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USA avoids fiscal cliff: boost for electric cars

The issue of the “fiscal cliff” – an across-the-board leap in taxes and spending cuts – has finally been resolved in the USA after the US Senate passed a vote on New Year’s Day.

Now, an amended bill, known as the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, has made a number of revisions and extensions to factors that affect alternative fuels and plug-in vehicles.

Let’s take a look at the notable sections of the bill:

  • Credits for energy efficient homes will be extended to December 31, 2013. This is for both existing homes and new homes. Credits have also been extended into 2013 for energy efficient appliances.
  • Credits for alternative fuel refuelling property will also be extended to the same date.
  • Up to 10 per cent of the cost of a two- or three-wheel plug-in electric vehicles, or $2,500, may be issued as a credit. To qualify, vehicles must contain at least a 2.5kWh pack, be capable of achieving 45mph, and be purchased between December 31, 2011 and January 01, 2014.
  • The credit for cellulosic biofuel producers has been extended and algae will be treated as a qualified feedstock. Meanwhile, the allowance for cellulosic biofuel plant property has been extended to January 01, 2014 with algae to again be treated as a qualified feedstock.
  • Incentives regarding both renewable diesel and biodiesel have been extended to December 31, 2013.
  • There has been an extension to the production credit for Indian coal facilities in service before 2009: this is now an eight-year period instead of a seven-year period.
  • There have been some extensions and alterations to credits for facilities that produce energy from renewable resources including: biomass facilities, hydro facilities, municipal solid waste, wind facilities and more.
  • Special rules for the sale or disposition of state electric restructuring policy for electric utilities has been extended to January 01, 2014.
  • Finally, alternative fuel excise tax credits have also been extended to December 31, 2013.

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Paul Lucas

Filed under: Electric cars

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