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Electric-Car Tax Credit Safe For Now, But Others Expiring Now

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GE WattStation Electric Car Charging Station

GE WattStation Electric Car Charging Station

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For now, the electric-car purchase Federal income-tax credit remains safe.

As we've written before, though, December 31 is the last day in which you can install an electric-car charging station and be able to deduct some of the costs from your income taxes.

That credit allowed private individuals to take a credit for up to 30 percent of the cost of installing an electric-car charging station in their home on their income tax return. The maximum allowed credit was $1,000.

Two other less-used credits expire on the 31st as well. One is for purchase of a two- or three-wheeled electric vehicle (mostly the electric bicycles and mopeds flooding in from China, but it also applied to electric motorcycles from Brammo, Zero, and other makers).

The other is for some of the costs of converting an existing vehicle from gasoline to a plug-in powertrain.

Neither of those credits is likely to have been used to the same extent as the electric-car purchase incentive, which ranges from $2,500 (for a vehicle with at least a 4-kilowatt-hour battery pack, like the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid) to $7,500 (for a vehicle like the Nissan Leaf or Chevrolet Volt, with a pack of 16 kWh or larger).

Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher with 2011 Enertia

Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher with 2011 Enertia

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The advocacy group Plug-In America has fought to retain the credits, but with Congress home for the holidays, they will expire on schedule after Saturday.

According to the group's legislative director Jay Friedland, it's possible they will be reinstated at a later date as part of further payroll-tax extension legislation.

Meanwhile, the three electric-vehicle credits are set to join the decades-old ethanol blending incentive and import duty on the scrapheap of terminated government subsidies for new technologies.

We'll leave it to you, our readers, to discuss among yourselves which of these credits should have been retained.

Leave us your thoughts in the Comments below.

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