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Electric vehicle tax credit for 2022

If you traded in your gas guzzler for an electric model, you could save big with this tax credit.

Electric vehicles usually have a higher price tag than traditional gas guzzlers. But the federal government has a credit in place to help you go green. Here’s everything you need to know about the electric vehicle tax credit.

What is the electric vehicle tax credit?

The electric vehicle tax credit helps lower the upfront cost of buying a hybrid or electric vehicle. If you qualify, the credit lowers the amount of taxes you owe dollar for dollar.

How much is the electric vehicle tax credit worth in 2022?

The electric vehicle tax credit hasn’t changed for the past four years. The credit ranges from $2,500 to $7,500 depending on the size of your vehicle’s battery.

Use this chart to find your credit amount:

Electric vehicle tax credit limits 2022

If my battery is this many kilowatt-hours……then my electric vehicle tax credit is..
16 or more$7,500


The electric vehicle tax credit has quite a few limitations to be aware of:

  • The credit isn’t refundable. If this credit reduces your tax bill to $0, you won’t receive a refund if any amount is left over.
  • Used vehicles don’t count. You must purchase a brand-new electric vehicle to qualify for the credit.
  • You won’t receive the credit if you lease. The car dealership receives the credit for leased vehicles because it holds the vehicle’s title, not the customer.
  • May come with state and local incentives. Electric vehicle incentives vary by city and state, so research your area to see if you qualify for additional credits.
  • The credit phases out. Once a manufacturer has sold 200,000 electric vehicles in the US, the electric vehicle tax credit is reduced to 50% for two quarters, then by 25% for the third and fourth quarters. After that, it’s gone forever.

Who qualifies for the electric vehicle tax credit?

You qualify for the electric vehicle tax credit if you:

  • Bought a plug-in electric or hybrid vehicle after December 31, 2009
  • Started driving it this year
  • Are the original owner
  • Can legally drive it on public streets and highways
  • Primarily drive it in the US
  • Have a model that draws propulsion energy from a battery with at least four kilowatt-hours
  • Own a model that has at least four wheels
  • Have a vehicle weighing less than 14,000 pounds

If you qualify for the credit, your car manufacturer should give you a certificate explaining the make, model, year of your vehicle and how much your credit is worth.

Which types of vehicles qualify for the electric vehicle tax credit?

Alternative-fuel vehicle
Fuel-celled vehicle
Gas-powered vehicle you converted to electric
New plug-in electric or hybrid vehicle
Used hybrid or electric vehicle

What vehicles qualify for the electric vehicle tax credit?

Vehicles that qualify for the electric vehicle tax credit, include:

  • BMW i3
  • Jeep Wrangler PHEV
  • Mustang Mach-E First Edition Premium AWD
  • Hyundai Ioniq Electric Battery Vehicle
  • Volkswagen ID.4
  • Kia Soul Electric
  • Kia Niro EV
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Toyota RAV4 Prime Plug-In Hybrid
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric P8 AWD

How to calculate the electric vehicle tax credit

Follow these four steps to calculate your electric vehicle tax credit:

  1. Look up your vehicle’s battery size on the manufacturer’s website or in your manual.
  2. Use the Electric vehicle tax credit limits 2021 chart to find out how much your credit is worth based on your battery size.
  3. Check the IRS website to see if your car’s manufacturer has begun the phase-out process.
  4. Use the credit phase-out chart below to determine the percentage your credit has reduced to.

The electric vehicle tax credit phase out

If your car manufacturer has sold this many electric vehicles……and it’s in this calendar quarter of the phase-out process……then you’ll receive this much of your electric vehicle tax credit…
Less than 200,000N/A100%
200,000 or moreQuarter one or two50%
200,000 or moreQuarter three or four25%
200,000 or moreQuarter five or more0%

For example, if you qualify for a $7,500 tax credit but the car manufacturer is in the third quarter of the phase-out process, your credit is reduced to $1,875.

How to claim the electric vehicle tax credit

Use Form 8936 to calculate the electric vehicle tax credit. This form consists of three parts:

  • Part one: List your car’s information, including its year, make, model, VIN and purchase date.
  • Part two: Calculate how much your credit is worth if you bought your vehicle for business or investment purposes.
  • Part three: Calculate how much your credit is worth if you bought your vehicle for personal use.

Once you fill out Form 8936, you’ll report your credit amount on Form 1040 if you bought your vehicle for personal use or Form 3800 if you bought it for business use. Or you can use it to pay down an existing alternative minimum tax bill if you have one.

There are two other tax credits and deductions to look into if you qualify for the electric vehicle tax credit:

  • Residential energy tax credit. You could save up to 26% on any solar panels or solar water heaters you bought this year.
  • Property tax deduction. You could write off your vehicle registration if it includes a fee based on the value of your vehicle.
  • Motor vehicle tax deduction. You could write off operational expenses if you’re self-employed and use your vehicle for work.

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Bottom line

If you bought a plug-in electric or hybrid vehicle this year, the electric vehicle tax credit is a great way to reduce your tax bill — and indirectly lower your upfront costs. But it only works if you owe taxes because none of the credit is refundable.

Before you file taxes, consider hiring a professional or shop around for an online service that can help you save the most money on taxes.

Frequently asked questions

What tax credit is available for buying a Tesla?

Tesla has sold 200,000 vehicles in 2022, so all of its federal tax credits have already been phased out.

Visit the IRS website to view an up-to-date list of car manufacturers that have sold at least 200,000 electric vehicles.

How does the electric vehicle credit carry over?
You can’t carry over any unused portion of the electric vehicle tax credit to future years. If you can’t use it all when you claim it, you forfeit the remaining amount.

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