The new shape of the green car incentive landscape tilts toward plug-in hybrids and electric cars. And the incentives are much more generous than they were for hybrid gas-electric cars. Start with the US federal tax incentives listed below, and then check out our state-by-state regional incentives list to see if your local government will help even more. Now, we just need cars to arrive in dealerships.

Consider this a good start. We will continue to add detail as the incentives roll out and the cars go on the market.

New Plug-in Car Purchases

Buyers of plug-in hybrids and electric cars benefit from a tax credit of $2,500 to $7,500, depending on the size of the battery in the car. On the low end of the spectrum, cars with 4 kWh battery packs will qualify for a $2,500 tax credit. The credit maxes out at $7,500 for cars with a 16 kWh battery pack, like the Chevy Volt. The credits were provided as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestement Act, otherwise known as the “stimulus bill.” The incentive begins phasing out after an automaker sells 200,000 vehicles that are eligible for the credit.


Drivers converting a car into a plug-in hybrid, or a gas-powered car into an electric vehicle, will receive a tax credit equal to 10 percent of the conversion cost. The maximum credit is $4,000 for a $40,000 conversion. These credits are only available until December 31, 2011. Individual states, such as Colorado and Florida, provide additional incentives, such as rebates and state tax credits.

Charging Equipment

The federal government offers a tax credit equal to 50 percent of the cost to install a home-based charging station—with a maximum credit of $2,000 for each station. Business quality for tax credits up to $50,000 for larger installations. The cutoff is abrupt—installations must happen before the end of 2010. The equipment must be approved, but no official list of approve equipment has been issued.