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Bill would extend tax credit for fuel cell cars, but not the $7,500 EV credit

Newly proposed legislation in Congress would extend a number of alternative fuel tax credits, but it wouldn’t make any changes to the $7,500 EV credit.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced The Tax Extender and Disaster Relief Act of 2019 on Thursday. It would extend credits through the end of the year for new qualified fuel cell vehicles, alternative fuel vehicle refueling properties, and “highway-capable, two-wheeled plug-in electric vehicles.”

But any hope that such legislation would do the same for the $7,500 EV credit seems lost. As Reuters puts it, “the measure does not expand an existing $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit even as automakers press to extend it beyond current rules that phase out the incentive after an automaker hits 200,000 EV sales.”

The full credit is reduced the quarter after an automaker sells 200,000 electric vehicles in the U.S. Prospective Tesla buyers lost access to the full credit at the start of the new year. Tesla buyers can now earn a $3,750 federal tax credit, and the carmaker has reduced prices a number of times since the start of 2019. On Thursday, the company announced its long-awaited $35,000 base Model 3.

GM also hit the 200,000 mark — customers have until the end of this month to earn the full $7,500 credit. After that, buyers will also receive a $3,750 credit on GM EVs. Of course, in some cases, the lowered credits can still be combined with local incentives.

It’s worth noting that a number of Republican senators introduced a bill last month that aims to kill off the federal electric vehicle tax credit completely and add a new annual tax for electric vehicles.

Green Energy

In addition to the fuel cell, alternative refueling, and two-wheel plug-in credits, the act would include a number of extended green energy credits.

A production tax credit would be extended through 2019 for certain renewable facilities that will complete construction by year’s end. The credit applies to closed-loop biomass, open-loop biomass, geothermal, landfill gas, trash, qualified hydropower, and marine and hydrokinetic facilities.

A tax credit would be extended for manufacturers of energy-efficient new homes. The act also includes a deduction for energy efficiency improvements to “lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation, and hot water systems of commercial buildings.”

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Phil Dzikiy is an Editor/Writer with Electrek/9to5Mac. Tips: