keep free parking for zero-emission vehicles.[121][122][123]

Portugal[edit]

The Portuguese Government launched in early 2008 a national Programme for Electric Mobility called Mobi.E.[124]

Mobi.E is deploying a national electric mobility system. The system was designed to be scalable and used in multiple geographies, overcoming the current situation of lack of communication among the different electric mobility experiences that are being deployed in Europe. By the first semester of 2011, a wide public network of 1 300 normal and 50 fast charging points will be fully implemented in the main 25 cities of the country.

EVs are fully exempt from both the Vehicle Tax due upon purchase (Imposto Sobre Veículos) and the annual Circulation Tax (Imposto Único de Circulação). Personal income tax provides an allowance of EUR 803 upon the purchase of EVs. EVs are exempt from the 5%-10% company car tax rates which are part of the Corporation Income Tax. The Budget Law provides for an increase of the depreciation costs related to the purchase of EVs for the purpose of Corporation Income Tax.

Portugal established a government subsidy of €5,000 for the first 5,000 new electric cars sold in the country. In addition, there is in place a €1,500 incentive if the consumer turns in a used car as part of the down payment for the new electric car.[125] Electric cars are also exempt from the registration tax.[29]

Romania[edit]

Romania offers a government grant of up to €6700 for the purchase of a new electric car.[126] Furthermore, through the cash-for-clunkers program (scrappage program), those who wish to purchase an electric car will receive vouchers of over €5,000 total (as of 2011) in return for their used car.[126] For hybrid vehicles, with or without plug-in capabilities, a €550 grant is offered, plus an additional €160 grant for hybrid vehicles emitting under 100g/km of CO2. Combined with the cash-for-clunkers program, the total grant is up to €2200.[127] Electric and hybrid vehicles are exempt from the environmental tax, which also acts as a registration tax. From March 2015, electric vehicles are also exempt from the annual tax, while hybrid vehicles have a 95% reduction.[128]

In 2016, the "Rabla Plus" program offered a government grant of RON 20,000 for the purchase of a new electric car.[129]

Spain[edit]

Spain's government aimed to have 1 million electric cars on the roads by 2014 as part of a plan to cut energy consumption and dependence on expensive imports, Industry Minister Miguel Sebastián said.[33][130][131][132]

In May 2011 the Spanish government approved a €72 million (US$103 million) fund for year 2011 to promote electric vehicles. The incentives include direct subsidies for the acquisition of new electric cars for up to 25% of the purchase price, before tax, to a maximum of €6,000 per vehicle (US$8,600), and 25% of the gross purchase price of other electric vehicles such as buses and vans, with a maximum of €15,000 or €30,000, depending on the range and type of vehicle.[133] Several regional government grant incentives for the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles including electric and hybrid vehicles. In Aragón, Asturias, Baleares, Madrid, Navarra, Valencia, Castilla-La Mancha, Murcia, Castilla y León electric vehicles are eligible to a €6,000 tax incentive and hybrids to €2,000.[29]

Sweden[edit]

In September 2011 the Swedish government approved a 200 million kr program, effective starting in January 2012, to provide a subsidy of 40,000 kr per car for the purchase of electric cars and other "super green cars" with ultra-low carbon emissions (below 50 grams of carbon dioxide per km).[134] There is also an exemption from the annual circulation tax for the first five years from the date of their first registration that benefits owners of electric vehicles with an energy consumption of 37 kWh per 100 km or less, and hybrid vehicles with CO2 emissions of 120 g/km or less. In addition, for both electric and hybrid vehicles, the taxable value of the car for the purposes of calculating the benefit in kind of a company car under personal income tax is reduced by 40% compared with the corresponding or comparable gasoline- or diesel-powered car. The reduction of the taxable value has a cap of 16,000 kr per year.[26]

As of July 2014, a total of 5,028 new "super clean cars" had been registered in the country since January 2012, and because the government allocated funds for a total of 5,000 super clean cars between 2012 and 2014, the fund has been exhausted.[135][136][137] BIL Sweden, the national association for the automobile industry, requested the government an additional 100 million kr to cover the subsidy for another 2,500 registrations of new super clean cars between August and December 2014.[136][138] In December 2014 the Riksdagen, the Swedish parliament, approved an appropriation of 215 million kr to finance the super clean car subsidies in 2015. The appropriation for 2015, according to the parliamentary decision and subsequent government decision, was to also be used for the retroactive payment of the super green cars registered in 2014 that did not receive the subsidy.[139]

The Government raised the appropriation for the super green car rebate by 132 million kr for 2015 and by 94 million kr for 2016. Beginning in 2016, only zero emissions cars are entitled to receive the full 40,000 kr premium, while other super green cars, plug-in hybrids, receive half premium. The exemption for the first five years of ownership from the annual circulation tax is still in place.[140][141] In 2016, in order to promote the introduction of electricity-powered buses in the market, the Government planned to allocate 50 million kr for 2016 and 100 million kr per year between 2017 and 2019 to introduce an electric bus premium.[141]

Two alternative proposals are being considered by the Swedish government regarding the introduction of a bonus-malus system. Both proposals entail changes to vehicle and car benefit taxation and the premium system for purchases of new cars. An official inquiry report was due by 29 April 2016. The goal is for the system to enter into force on 1 January 2017.[141]

Switzerland[edit]

Switzerland has a car import tax which is 4% of the purchase price (before adding the VAT) which is waived for electric cars.[142][143] Since Switzerland consists of 26 cantons which have their own legislature, additional incentives for plug-in electric vehicles differ between the respective regions. The current list can be downloaded from the website of the Swiss Department of Energy.[144]

There are no additional incentives on the actual purchase price, but some cantons offer road tax cuts. The Swiss road tax is a yearly recurring fixed amount calculated based on the specifications of the tax payers car. Currently, only the cantons Glarus (GL), Solothurn (SO), Ticino (TI) and Zurich (ZH) are completely waiving the tax for plug-in electric vehicles.

Calculation example for Zurich

Based on a usual car with the following specification:[145]

  • Engine: 2 L
  • Total weight: 1800 kg
  • Energy efficiency: C
  • Year: 2013

The resulting tax to be paid per year will be SFr 278. Hence when calculating with a life expectancy of 10 years, the car owner in this example might save around SFr 2,780 when buying a plug-in electric car.

However, since the tax on fossil fuels are relatively high in all European countries, including Switzerland, there is still an indirect, but quite strong incentive for car buyers to decide for energy efficient vehicles.

Based on the following examples:

  • Fuel economy: 7.8 L/100 km (30 mpg-US) unleaded
  • Driving habits: 15,000 km (9,300 mi) per year
  • Fuel tax: SFr 0.7312 per liter (SFr 2.7679 per gallon)
  • Carbon tax (since January 1, 2014): SFr 0.1414 per liter (SFr 0.5353 per gallon)

The resulting taxes on the burned fuels will be around SFr 1,021 per year, which results in SFr 10,210 over the car's 10-year lifetime.

