Maximize Your Tax Credits with an Electric Vehicle and EV Charger
Alex "Solar Girl" Steele
Presidents Day is typically a great time to purchase a car. Dealerships love to hold promotional events this time of year, so if you’re in the market for a new vehicle, Presidents Day is prime time to go car shopping! This year, the circumstances are a little different than usual, but these strange times may actually improve the outlook on car purchasing options for consumers. Over the last year, because the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted just about every industry, demand for car sales has been much lower than previous years. This is not great for the automotive industry, but it can be beneficial for consumers. Combine lower demand in the vehicle marketplace with new rules regarding electric vehicles in Massachusetts, and there is a unique opportunity to take advantage of this Presidents Day!
You may not have heard this yet, but recently the state of Massachusetts has mandated that 100% of vehicle sales must be electric vehicles by 2035. This law follows in the footsteps of California, the only other state with laws outlining a long-term phase-out of gas powered cars. This recent declaration is part of a larger plan to accomplish net-zero emissions in Massachusetts by 2050, which includes goals to increase offshore power generation, modernizing the heating infrastructure of a million homes, and reducing the mileage racked up by commuters. We're setting trends with other progressive coastal states to make fossil fuels a thing of the past, so there's no time like the present to take a step into a greener future!
To mark our progress on the road towards decarbonization, the Commonwealth has set a goal for us to reduce emissions by 45% below 1990 levels by 2030. This goal has been lauded as one of the most ambitious not only in the country but in the world. To ensure we stay on track for our 100% net-zero goal by the 2050 deadline, regulating the market to drive up electric vehicles (EV) sales is critical. Innovation in the automotive industry is also helping push us towards a renewable future, as technological advancements in battery storage are driving down the cost of EV's. The average EV is still quite expensive - approximately $50,000 - but the costs are falling rapidly, and some are expecting them to fall below $30,000 within the next few years. Combine this with the attractive tax credits associated with purchasing a green vehicle, and you’ve got a chance to bring home a brand new, fuel efficient car for a great bargain!
So, what’s all the hype about electric vehicles, anyway? If they run off electricity and so much of our utility infrastructure is still powered by fossil fuels, how do EV’s help the environment? Well, electricity can become a sustainable resource, while gas cannot. While approximately 62% of our nation’s energy mix is still composed of fossil fuels, powering a vehicle with electricity over gasoline does reduce total carbon emissions, because currently, transportation is the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. When about 28% of our total emissions come from vehicles, swapping out as many gas-powered cars with electric ones as possible will greatly shrink our carbon footprint. As more states follow the example set by California and Massachusetts, overall emissions from the transportation sector will shrink, and we’ll be able to take another step towards carbon neutrality. After reducing pollution from gas-powered vehicles, we can turn more attention to replacing fossil fuels in the energy mix with renewables.
Switching from a traditional gas-powered car to an EV is definitely a smart move for the planet, but it can also be great for your wallet! Although electric vehicles tend to be a little more pricey than dinosaur-powered ones, they offer great long-term savings because their repairs and maintenance costs tend to be low. Some studies suggest that EV’s can last up to 5 times longer than their gas-guzzling cousins, meaning you won’t have to worry about getting a new vehicle for years to come. The tax benefits are also very impressive. According to the U.S Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are eligible for a credit of up to $7,500, so despite the higher up-front cost of purchasing an EV, there is a substantial return on investment. Depending on what state you live in, you may also find that there are even more tax incentives to take advantage of. For example, in Massachusetts the MOR-EV program offers an additional $2,500 rebate for EV’s and $1,500 back for plug-in hybrids. So you could be eligible to get about $10,000 back for purchasing an electric car!
Of course, a long-lasting, low maintenance vehicle with great financial returns is already a really tempting offer, but there is a way you can save even more cash by going green - and look super sleek while doing it! Typically, when people purchase an electric vehicle, they also purchase an EV charger for their home, because we do not currently have the infrastructure to support public charging for every driver in America. Installing an EV charger is a pretty simple procedure for an electrician - Solar Wolf Energy’s electrician team can install them with ease. However, if you’re worried about your electric bill rising from adding an EV charger to your household utility load, you might want to consider taking your green journey a step further and installing a solar energy system on your property while you’re at it. By switching your home to solar, you can offset the additional consumption of your EV charging by substituting energy you would normally be drawing from the grid for a cleaner alternative. This energy is completely free to produce, unlike the energy from the utility, which you pay for by the kilowatt. With solar, the only thing you pay for is the cost of the system, and once you’ve paid it off you’ve got a resource to produce free power on your property! Charging your EV off solar will do more than just shrink your carbon footprint - it can also shrink your electric bill! And don’t forget, EV chargers are eligible for a 30% federal tax credit, and home solar systems are eligible for a 26% investment tax credit and additional state rebates! Just imagine the long-term savings you could be building by going green on the road and at home.
If you’re considering a new car, now is an excellent time to shop around for an electric option. Keep an eye out for exclusive Presidents Day deals on green vehicles, and if you decide to take one home, get in touch with Solar Wolf Energy. We are your one-stop for EV Chargers and other sustainable home energy solutions!