TOWSON, MD (July 6, 2017) – Volvo just announced it will become the first traditional automaker to go all-electric or hybrid, instead of manufacturing vehicles using conventional vehicle fuels like gasoline and diesel. This is big news for some consumers.
Beginning in 2019, the luxury sedan line will only sell all-electric or hybrid vehicles. Motorists residing in Maryland might find a variety of valid federal and state electric vehicle incentives for 2017, but they have to read the fine print, explains AAA Mid-Atlantic.
Maryland motorists purchasing or leasing a “qualifying plug-in electric vehicle on or after July 1, 2017, may be eligible for a one-time excise tax credit up to $3,000, based on the vehicle’s battery capacity, according to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). The new tax credit incentive runs through June 30, 2020. Businesses in the state may also qualify for the tax credit on up to ten vehicles. The credit is returned to the taxpayer in the form of a check from the state. Buyers of plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles may also “qualify for a $2,500 to $7,500 federal tax credit,” explains the United States Department of Energy (DOE).
Additionally, in Maryland, the drivers of plug-in electric or hybrid vehicles, that are titled and registered in the state, are allowed to use the High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes in the state, regardless of the number of passengers riding in the vehicle, another incentive for buyers.
Currently, more than 30 different electric vehicle models are on the market in the United States. Electric vehicle sales increased by 38 percent in the United States during 2016, a year after declining by five percent from 2014 to 2015. Locally, electric vehicle sales rose 1,014 percent in Maryland in the five-year period from 2012 to 2016, calculates AAA Mid-Atlantic. “The total number of PEVs registered in Maryland increase from 609 in fiscal year (FY) 2012 to 6,788 in FY 2016,” reports the Maryland Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council (EVIC). “In FY 2016, 39% (2,643) of the vehicles registered were Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and 61% (4,145) were Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs).”
“As with any automobile choice, there are advantages and disadvantages to electric cars,” said Ragina Cooper Averella, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs. “A number of electric vehicles are already on the market, and automakers have announced ongoing development of additional and enhanced models. Today’s electric cars don’t just offer an alternative means of vehicular transportation, they provide a new and different driving experience along with significant changes in vehicle fueling and maintenance.”
Maryland’s last electric vehicle tax credit ran from July 1, 2014 through last Friday, June 30, 2017. “Over the three-year period, the tax credit was applied to 2,165 vehicles at an average rate of $2,478.47 per vehicle,” reports the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT). Now a new tax credit is in place.
Although just over 159,000 brand new EVs hit the highway across the nation last year, electric vehicles comprise one to three percent of the light duty vehicle sales across the United States, some estimates show. For example, in Maryland, one of the greenest states on the East Coast, electric vehicles represent “less than one percent of light-duty vehicle registrations,” according to the latest report by the Maryland Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council (EVIC).
“The lack of public charging stations may discourage the adoption of electric vehicles,” explains the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). At the moment, there are slightly over 400 public EV charging stations in Maryland.
To spur the growth of the electric vehicle sector in Maryland, the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) is now offering a rebate program of up to 40 percent for persons, businesses and government units purchasing and installing electric vehicle supply equipment. The rebate runs from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2020.
AAA has created a comprehensive website on electric vehicles for potential buyers or current owners at www.ExchangeEV.AAA.com.
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 57 million members nationwide and more than 937,000 members in Maryland. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit AAA.com.