United Kingdom[edit]

Plug-in Car Grant[edit]

The Plug-in Car Grant started on 1 January 2011 and is available across the UK. The program reduces the up-front cost of eligible cars by providing a 25% grant towards the cost of new plug-in cars capped at GB£5,000 (US$7,450).[146][147] From 1 April 2015, the purchase price cap was raised to cover up to 35% discount of the vehicle’s recommended retail price, up to the already existing GB£5,000 limit. This change means electric cars priced under GB£20,000 will be able to take advantage of most or all of the £5,000 discount.[148] Both private and business fleet buyers are eligible for this grant, which is received at the point of purchase and the subsidy is claimed back by the manufacturer afterwards.[146] The subsidy programme is managed in a similar way to the grant made as part of the 2009 Car Scrappage Scheme, allowing consumers to buy an eligible car discounted at the point of purchase with the subsidy claimed back by the manufacturer afterwards.[146][147][149]

The Tesla Roadster was available in the UK but not included on the government's plug-in electric car grant list of eligible vehicles.[150]

The government announced in April 2014 that funding for the full grant of up to GB£5,000 will remain in place until either 50,000 grants have been issued or 2017, whichever is first.[148][151] As forecasts estimated that the scheme will reach its 50,000 limit around November 2015, the government announced in August 2015 that the Plug-in Car Grant will continue until at least February 2016 for all plug-in cars with CO2 emissions of 75 g/km of under.[152] The Government also announced that a minimum of GB£200 million (US$311 million) has been made available to continue the Plug-in Car Grant.[153]

Vehicles eligible for the subsidy must meet the following criteria:[146][154]

  • Vehicle type: Only ultra-low emission cars are eligible (vehicle category M1). Motorbikes, quadricycles and vans are not covered.
  • Carbon dioxide exhaust emissions: Vehicles must emit equal or less than 75 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometre driven.
  • Range: Electric vehicles (EVs) must be able to travel a minimum of 70 miles (110 km) between charges. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) must have a minimum all-electric range of 10 miles (16 km).
  • Minimum top speed: Vehicles must be able to reach a speed of 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) or more.
  • Warranty: Vehicles must have a 3-year or 60,000 miles (97,000 km) vehicle warranty (guarantee) and a 3-year battery and electric drive train warranty, with the option of extending the battery warranty for an extra 2 years(‘drive train’ means the parts that send power from the engine to the wheels. These include the clutch, transmission (gear box), drive shafts, U-joints and differential).
  • Battery performance: Vehicles must have either a minimum 5-year warranty on the battery and electric drive train as standard, or extra evidence of battery performance to show reasonable performance after 3 years of use
  • Electrical safety: Vehicles must comply with certain regulations (UN-ECE Reg 100.01) that show that they are electrically safe.
  • Crash safety: To make sure cars will be safe in a crash, they must either have: EC whole vehicle type approval (EC WVTA, not small series) or evidence that the car has appropriate levels of safety as judged by international standards.

In February 2015 the government announced that to take account of rapidly developing technology, and the growing range of ULEVs on the British market, the criteria for the plug-in car grant was updated and from April 2015, eligible ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) must meet criteria in one of the following categories depending on emission levels and zero-emission-capable mileage, with a technology neutral approach, which means that hydrogen fuel cell cars are also eligible for the grant:[147][148]

  • Category 1: CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and a zero emission range of at least 70 mi (110 km).
  • Category 2: CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and a zero emission range between 10 to 69 mi (16 to 111 km).
  • Category 3: CO2 emissions of 50-75g/km and a zero emission range of at least 20 mi (32 km).

In December 2015, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced that Plug-in car grant was extended until March 2018 to encourage more than 100,000 UK motorists to buy cleaner vehicles. A total funding of GB£400 million (~US$600 million) is available for the extension. To reflect the changes in the British market, the criteria for the Plug-in Car Grant was updated and the maximum grant drops from GB£5,000 (~US$7,450) to GB£4,500 (~US$6,700). For the extension, the amount of the grant is linked in directly with the Office for Low Emission Vehicles three vehicle categories issued in April 2015. The eligible ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) must meet criteria in one of three categories depending on emission levels (CO2 emissions bands between 50 and 75g/km) and zero-emission-capable mileage (minimum of 10 mi (16 km)), with a technology neutral approach, which means that hydrogen fuel cell cars are eligible for the grant.[148][155][156] The updated scheme went into force on 1 March 2016.[156]

A price cap is in place, with all Category 1 plug-in vehicles eligible for the full grant no matter what their purchase price, while Category 2 and 3 models with a list price of more than GB£60,000 (~US$90,000) are eligible for the grant. Vehicles with a zero-emission range of at least 70 miles (110 km) (category 1), including hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, get a full GB£4,500 (~US$6,700), but plug-in hybrids (categories 2 and 3) costing under GB£60,000 (~US$90,000) receive GB£2,500 (~US$3,725).[155][156] Under the extended scheme, some plug-in hybrid sports car are no longer be eligible for the grant, such as the BMW i8 because of its GB£100,000 (~US$150,000) purchase price tag.[157] The grant scheme will come under review when a cumulative total of 40,000 Category 1 claims, and 45,000 Category 2 and 3 combined sales have been made. Both these totals will include cars sold before March 2016.[156]

As of October 2016, the following 31 cars available in the British market are eligible for the grant according to their category:[158]

Eligible category 1 vehicles

BMW i3, BYD e6, Citroen C-Zero, Ford Focus Electric, Hyundai Ioniq Electric, Kia Soul EV, Mahindra e2o, Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive, Nissan e-NV200 5- and 7-seater Combi, Nissan Leaf, Peugeot iOn, Renault Fluence Z.E., Renault Zoe, Smart Fortwo electric drive, Tesla Model S, Toyota Mirai, Volkswagen e-Golf, and Volkswagen e-Up!.

Plug-in hybrid models with a list price of over GB£60,000, such as the BMW i8, are no longer eligible for the Plug-in Car Grant from March 2016.[157][158]
Eligible category 2 vehicles

Audi A3 e-tron (MY 2016 only), BMW 225xe, BMW 330e, Kia Optima PHEV, Mercedes-Benz C350 e, Mitsubishi Outlander P-HEV (except GX3h 4Work), Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, Vauxhall Ampera, Volkswagen Golf GTE, Volkswagen Passat GTE, Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid (D5 and D6 Twin Engine), and Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine Momentum.[158]

Ineligible vehicles

Category 2 or 3 vehicles with a recommended retail price over £60,000 aren’t eligible for a grant. This includes: BMW i8 (category 2), Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-in Hybrid (category 3), and Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid (category 3).[158]

The Tesla Roadster was not included in the government's list of eligible vehicles for the plug-in electric car grant. Tesla Motors stated that the company applied for the scheme, but did not complete its application.[150]

In addition to the extension of the Plug-in Grant, the government also announced it will continue the "Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme." Starting in March 2016 owners of ultra-low emission vehicles who install a dedicated charge point at their home, covering roughly half the average cost, will get GB£500 (~US$750) towards the cost of installing the charging point, rather than the previous GB£700 (~US$1,050) maximum.[155][156]

Plug-in Van Grant[edit]

The Mercedes-Benz Vito E-Cell is eligible for the Plug-In Van Grant.

