Government incentives are a major perk of electric-car ownership, and two states have now ensured that more people are encouraged to drive zero-emission vehicles.

On April 7, the Maryland General Assembly passed HB 1345 (via Charged EVs), which now awaits the signature of Governor Martin O'Malley.

2014 Chevrolet Volt

2014 Chevrolet Volt

The bill--introduced by Delegate Brian K. McHale--would extend the state's electric-car tax credit by three years, from June 30, 2014, through June 30, 2017.

The maximum tax incentive would also rise from $1,000 to $3,000.

If signed by the governor, HB 1345 would also replace Maryland's current $400 tax credit for installing electric-car charging stations with rebates of up to $900 for individuals and $5,000 for businesses.

Funding for the Maryland charging-station program would be capped at $600,000 per year, with rebates available until June 30, 2017.

$25 million in California

On the opposite coast, California legislators have given the state's electric-car incentive program another infusion of cash.

As was widely expected, more funding has been allocated for California's Clean Vehicle Rebate Program, which sends new-car buyers a rebate check of $2,500 for zero-emission vehicles or $1,500 for plug-in hybrids.

Green HOV-Lane Sticker

Green HOV-Lane Sticker

Funds for the rebate program ran out earlier this month. The state's Air Resources Board estimated it would need $30 million to cover new applications between April and June 30--the end of California's fiscal year.

The waiting list for new buyers had enough space for $5 million of rebates--about one month's worth--and last week, the Board secured $25 million in additional funding to cover the expected demand, it said in a statement.

Applications are now being accepted for rebates, although buyers on the resulting waiting list will not receive their checks until September.

Further funding for continuation of the program throughout the next fiscal year is provided in Governor Jerry Brown's proposed budget, now awaiting approval by the state legislature.

Meanwhile, eligible buyers will still receive a Federal tax credit of $2,500 to $7,500 for the purchase of a new plug-in electric car, regardless of the ups and downs of individual state incentives.


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