Federal Income Tax Credits For Electric Cars

Vehicle Requirements

To be eligible for the tax credit, a vehicle must meet the following requirements:

  • It must be powered primarily by an electric motor drawing current from rechargeable batteries, fuel cells, or other portable sources of electrical current.
  • It must have at least four wheels and be manufactured primarily for use on public streets, roads, and highways (vehicles exclusively used on rail or rails do not qualify).
  • It must meet all federal and state emissions requirements.
  • It has never been used as a nonelectric vehicle.
  • You must purchase the vehicle new and for your own use, not for resale
  • You must drive it mostly in the United States.
  • Government agencies, tax exempt organizations, and foreign entities are not eligible.

If any of these conditions change within 3 years of purchase, you may have to return some of the money saved by the deduction.

Claiming the Credit

To claim the tax credit, you must fill out and attach Form 8834: Qualified Electric Vehicle Credit to your tax return.

You can claim the credit by entering the amount from line 20 of Form 8834 on line 55 of Form 1040. You should check box “c” and specify Form 8834.

Partnerships and corporations have different filing requirements.

If you bought your vehicle in a previous tax year, you must fill out an amended tax return Form 1040X for that year.

Other Tax Incentives

Some state and local governments also provide incentives for electric vehicles. Check with your state or local government or view the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Vehicle Buyer’s Guide for Consumers.


The information on this page should not be viewed as an official or legally binding document. Other requirements or exceptions may apply. For more detailed information, please consult an IRS tax representative and/or official IRS publications.



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