The Plug-In Car Grant began in February 2012. Van buyers can receive 20% - up to GB£8,000 - off the cost of a plug-in van. To be eligible for the scheme, vans have to meet performance criteria to ensure safety, range, and ultra-low tailpipe emissions. Consumers, both business and private will receive the discount at the point of purchase.[159] The Plug-In Van Grant scheme was extended in October 2016 to make electric trucks above 3.5 tonnes eligible for grants of up to GB£20,000, when businesses switch their large trucks to an electric vehicle. The government also announced their commitment for an additional GB£4 million to the scheme so that all vans and trucks meeting the eligibility requirements can benefit from the grant scheme.[160] The extension of the Plug-In Van grant means that N2 vans (3.5 – 12 tonnes gross weight) and N3 vans (over 12 tonnes gross weight) are now eligible.[160]

The eligibility criteria for vans with a gross weight of 3.5 tonnes or less (N1 van) are:[159]

  • Vehicle type: only new N1 vans are eligible. This includes pre-registration conversions (normal, internal combustion engine vans that were converted to battery or hybrid versions by specialist converters before the car’s first registration).
  • Carbon dioxide exhaust emissions: vehicles must emit less than 75 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometre driven.
  • Range: eligible fully electric vans must be able to travel a minimum of 60 mi (97 km) between charges. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) must have a minimum electric range of 10 mi (16 km) miles.
  • Minimum top speed: vehicles must be able to reach a speed of 50 mph (80 km/h) or more.
  • Warranty: Vehicles must have a 3-year or 60,000 mi (97,000 km) vehicle warranty (guarantee) and a 3-year battery and electric drive train warranty, with the option of extending the battery warranty for an extra 2 years
  • Battery performance: vehicles must have either a minimum 5-year warranty on the battery and electric drive train as standard

or extra evidence of battery performance to show reasonable performance after 3 years of use

  • Electrical safety: vehicles must comply with certain regulations (UN-ECE Reg 100.00) that show that they are electrically safe.
  • Crash safety To make sure cars will be safe in a crash, they must either have EC whole vehicle type approval (EC WVTA, not small series) or evidence that the car has appropriate levels of safety as judged by international standards.

As of June 2016, the number of claims made through the Plug-in Van Grant scheme totaled 2,395 units since the launch of the programme in 2012, up from 1,013 made by the end of December 2014.[161] As of October 2016 the following nine vans are eligible for the grant: BD Otomotive eTraffic, BD Otomotiv eDucato, Citroën Berlingo, Mercedes-Benz Vito E-Cell, Mitsubishi Outlander GX3h 4Work, Nissan e-NV200, Peugeot ePartner, Renault Kangoo Z.E., and Smith Electric Edison.[158]

Number of beneficiaries[edit]

The number of eligible registered plug-in electric vehicles passed the 25,000 unit milestone in January 2015.[151] As of December 2014, there had been 1,467 electric cars and vans registered that were not eligible for the Plug-in Grant scheme.[162]

As of June 2016, there have been 66,296 eligible plug-in electric cars registered since the launch of the programme in 2011.[163] As of March 2016, the number of claims made through the Plug-in Van Grant scheme totaled 2,167 units since the launch of the programme in 2012, up from 1,311 made by the end of March 2015.[161] About 71,000 plug-in electric vehicles have been registered in the UK up until March 2016, including about 67,000 plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars, and about 4,000 plug-in commercial vans. Not all vehicles were eligible for the grant schemes.[164]

Plugged-in Places[edit]

On 19 November 2009, Andrew Adonis, the Secretary of State for Transport, announced a scheme called "Plugged-in-Places", making available £30 million to be shared between three and six cities to investigate further the viability of providing power supply for electric vehicles, and encouraging local government and business to participate and bid for funds.[165]

The UK government is supporting the ‘Plugged-In Places’ programme to install vehicle recharging points across the UK. The scheme offers match-funding to consortia of businesses and public sector partners to support the installation of EV recharging infrastructure in lead places across the UK.[166] There are eight Plugged-In Places:East of England;[167] Greater Manchester; London;[168] Midlands;[169] Milton Keynes;[170] North East;[171] Northern Ireland;[172] and Scotland. The Government also published an Infrastructure Strategy in June 2011.[173]

London congestion charge[edit]

All-electric vehicles (BEVs) and eligible plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) qualify for a 100% discount from the London congestion charge. A plug-in electric drive vehicle qualifies if the vehicle is registered with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and has a fuel type of 'electric', or alternatively, if the vehicle is a 'plug-in hybrid' and is on the Government's list of PHEVs eligible for the OLEV grant.[174] As of February 2015, approved PHEVs include all extended-range cars such as the BMW i3 with range extender and Vauxhall Ampera, and plug-in hybrids that emit 75g/km or less of CO2 and that meet the Euro 5 standard for air quality, such as the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron, BMW i8, Mitsubishi Outlander P-HEV, and Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid.[175]

The original Greener Vehicle Discount was substituted by the Ultra Low Emission Discount (ULED) scheme that went into effect on 1 July 2013. The ULED introduced more stringent emission standards that limited the free access to the congestion charge zone to any car or van that emits 75g/km or less of CO2 and meets the Euro 5 emission standards for air quality. As of July 2013 there are no internal combustion-only vehicles that meet this criteria. The measure is designed to limit the growing number of diesel vehicles on London's roads. Mayor Boris Johnson approved the new scheme in April 2013, after taking into account a number of comments received during the 12-week public consultation that took place. About 20,000 owners of vehicles registered for the Greener Vehicle Discount by June 2013 were granted a three-year sunset period (until 24 June 2016) before they have to pay the full congestion charge.[176][177][178][179]

North America[edit]

Canada[edit]

Nissan Leaf, Smart electric drive, and Mitsubishi i MiEV (from farthest to closest) electric cars in downtown Toronto.

