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When Do Electric-Car Tax Credits Expire?

By now, pretty much anyone who’s thinking of buying a plug-in electric car knows the Federal government offers an income-tax credit to help reduce the effective cost.

But are shoppers who wait too long in danger of losing out on these credits?

The short answer is no. Or at least, not if they buy within the next two or three years.

Unlike a purchase rebate, which is basically a check in the mail, an income-tax credit is taken when the buyer files his or her U.S. income tax return for the year in which the electric car was purchased.

Credits range from $2,500 to $7,500 for battery-electric and plug-in hybrid passenger cars, based on the size of the battery pack.

The minimum pack size is 4 kilowatt-hours, and the scale runs from 4 kWh to 16 kWh (or more). For example:

Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid: $2,500
Ford Fusion Energi & C-Max Energi: $3,750
Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S, others: $7,500

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