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Federal Tax Credits for Electric Vehicles

Federal Tax Credit Up To $7,500!

Electric vehicles (EVs) purchased in 2009 may be eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500. The amount will vary based on the capacity of the battery used to power the vehicle.

This credit was replaced with a similar credit for EVs purchased after 2009. The maximum amount of this credit is the same, but the the requirements and credit phase-out criteria are slightly different. For more information on the credit for EVs purchased after 2009, click here.

Vehicle Make & Model Full Credit Phase Out No Credit
50% 25%
Tesla Motors Jan. 1, 2010, to Present TBD TBD TBD
2008-10 Tesla Roadster
Tesla Roadster $7,500

Qualified Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicles (IRC 30D)

To be approved for the credit by the IRS, the vehicle must

  • Draw propulsion using a traction battery with at least 4 kilowatt hours of capacity and
  • Use an offboard source of energy to recharge the battery
  • Meet EPA emissions standards (if it is a highway vehicle)
    • Bin 5 Tier II standards for vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 6,000 lbs. or less
    • Bin 8 Tier II standards for vehicles with a GVWR greater than 6,000 lbs. and not more than 8,500 lb

The following requirements must also be met for a certified vehicle to qualify:

  • The vehicle must be placed in service by the taxpayer during the 2009 calendar year.
  • The vehicle must be used mostly in the United States.
  • Original use of the vehicle must commence with the taxpayer—it must be a new vehicle.
  • The vehicle must be acquired for use or lease by the taxpayer, and not for resale. (The credit is only available to the original purchaser of a new, qualifying vehicle. If a qualifying vehicle is leased to a consumer, the leasing company may claim the credit.)

This EV credit was replaced by a newer EV credit as of January 1, 2010.

Fill out Form 8936Adobe Acrobat Icon, Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit.

For vehicles acquired for personal use, report the credit from Form 8936Adobe Acrobat Icon on the appropriate line of your Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax ReturnAdobe Acrobat Icon.

For vehicles purchased in 2010 or later, this credit can be used toward the alternative minimum tax (AMT).

If the qualifying vehicle is purchased for business use, the credit for the business use of an electric vehicle is reported on Form 3800Adobe Acrobat Icon, General Business Credit.


The information on this page should not be viewed as an official or legally binding document. Other requirements or exceptions may apply. For more detailed information, please consult an IRS tax representative and/or official IRS publications.