Ontario[edit]

Ontario established a rebate between CA$5,000 (4 kWh battery) to CA$8,500 (17 kWh or more) (~US$4,991 to US$8,485), depending on battery size, for purchasing or leasing a new plug-in electric vehicle after July 1, 2010. The rebates are available to the first 10,000 applicants who qualify.[180][181] The province also introduced green-coloured licence plates for exclusive use of plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles.[180][182][183] These unique green vehicle plates allow PEV owners to travel in the province's carpool lanes regardless of the number of passengers in the vehicle. Also, owners are eligible to use recharging stations at GO Transit and other provincially owned parking lots.[180][183]

Quebec[edit]

Quebec began offering rebates of up to CA$8,000 (~ US$8,358) beginning on January 1, 2012, for the purchase of new plug-in electric vehicles equipped with a minimum of 4 kWh battery, and new hybrid electric vehicles were eligible for a CA$1,000 rebate. All-electric vehicles with high-capacity battery packs were eligible for the full CA$8,000 rebate, and lower incentives were set for low-range electric cars and plug-in hybrids. Quebec's government earmarked CA$50 million (~ US$49.9 million) for the program, and the maximum rebate amount was set to be slowly reduced every year until a maximum of CA$3,000 in 2015, but the rebates would continue until the fund runs out. There was also a ceiling for the maximum number of eligible vehicles: 10,000 for all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, and 5,000 for conventional hybrids.[184][185]

In November 2013, the provincial government announced its decision to earmark in 2014 an additional CA$65 million (~ US$45.5 million) to fund a three-year extension to the electric-vehicle rebate program. The maximum rebate was kept at CA$8,000, but a graded scale was introduced in order to spread the incentive over 10,000 or more vehicles.[186] Quebec's government also set the goal to deploy 12,500 more electric vehicles in the province by 2017, consisting of 10,200 consumer cars, 325 taxis, and 2,000 government-fleet vehicles. Also, incentives were issued for "greening" 525 taxis, aimed to introduce 325 plug-in vehicles (275 plug-in hybrids and 50 all-electrics) and 200 conventional hybrids. The purchase incentives start at CA$20,000 for battery-electric taxis, CA$12,000 for plug-in hybrids, and CA$3,000 for conventional hybrids, with the rebate declining over time. The province planned to also subsidize 125 Level 2 stations for the taxi industry, paying 75% of the cost up to CA$5,000, and pay for the majority of costs to fund 10 Level 3 chargers for taxis.[186]

Also in 2013, the provincial government announced it support to deploy 5,000 new charging stations. A total of 500 stations were to be located around various cities and along the province's so-called Electric Circuit route, another 1,000 near government buildings, and 3,500 at various workplaces for employee use. Businesses are eligible for a 75% rebate on installation costs up to CA$5,000 for Level 1 or Level 2 charging stations. In addition, a 50% rebate will continue to be offered to individuals for installation of home charging stations, with a maximum of CA$1,000.[186] Also the government announced an initiative for the gradual electrification of the provincial government's own vehicle fleet. The goal is to replace vehicles of the provincial government's 34 ministers (cabinet-level officials) with plug-in hybrid or pure electric vehicles by March 2017. The government expects to bring 2,000 plug-in vehicles into the provincial fleet over the same time.[186]

In October 2016, the National Assembly of Quebec passed a new zero emission vehicle legislation that obliges any carmaker who sells in the Canadian province more than 4,500 new vehicles per year over a three-year average, to offer their customers a minimum number of plug-in hybrid and all-electric models. Under the new law, 3.5% of the total number of autos sold by carmakers in Quebec have to be zero emissions vehicles (ZEV) starting in 2018, rising to 15.5% in 2020. A tradable credit system was created for those carmakers not fulfilling their quotas to avoid financial penalties. The quotas will be determined by Quebec's Ministry of Sustainable Development. Quebec became the first Canadian province to pass such legislation, joining ten U.S. states, including California, that have similar ZEV laws. Quebec aims to have 100,000 zero emission vehicles on the road by 2020.[187][188] Initially, the provincial government set the goal in 2011 to have 300,000 plug-in vehicles on the roads by 2020.[184]

British Columbia[edit]

As of April 1, 2015, British Columbia's Clean Energy Vehicle (CEV) Program incentives for CEV purchase were renewed with funding for approximately 1250 to 1500 vehicles. This program will expire on March 31, 2018, or when the CA$6,355,000 in new funding is depleted. The current levels of incentives are: CA$5,000 for an EV (min.15 kWh capacity), CA$2,500 for a plug-in hybrid or an extended range vehicle with a smaller battery capacity (min. 4 kWh capacity) and up to CA$6,000 for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, these amounts may be reduced annually. All vehicles must be new and purchased in BC, each claim is processed by the dealer at the Point of Sale and deducted from the vehicle price. The previous program that provided funding to cover part of the cost of installing home EV charging equipment has been discontinued. There is also a separate provincially funded "SCRAP-IT" program with incentives for scrapping model year 2000 or earlier, conventional gas powered vehicles. Basic incentives range from bus passes to coop car-share membership credits, or CA$200 in cash. However, there is also the option of applying for a CA$3,000 rebate cheque (plus CA$250 off the Point of Sale purchase price) when buying a new or used EV (min.15 kWh capacity). The "SCRAP-IT" rebate program currently brings the combined provincial incentives available to buyers of a qualifying new EV in BC to CA$8,250.

The Government of British Columbia had announced the LiveSmart BC program, which started offering rebates of up to CA$5,000 per eligible clean energy vehicle commencing on December 1, 2011. The incentives were available until March 31, 2013 or until available funding were depleted, whichever came first. Available funds were enough to provide incentives for approximately 1,370 vehicles. Battery electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles and plug-in hybrids with battery capacity of 15.0 kWh and above are eligible for a CA$5,000 incentive. Also effective December 1, 2011, rebates of up to CA$500 per qualifying electric vehicle charging equipment were available to B.C. residents who had purchased a clean energy vehicle.[189][190] As of February 14, 2014, the Point of Sale Incentive Program and Residential Electric Charging Station Program had depleted their budgets and were no longer accepting applications for rebates prior to the Point of Sale incentive program being re-funded in April 2015.[191]

United States[edit]

Federal government[edit]

The Chevrolet Volt (top) and the Nissan Leaf (bottom) are PEVs eligible for a U.S. federal tax credit up to US$7,500, and additional incentives in several states.

In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama set the goal for the U.S. to become the first country to have one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.[192][193] For this purpose, his administration pledged US$2.4 billion in federal grants to support the development of next-generation electric vehicles and batteries.[192][193] The funds were allocated as follows: $1.5 billion in grants to U.S. based manufacturers to produce highly efficient batteries and their components; up to $500 million in grants to U.S. based manufacturers to produce other components needed for electric vehicles, such as electric motors and other components; and up to $400 million to demonstrate and evaluate plug-in hybrids and other electric infrastructure concepts—like truck stop charging station, electric rail, and training for technicians to build and repair electric vehicles (greencollar jobs).[194]

Considering that actual plug-in car sales were lower than initially expected, as of early 2013, several industry observers have concluded that Obama's one million goal was unattainable.[195][196][197] According to a July 2012 study by Pike Research, cumulative sales will reach the one million goal set by the Obama Administration only in 2018.[198] Other analysts agree that the goal could be achieved in 2018.[199] With only about 400,000 plug-in electric cars sold in the United States by the end of December 2015, Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, said in January 2016 that the one million goal may not be reached until 2020. According to the Secretary purchases have fallen well below President Barack Obama's goal due to low gasoline prices, which had a negative impact on sales. Also improvements in battery technology are required as lowering battery costs is "absolutely critical" to boost electric vehicle sales.[200][201] U.S. cumulative plug-in sales since 2008 achieved the 500,000 unit milestone in August 2016.[199]

New plug-in electric vehicles[edit]
Plug-in electric drive conversion are also eligible for a maximum $4,000 federal tax credit. Shown here are normal Toyota Priuses that were converted to Plug-in hybrids recharging in San Francisco.

The Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 granted tax credits for new qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicles.[202] The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) also authorized federal tax credits for converted plug-ins, though the credit is lower than for new PEVs.[203] The 2009 ACES also has extensive provisions for electric cars. The bill calls for all electric utilities to, "develop a plan to support the use of plug-in electric drive vehicles, including heavy-duty hybrid electric vehicles". The bill also provides for "smart grid integration," allowing for more efficient, effective delivery of electricity to accommodate the additional demands of plug-in EVs. Finally, the bill allows for the Department of Energy to fund projects that support the development of EV and smart grid technology and infrastructure.[204]

As defined by the 2009 ACES Act, a PEV is a vehicle which draws propulsion energy from a traction battery with at least 4 kwh of capacity and uses an offboard source of energy to recharge such battery.[202] The tax credit for new plug-in electric vehicles is worth $2,500 plus $417 for each kilowatt-hour of battery capacity over 4 kwh, and the portion of the credit determined by battery capacity cannot exceed $5,000. Therefore, the maximum amount of the credit allowed for a new PEV is $7,500.[202]

The new qualified plug-in electric vehicle credit phases out for a PEV manufacturer over the one-year period beginning with the second calendar quarter after the calendar quarter in which at least 200,000 qualifying vehicles from that manufacturer have been sold for use in the United States. For this purpose cumulative sales are accounted after December 31, 2009. Qualifying PEVs are eligible for 50% of the credit if acquired in the first two quarters of the phase-out period, and 25% of the credit if bought in the third or fourth quarter of the phase-out period.[202] Both the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle and the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, launched in December 2010, are eligible for the maximum $7,500 tax credit.[205] The Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, released in January 2012, is eligible for a $2,500 tax credit due to its smaller battery capacity of 5.2 kWh.[206] All Tesla Motors cars are eligible for the 7,500 tax credit.

A 2013 study published in the journal Energy Policy determined that current federal subsidies are "not aligned with the goal of decreased gasoline consumption in a consistent and efficient manner." In particular, hybrid-vehicle credit is given according to battery capacity rather than on the vehicle's all-electric range. Across the battery-capacity and charging-infrastructure scenarios examined, the lowest-cost solution is for more drivers to switch to traditional hybrid electrics or low-capacity plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Installing charging infrastructure would provide lower gasoline savings per dollar spent than paying for increased PHEV battery capacity.[207][208]

A 2016 study conducted by researchers from the University of California, Davis found that the federal tax credit was the reason behind more than 30% of the plug-in electric sales. The impact of the federal tax incentive is higher among owners of the Nissan Leaf, with up to 49% of sales attributable to the federal incentive. The study, based on an stated preference survey of more than 2,882 plug in vehicle owners in 11 states, also found that the federal tax credit shifts buyers from internal combustion engine vehicles to plug-in vehicles and advances the purchase timing of new vehicles by a year or more.[209]

Plug-in conversion kits[edit]

The 2009 ARRA provided a tax credit for plug-in electric drive conversion kits. The credit is equal to 10% of the cost of converting a vehicle to a qualified plug-in electric vehicle and in service after February 17, 2009. The maximum amount of the credit is $4,000. The credit does not apply to conversions made after December 31, 2011.[203][210]

Charging equipment[edit]

There was (through 2010) a federal tax credit equal to 50% of the cost to buy and install a home-based charging station with a maximum credit of US$2,000 for each station. Businesses qualified for tax credits up to $50,000 for larger installations.[205][211] These credits expired on December 31, 2010, but were extended through 2013 with a reduced tax credit equal to 30% with a maximum credit of up to US$1,000 for each station for individuals and up to US$30,000 for commercial buyers.[212][213]

New proposals[edit]
An initiative by the Obama Administration to increase the maximum tax credit for plug-in electric vehicles to US$10,000, would not apply to luxury vehicles with a sales price of over US$45,000, such as the Cadillac ELR (shown) and the Tesla Model S.

Two separate initiatives were pursued in 2011 to transform the tax credit into an instant cash rebate; these did not pass. The objective of both initiatives was to make new qualifying plug-in electric cars more accessible to buyers by making the incentive more effective. The rebate would have been available at the point of sale allowing consumers to avoid a wait of up to a year to apply the tax credit against income tax returns.[214][215] The first initiative was from Senator Debbie Stabenow who reintroduced the "Charging America Forward Act." This bill was introduced in August 2010 but was not voted by the full Senate.[214] The bill would have turned the tax credit into a rebate worth up to US$7,500 for plug-in electric vehicles and also would have provided businesses with a tax credit for purchasing medium or heavy duty plug-in hybrid trucks.[216] The other initiative was from the Obama Administration and was submitted in the FY2012 Budget as a provision to transform the existing credit into a rebate that would have been claimable by dealers and passed along to the consumers, this was not included in the Budget.[215][217]

Another change plug-in tax credit was proposed by Senator Carl Levin and Representative Sander Levin who proposed to raise the existing cap on the number of plug-in vehicles eligible for the tax credit. The proposal would have raised that limit from the existing 200,000 PEVs per manufacturer to 500,000 units, this was not passed.[214]

In March 2014 the Obama Administration included a provision in the FY2015 Budget to increase the maximum tax credit for plug-in electric vehicles and other advanced vehicles to US$10,000. However, the new maximum tax credit would not apply to luxury vehicles with a sales price of over US$45,000, which would be capped at US$7,500. The proposal sought to remove the 200,000 vehicle cap per manufacturer after which the credit phases out over a year. Instead, the incentives would begin to phase out—falling to 75% of the current credit—starting in 2019 for all manufacturers, and would be completely phased out by 2022; this did not get included in the Budget.[218]

In California[edit]

The Tesla Model S is eligible for a US$7,500 federal tax credit and a rebate in California, depending on income.

The Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP), initially funded with a total of US$4.1 million by the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Resources Board (ARB), was established in order to promote the production and use of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), including plug-in electric and fuel cell vehicles. The program was created from Assembly Bill 118 that was signed by Governor Schwarzenegger in October 2007. The funding is provided on a first-come, first-served basis, and the project is expected to go through 2015.[219]

Eligible vehicles include only new ARB-certified or approved zero-emission or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. A list of eligible vehicles can be found on the California Center for Sustainable Energy web site.[220] Among the eligible vehicles are neighborhood electric vehicles, battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and fuel cell vehicles including cars, trucks, medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, and zero-emission motorcycles. Vehicles must be purchased or leased on or after March 15, 2010. Rebates of up to $5,000 per light-duty vehicle are available for individuals and business owners who purchase or lease new eligible vehicles. Certain zero-emission commercial vehicles are also eligible for rebates up to $20,000.[219][220]

Besides a US$2,500 federal tax credit, the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid is eligible for a rebate in California, depending on income.

According to the Clean Vehicle Rebate Program, a total of $1.4 million were distributed in 2010 for 213 plug-in vehicles that received the rebate, leaving $2.3 million available for 2011. In January 2011 the California Energy Commission (CEC) allocated a $2 million contribution for the program, and considering the $5 million coming in second year funding, funds available for the rebates will amount to $9.3 million in 2011. The additional $2 million provided by CEC are reserved for rebates of vehicles capable of carrying four passengers and highway driving, providing enough money for 400 more buyers of such plug-in vehicles to benefit from the program.[221] Once these funds were exhausted, the 2011-2012 program offered a lower rebate of up to $2,500. An additional $15 million was allocated for the 2011–2012 year program.[222] In February 2012, the California Energy Commission approved an additional US$4.5 million to support purchases of light-duty zero-emission electric vehicles and light-duty plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. All vehicles must be capable of freeway operation and certified for at least four passengers.[223] Current availability of CVRP funds can be checked on the California Center for Sustainable Energy web site.[224]

The 2012 Chevrolet Volt fitted with a low emissions package qualifies in California for the US$1,500 CVRP rebate and since February 2012 have free access to high-occupancy vehicle lanes.

The 2011 Chevrolet Volt was not submitted for application to the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project rebate and therefore was not eligible for the state rebate. The reason is that the Volt did not meet the 10-year 150.000-mile (241.402 km) battery warranty requirement for partial zero-emissions vehicles (Enhanced AT-PZEV). The Volt team explained that for the launch GM decided to go with a common national package which includes an 8-year 100,000-mile (160,000 km) battery warranty.[225][226] In November 2011 General Motors announced that beginning in February 2012, all models manufactured for the California market will feature a new low emissions package that will allow the 2012 Chevrolet Volt to qualify as an enhanced, advanced technology –partial zero emissions vehicle (enhAT-PZEV) and have access to California’s high-occupancy vehicle lanes (HOV). The new standard California version of the Volt features a modified engine and exhaust components. The catalytic converter was modified to add a secondary air-injection pump. Owners of a 2012 Volt with the low emissions package became eligible to apply for the HOV lane stickers issued to vehicles that qualify as a California AT-PZEV. Additionally, the new low emissions package will make the 2012 Volt eligible for owners to receive up to US$1,500 in state rebates through the state’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP).[227] Only the 2012 Volts manufactured after February 6, 2012, are fitted with the low emission package.[228]

As of early September 2012, private individuals accounted for 88% of rebate funds reimbursed.[229] As of early March 2013, CARB has issued about 18,000 rebates totaling US$41 million.[223] However, CARB notices that approximately 2,300 Chevrolet Volts were sold in California before the Volt became eligible for the rebate in February 2012.[230] As a result of the rebate and other existing incentives, such as allowing solo drivers in HOV lanes, California is the leading PEV market in the United States with about 40% of all new plug-in electric vehicles sold nationwide during 2011 and 2012, while the state represents about 10% of all new car sales in the country.[223]

As of 10 March 2014, a total of 52,264 clean vehicle rebates have been issued by the CVRP, for a total of US$110,222,866 disbursed, with only US$3.8 million remaining for fiscal year 2013-2014. The distribution of the rebates issued correspond to 27,210 zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), including both battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs); 24,657 plug-in hybrids (PHEVs); 49 commercial zero-emission vehicles (CZEVs); 210 zero-emission motorcycles (ZEMs); and 138 neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs). CVRJ notes that not all plug-in electric vehicles sold in California are captured in the CVRP database because not every PEV owner applies for the rebate. In terms of market share, and without accounting for the 2,300 Volts sold before February 2012, as of early March 2014, plug-in hybrids represented 47.2% of all clean vehicle rebates, while ZEVs, predominantly all-electric cars, represented 52.11% of all rebates issued.[231]

As of April 2014, the CVRP was facing an estimated US$30 million funding shortfall for the 2013-14 fiscal year, and uncertainty about additional funding for the 2014-15 fiscal year. CARB staff presented a proposal to the board to overcome the funding shortage and also to facilitate the rebates to benefit buyers in disadvantaged communities who live in areas with bad air quality or who can’t afford high-end electric cars. The options being considered are to reduce the rebate by US$500 and to set a US$60,000 cap to the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the vehicles, which would exclude the Cadillac ELR and the Tesla Model S from benefiting from the rebate.[232]

A bill signed into law in September 2014, mandated the California Air Resources Board to draft a financial plan to meet California's goal of putting 1 million vehicles on the road while making sure that disadvantaged communities can participate. For this purpose CARB has to change the Clean Vehicle Rebate program to provide an extra credit for low-income drivers who wish to purchase or lease an electric car. CARB also should provide assistance to carsharing programs in low-income neighborhoods and install charging stations in apartment buildings in those communities. Under bill SB 1275, low-income residents who agree to scrap older, polluting cars will also get a clean vehicle rebate on top of existing payments for junking smog-producing vehicles.[233][234]

Another bill signed into law in September 2014, AB1721, grants clean air vehicles free or reduced rates in high-occupancy toll lanes (HOT) lanes. Drivers of clean vehicles already enjoyed discounted rates in some facilities, such the toll to cross the San Francisco Bay Area bridges and to use the State Route 91 Express Lanes in Orange and Riverside Counties.[233][235] AB 2565 facilitates access to charging stations by requiring commercial and residential property owners to approve installation if the charging station meets requirements and complies with the owner’s process for approving a modification to the property. The law makes a term in a lease of a commercial property, executed, renewed, or extended on or after 1 January 2015, void and unenforceable if it prohibits or unreasonably restricts the installation of an electric vehicle charging station in a parking space.[233][235]

As of 29 March 2016, California added income-based caps to its rebate system. Buyers with incomes less than 300% of the Federal poverty level will get up to US$3,000 for a plug-in hybrid, US$4,000 for an all-electric car, and US$6,500 for a hydrogen fuel-cell car and the rebate scales down until Californian buyers with incomes over US$250,000 are no longer are eligible for incentives on hybrids or electric cars, however can get US$5,000 for a hydrogen fuel-cell car.[236] As of March 2016, the Center for Sustainable Energy has issued more than $291 million in the CVRP for over 137,200 vehicles since 2010.[237]

The income-base caps went into effect on 1 November 2016. Residents will not be eligible for rebates if their gross annual income exceeds US$150,000 for single tax filers, US$204,000 for head of household filers and US$300,000 for joint filers. These limits do not apply to the purchase of fuel cell electric vehicles, which represent less than 1% of rebate applications.[238][239]

