$35K electric vehicle tax credit proposed

Several state Senators want to give electric vehicle buyers a whopper of a tax credit — up to $35,000 from state sales or compensating use taxes.

A.4761 is sponsored by Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, D-Albany, and is co-sponsored by several fellow Democrats. It would include battery, electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles. Cities and counties would also be allowed to implement similar exemptions.

“Incentives to encourage the purchase of new plug-in hybrid electric vehicles afford a means for the state to encourage consumers to consider the purchase of clean fuel vehicles, by overcoming the initially greater cost of such technologies compared to other vehicles and accelerate their adoption in the market,” Fahy wrote in her legislative justification. “While growing slowly over time, broad consumer acceptance of hybrid vehicles – remains very limited.”

The state has set a goal of having 850,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2025 and two million electric vehicles by 2030. The state isn’t close to meeting its 2025 goal.

According to the New York Energy Research and Development Authority, there are 61,115 electric vehicles on the road through Jan. 12. There are 236 on the road in Chautauqua County and 68 on the road in Cattaraugus County. Erie County has 2,532 electric vehicles registered. The Toyota Prius Prime is the preferred electric vehicle in Chautauqua County, followed by other miscellaneous EVs. The Chevrolet Volt and Chevrolet Bolt EV follow at 22 and 19 registered vehicles, respectively.

The number of original electric vehicle registrations in Chautauqua Couty roads is at the highest level ever with 83 in 2020. The previous high was 56 in 2018.

“Despite higher rates of acceptance in the United States, HEVs and PEVs will account for only a small percentage of total U.S. vehicle sales,” Fahy wrote. “New York lawmakers have enacted similar incentives in prior years to encourage consumers to consider purchase of hybrid and other alternative fuel vehicles. These were of limited duration, and phased out over several years after consumer acceptance began to rise. Encouraging the sales of these vehicles is consistent with New York’s drive towards cleaner air and by exempting these vehicles form state sales taxes will help to increase consumers move to purchase these vehicles.”

Since January 1, there have been at least 14 bills introduced that aim to either encourage the purchase of electric vehicles or build infrastructure for electric vehicles.

At the same time, Ford Motor Company has announced a $22 billion investment in electric vehicles and a $7 billion investment in autonomous vehicles. Ford’s move counters General Motors’ pledge to transition to an all-electric passenger-vehicle fleet by 2035.


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