If you’re planning on buying a hydrogen car – you should do it quickly. That’s because the federal tax credit worth up to $8,000 for fuel cell vehicle purchasers expires on Dec. 31, 2014 due to the fact that Congress didn’t renew it before their holiday break. According to Autoblog, this isn’t the first tax credit for greener vehicles to suffer from the 113th Congress’ lack of action. The electronic motorcycle credit was killed as Congress was getting ready to close down for the season but a house bill managed to extend the Alternative Fuels Excise Tax Credits for liquefied hydrogen and other alternative fuels.
At the same time, car companies are pushing out some new hydrogen-powered vehicles and are also pushing for extensions to the credit. Honda is introducing a new hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in 2016 and Toyota’s new 2016 Mirai is a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle with a hefty $57,500 sticker price – both of which would clearly benefit from a buying incentive like a tax credit.
Robert Bienefeld, the assistant vice president of Honda’s Environment and Energy Policy, told Green Car Reports, “(we) believe that legislators do not intend to pick winners and losers by providing tax credits to some technologies and not others. Many automakers believe that fuel cell vehicles are an essential part of the technology options we need to address ultra-low carbon transportation in the long run.” And Congress did approve a number of measures that expired in 2013, and then extended them through this year. So it’s likely the same could happen when Congress returns and tax credits could be retroactively applied to vehicles purchased in 2015.”
Autoblog notes that a large tax credit for an alternative fuel vehicle is a proven way to encourage consumers to buy them and the potential $8,000 savings is larger than the $2,500 to $7,500 (depending on battery pack size) offered for plug-in electric cars.