Access to HOV lanes[edit]
California's green Clean Air Vehicle sticker for plug-in hybrids
California's white Clean Air Vehicle sticker for all-electric cars

In California a vehicle that meets specified emissions standards may be issued Clean Air Vehicle (CAV) decals that allow the vehicle to be operated by a single occupant in California's high-occupancy vehicle lanes (HOV), or carpool or diamond lanes. All-electric vehicles are classified as Federal Inherently Low Emission Vehicles (ILEVs), and as zero emissions vehicles are entitled to an unlimited number of white CAV stickers. Green CAV stickers were initially available to a limited number of applicants that purchased or leased cars meeting California’s Enhanced Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (Enhanced AT PZEV) or Transitional Zero-Emission Vehicle (TZEV) requirements, for which plug-in hybrids classify. The green car sticker cap was increased several times, and since September 2016 the cap was removed.[240][241]

The number of green stickers available was increased from 40,000 to 55,000 in July 2014.[240][241] As of 9 May 2014, the initial 40,000 green stickers were issued.[234][241][242] The green sticker limit was increased by 15,000 beginning July 1, 2014, through the budget trailer bill SB 853.[241][242] In September 2014 Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill AB 2013 that raised the cap for the green stickers from 55,000 to 70,000 new plug-in hybrids.[234] Initially, the green and white clean air sticker were set to expire on January 1, 2015, but in 2013 the expiration date for the green stickers was extended to January 1, 2019.[241][243] In June 2015, bill AB 95 was approved by the State Legislature raising the upper limit from 70,000 to 85,000 green stickers.[244] By December 2015, the 85,000 limited was reached. The DMV continued to accept applications without payment to establish a queue for requesters should an additional amount of green decals be authorized.[245] In September 2016, the budget trailer bill SB-838, effective from September 13, 2016, removed the limit imposed to the Green Clean Air Vehicle Decal.[246] As of September 2016, both the white and green stickers have the same expiration date, January 1, 2019.[241][246]

Research performed in 2015 by the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation found that access to HOV lanes has a significant impact on plug-in car sales. Researchers linked automobile sales to a sample of more than 7,000 of the 8,057 census tracts in California for the study, including Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco. They looked at the number of plug-in car sales and the miles of carpool lanes within a 30 mi (48 km) radius of each census tract. The study concluded that the ability to use potentially time-saving HOV lanes prompted the purchase of more than 24,000 plug-in electric cars and hybrids in the four urban areas from 2010 to 2013, or about 40% of the total of such vehicles. The UCLA researcher concluded that without the policy giving plug-in vehicles access to HOV lanes, total plug-in sales in the same study areas would have been only 36,692 for the three-year period.[247]

All states[edit]

As of November 2014, 37 states and Washington, D.C. have established incentives and tax exemptions for BEVs and PHEVs, or utility-rate breaks, and other non-monetary incentives such as free parking and high-occupancy vehicle lane access.[248] All states are eligible for the $7,500 income tax credit.

The following table summarizes some of those incentives:[249][250]

