For several years now, the Federal Government has offered tax credits to people buying brand new highway-capable electric cars, as well as those installing electric car charging stations. 

But while the $7,500 federal tax credits towards the purchase of an electric car most likely won't end for several years, the Federal Government tax credit for part of the cost of installing an electric-car charging station will end on December 31, 2011. 

The basics

In short, the electric-car charging station tax credit offers private individuals the ability to take 30 percent of the cost of installing their home electric-car charging station off their income taxes, up to a maximum of $1,000.

In a similar vein, businesses can also write off 30 percent of the expense of installing electric car charging stations against their taxes, up to a total of $30,000. 

Originally designed to end at the end of 2010, the EV infrastructure tax credit was given a last-minute, one-year extension in December last year. With Thanksgiving just days away, that extension will run out in just under six weeks. 

Ecotality Blink Level 2 residential charging station for electric cars

Ecotality Blink Level 2 residential charging station for electric cars


In order to apply for a tax credit from the Federal Government in respect to an electric car charging station, you’ll need to acquire the charging station before January 1, 2012, although you won’t have to submit your claim until you file your 2011 tax return. 

Once you’ve got your charging station, you’ll be able to submit the correct form to the IRS to obtain your tax credit. 

No car? No problem

The tax credits don’t stipulate that you own an electric car in order to be eligible for the tax credit, so if you’re on the waiting list for an electric car or are thinking of buying one in the near future, you’ll want to make sure you get a charging point installed before the end of the year. 

Alternatives exist for some

Although we think the Federal Government are unlikely to extend the electric-car charging station tax credits again, anything is possible. Last year, the scheme was extended just two weeks before it was due to run out. The same could happen this year. 

2011 Chevrolet Volt 240V charging station

2011 Chevrolet Volt 240V charging station

Secondly, a handful of states offer generous tax rebates and grants at a state-level which can help cover the cost of installing an electric car charging station. To find out if you’re in a state where such schemes exist, Plug In America has a handy at-a-glance chart which details incentives by state. 

Disclaimer: As with any financial matter, you should consult with your local tax officials or accountants if you require further assistance on eligibility or filing tax credits.


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