Article

How Public Sector Fleets Can Take Advantage of EV Tax Credits

September 2012, Green Fleet Magazine - Feature

by Cindy Brauer - Also by this author

Oklahoma City's new Nissan LEAF vehicles were delivered on Aug. 16. Bill Hager, fleet services administrator, is shown checking them for specification compliance.
Oklahoma City's new Nissan LEAF vehicles were delivered on Aug. 16. Bill Hager, fleet services administrator, is shown checking them for specification compliance.

Marty Lawson simply wanted to save the City of Oklahoma City — and its taxpayers — some money, while increasing the city fleet’s “green factor.” The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offered a substantial $7,500 tax credit for each new plug-in electric vehicle purchase. And, in addition, a tax code provision could pave the way for public sector fleets to secure all or a portion of the credit amount.

Lawson, management specialist for Oklahoma City’s Fleet Services Division, was determined to take advantage of the tax provision for the fleet’s purchase of two Nissan Leaf sedans. The City’s fleet numbers nearly 4,000 vehicles, including 93 compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered and all-electric units.

Essentially, “the provision allows dealers to claim the tax credit on vehicle sales to tax-exempt organizations, but the credit amount must be disclosed in writing to the purchasing entity,” according to Lawson, who holds an MBA and is a Certified Automotive Fleet Manager (CAFM) candidate.

Lawson reasoned a dealership could apply a percentage of the credit amount to reducing the vehicle purchase price. A simple proposition, but not an easy process, he soon discovered.

Educating Dealers
An initial unsuccessful competitive bid revealed dealers often were misinformed, and didn’t understand the tax credit.

In addition, Lawson pointed out, “Dealers do have risks. There’s paperwork involved. And, they have to wait for the return until the next tax cycle, while passing on the credit in the sales price.”

Lawson turned to Yvonne Anderson, Central Oklahoma Clean Cities coordinator and special programs officer at the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments.

Anderson knew public sector fleets could realize some of the tax credit, but the process would take some work. She sought input from other Clean Cities coordinators and industry professionals, including Richard Battersby, CAFM, CPFP, coordinator of East Bay Clean Cities and fleet services director for the University of California, Davis, where about 48 percent of the campus on-road vehicle fleet are hybrid-electric or alternative-fuel-capable vehicles.

Comment On This Story

Name:  
Email:  
Comment: (Maximum 10000 characters)  
Leave this field empty:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.

 

FleetFAQ

Fleet Management And Leasing

Merchants Experts will answer your questions and challenges

View All
 

Grants & Subsidies

Alternative Fueling Station Locator

Alternative Fueling Station Locator

Find your closest station or plan a route. Locate biodiesel, electric, ethanol, hydrogen, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquified natural gas (LNG), and propane across America.

Start Your Search

Blog

Market Trends

Mike Antich
Growth of Crossovers & Compact SUVs in Fleet Is a Global Phenomenon

By Mike Antich
Crossover utility vehicles and compact SUVs represent the fastest growing segments in the global automotive industry in every region of the world, impacting both retail and fleet sales

Successful Fleet Managers Excel as Servant Leaders

By Mike Antich

Driving Notes

Paul Clinton
2018 Volkswagen Atlas

By Paul Clinton
The three-row 2018 Atlas provides impressive cargo carrying capacity, along with a quality ride, responsive steering feel, and solid handling.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek

By Mike Antich

Nobody Asked Me, But...

Sherb Brown
New Faces in Safe Places

By Sherb Brown
Conferences like AFLA can provide a space for new faces in the industry to meet and network with experienced peers and suppliers, without being crowded by salespeople.

Fleet Is a Full-Time Job

By Sherb Brown

Fuel for Thought

Joe Thompson
How the VW Settlement Funding Can Benefit Your Fleet

By Joe Thompson
Part of the settlement required VW to establish and fund an Environmental Mitigation Trust. Over the next 10 years, the trust will fund environmental mitigation projects that specifically reduce emissions of NOx.

Listen Up (or Lose)

By Joe Thompson