Colorado PEV Credit

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In a move aimed at simplifying its plug-in-vehicle incentive plan, the Colorado legislature has adopted a new, fully refundable, flat credit that takes effect at the start of 2017.

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The new Colorado system replaces a state tax credit that depended on the cost and battery size of the vehicle purchased or leased. On Jan. 1 it will become a flat and instantly obtainable tax credit of $5,000 for purchasers or $2,500 for lessees of new battery-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles. PHEVs must have a battery capacity of least 4 kilowatt-hours.

Unlike the federal plug-in-vehicle tax credit, the new Colorado PEV credit won’t fluctuate according to the buyer’s state tax bill. Those who owe less than $5,000 (or $2,500 if leasing) can zero out their tax bills and get a refund for the balance.

The Colorado PEV credit also can be assigned to the dealer or other financing source immediately upon purchase or lease to be applied to the down payment. That effectively makes it an instant rebate. No more waiting until tax time at the end of the year to benefit from the credit.

The change was pushed for by the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, working with a group of plug-in-vehicle manufacturers.

Connecticut has been issuing so-called point of sale rebates since 2015 through its Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate (CHEAPR) plan.

California legislators have been asked by air quality regulators to consider changing that state’s rebate to a point-of-sale system also. Presently, PEV buyers or lessees in California must apply for rebates that are then mailed to them, usually within a few weeks. Annual funding typically is exhausted early, though. The money ran out on June 10 this year. When that happens, applicants are put on the California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project wait list and get priority when the next fiscal year’s funds become available.