State incentives for plug-in electric vehicles[251]
State Amount of
incentive
Type of
PEV/vehicle
Type of
incentive
Carpool lane
access
Comments
Arizona BEVs Lower vehicle licensing tax Yes Eligibility for PHEVs depends on the extent to which the vehicle is powered by electricity. Maximum of $75 available to individuals for installation of EV charging outlets.
California up to $2,500 BEVs Purchase rebate Yes Free access to HOVs through January 1, 2019, which also benefits natural gas vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.[252] The amount of subsidies received is limited by annual income as of March 29, 2016.
up to $2,500 PHEVs Purchase rebate Yes PHEV free access to HOV lanes until January 1, 2019.[234] The cap was originally for the first 70,000 applicants. The cap was later raised to 85,000 and the limit was reached in December 2015. Per SB-838, and effective as of September 13, 2016, the Green Clean Air Vehicle Decal limit imposed by AB 95 has been removed.[253]
up to $1,500 Electric motorcycles
and NEVs
Purchase rebate No
Colorado up to $6,000 BEVs
and PHEVs
Income tax credit No Tax credit totaling 75 to 85% of the cost premium for a vehicle that uses or is converted to use an alternative fuel, is a hybrid electric vehicle or has its power source replaced with one that uses an alternative fuel.
A 20% rebate also available for EV charger installation.[254]
Connecticut up to $3,000 BEVs, PHEV Rebate No CHEAPR provides up to $3,000 for fuel cell EV, EV or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Rebates are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
Delaware up to $2,200 EV Rebate No Customers with at a grid-integrated EV may qualify to receive kilowatt-hour credits for energy discharged to the grid from the EV's battery at the same rate that the customer pays to charge the battery.
District of Columbia BEVs
and PHEVs
Excise tax exemption and reduced registration fees No A tax credit up to 50% of the equipment costs for the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charging station, up to $1,000 per residential install.
Florida BEVs
and PHEVs
Yes Access to HOVs through January 1, 2018 if displaying the EV decal. Florida Statutes protects consumers from additional charges from insurance providers from insuring electric vehicles.
Georgia up to $5,000 ZEVs Income tax credit Yes Tax credit of 20% of the cost of a zero emission vehicle up to $5,000 purchased before July 1, 2015. Plug-in hybrids were not eligible for this incentive.[255]
up to $2,500 Alternative fuel
conversion
Income tax credit Yes Tax credit of 10% of the conversion cost for a vehicle converted to run solely on an alternative fuel and meets the standards for a low-emission vehicle up to $2,500.[255]
up to $20,000 Commercial AFVs Income tax credit Yes Tax credit for new commercial medium-duty or heavy-duty AFVs or Medium-duty hybrid EVs that operate using at least 90% alternative fuel, expires June 30, 2017.[256]
Hawaii BEVs
and PHEVs
Parking Yes Carpool lane access and reduced rates for electric vehicle charging. EVs with EV license plates are exempt from certain parking fees charged by any non-federal government authorities.
Idaho BEVs, PHEV Inspection Exemption No EVs are exempt from state motor vehicle inspection and maintenance programs.
Illinois BEVs, PHEVs
and conversions
Inspection Exemption No Vehicles powered exclusively by electricity are exempt from state motor vehicle emissions inspections.
Suspended in March 2015. Covers 80% of cost premium or conversion price, up to $4,000.
Indiana up to $1,650 BEVs, PHEV No Credit to install residential charging station and free plug-in electric vehicle charging during off-peak hours until Jan. 31, 2017.
Louisiana up to $3,000 BEVs, PHEVs
and conversions
Inspection Exemption No Tax credit of 50% of cost premium for BEV/PHEV purchase, 50% of conversion cost, or a tax credit worth 10% of the cost of a new BEV/PHEV vehicle up to $3,000. This same credit also applies to charge station costs.
Maryland up to $3,000 BEVs
and PHEVs
Yes[257] Plug-in EVs are eligible for an excise tax credit until July 1, 2017.[258] The state also offers a US$900 rebate for buying and installation of wall connectorsfor individuals; US$5,000 for business, or state or local governments; and US$7,000 for retail service station dealers.[259]
Massachusetts up to $1,000 BEVs
and PHEVs
Purchase rebate Up to 1,000 rebate for purchasing PEVs, funds are limited.[260]
Michigan BEVs, PHEV Inspection exemption No Alternative fuel vehicles are exempt from emissions inspection requirements. Indiana Michigan Power, Consumers Energy and DTE Energy offer other incentives.
Minnesota BEVs, PHEV No All public utilities must file a tariff that allows a customer to purchase electricity solely for the purpose of recharging an electric vehicle. The tariff must include either a time-of-day or off-peak rate.
Mississippi BEVs, PHEV Income tax credit No 0% interest loans for public school districts and municipalities to purchase alternative fuel school buses and other motor vehicles, convert school buses and other motor vehicles to use alternative fuels, purchase alternative fuel equipment, and install fueling stations.
Missouri up to $15,000 BEVs, PHEV No Tax credit for the cost of installing a qualified alternative fueling station, until Jan. 1, 2018, and are exempt from state emissions inspection requirements.
Montana up to $500 Alternative fuel conversion Income tax credit No Credit only available for conversion costs up to $500 or 50% of conversion cost. Includes electric car conversion.[261]
Nebraska BEVs, PHEV Loans No Provides low-cost loans for purchase of EVs, the conversion of conventional vehicles to operate on alternative fuels, and the construction or purchase of a fueling station or equipment.
Nevada BEVs, PHEV Yes Exempt from emissions testing requirements and local public metered parking areas must have areas for EVs to park without paying a fee. Carpool lane access and reduced rates for electric vehicle charging.
New Jersey BEVs Sales and use tax exemption No Sales tax exemption for qualifying BEVs only, not PHEVs. The Turnpike offers a 10% discount from off-peak toll rates on the New Jersey Turnpike for vehicles that have a fuel economy of 45 miles per gallon or higher.
New York BEVs, PHEVs
and HEVs
Yes Plug-in electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles with a combined fuel economy rating of at least 45 mpg-US (5.2 L/100 km; 54 mpg-imp) and that also meet the California Air Resources Board SULEV emissions standard, are eligible for the Clean Pass Program. Eligible vehicles which display the Clean Pass vehicle sticker are allowed to use the Long Island Expressway HOV lanes, regardless of the number of occupants.[262] Drivers of qualified vehicles may also receive a 10% discount on established E-ZPass accounts with proof of registration.[263] A tax credit for 50 percent of the cost, up to $5,000, for the purchase and installation of a charging station until Dec. 31, 2017.
North Carolina PHEV Yes Qualified PEVs are exempt from state emissions inspection requirements.
Ohio EV Yes Vehicles powered exclusively by electricity, propane, or natural gas are exempt from state vehicle emissions inspections after receiving a one-time verification inspection.
Oklahoma 75% cost Income tax credit No A tax credit is available for up to 75 percent of the cost of installing charging stations.
Oregon BEVs Income tax credit No A tax credit for 25% of charging station costs, up to $750 (more for commercial use).
Pennsylvania up to $2,000 BEVs
and PHEVs
Purchase rebate No 250 rebates to assist with the purchase of new EVs. As of June 24, 2015, 193 rebates remain.[264]
Rhode Island PHEV Inspection exemption No Vehicles powered exclusively by electricity are exempt from state emissions control inspections.
South Carolina up to $1,500 BEVs
and PHEVs
Income tax credit No Tax credit equaling 20% of federal credit for PHEVs and BEVs.
Tennessee up to $2,500 BEVs
and PHEVs
Rebate Yes Rebate is limited. HOV lane access.
Texas up to US$2,500 BEVs
and PHEVs
Rebate No Only purchases or leases made on or after May 13, 2014 until June 26, 2015 are eligible. The maximum number of vehicles allowed for rebates 2,000 for each plug-in electric drive and natural gas/propane vehicles for the length of the program.[265][266]
AirCheckTexas, Drive a Clean Machine program, provides vouchers of $3,500 to qualified individuals for the purchase of hybrid, electric or natural gas vehicles.
Utah up to $1,500 Conversions only Income tax credit Yes Credi to convert a vehicle to run on propane, natural gas, or electricity. Allowed carpool lane access.
up to $1,500 BEVs
and PHEVs
Income tax credit Yes Until Dec. 31, 2016
Virginia BEVs
and PHEVs
No Alternative fuel and hybrid electric vehicles are exempt from emissions testing.
Washington BEVs Sales tax No New passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles that operate exclusively on electricity, hydrogen, natural gas, or propane are exempt from state motor vehicle sales and use taxes. Qualified vehicles must also meet the California motor vehicle emissions standards, and comply with the rules of the Washington Department of Ecology. The sales tax exemption applies to vehicles with a fair market value below US$35,000 and expires July 1, 2019, or should end the month after 7,500 qualifying vehicles are sold in the state. The state Department of Licensing was directed to start a tally beginning with PEV registrations since July 15, 2015.[267][268] Alternative fuel and hybrid electric vehicles are exempt from emissions testing.

Beginning on July 1, 2016, the sales tax exemption applies to the first US$32,000 of the selling price of a qualifying new plug-in electric car, which translates into a tax savings between US$2,600 to US$3,100 for plug-in car buyers depending on where the dealer is located within the state, as the sales tax vary by county. The incentive applies towards the purchase or lease of a new car all-electric vehicle, or a plug-in hybrid with at least 30 mi (48 km) of all-electric range – such as the Chevrolet Volt and the BMW i3 REx. The new law also raises the previous purchase price cap to US$42,500, which will allow buyers of the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the next generation Nissan Leaf, and the Tesla Model 3 – all with 200 mi (320 km) of electric range – to be eligible for the incentive.[269]

Washington, D.C. BEVs Sales tax No Vehicles that operate exclusively on electricity, hydrogen, natural gas, or propane are exempt from excise taxes.

Some local governments offer additional rebates.

Australia[edit]

In Australia, the Federal Government offers no direct incentives for electric vehicle ownership and imposes a substantial financial disincentive by way of a Federal Luxury Car Tax that is applied on new vehicles valued over a certain threshold (in 2014–15, this was A$61,884). The application threshold for this tax is increased to A$75,375 for fuel efficient vehicles - defined as those with a fuel consumption rating under 7 litres per 100 kilometres.[270] By definition, electric vehicles which do not use conventional fuel sources are covered by this classification.[271]

Motor vehicle registrations in Australia are the responsibility of the state and territory governments. Two of these jurisdictions offer incentives or rebates for electric vehicles:

There are no electric vehicle incentives in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania or the Northern Territory.[275][276]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]