WASHINGTON– The Ways and Means committee passed a plug-in electric drive vehicle credit (HR 6049) as part of a larger package of energy and extender provisions. The language is the same as was passed out by the Senate Finance Committee last December, but does not include conversions. The bill establishes a new credit for each qualified plug-in electric drive vehicle placed in service during each taxable year by a taxpayer, according to www.electricdrive.org.

The base amount of the credit is $3,000. If the qualified vehicle draws propulsion from a battery with at least 5 kilowatt hours of capacity, the credit amount is increased by $200, plus another $200 for each kilowatt hour of battery capacity in excess of 5 kilowatt hours up to 15 kilowatt hours. Taxpayers may claim the full amount of the allowable credit up to the end of the first calendar quarter after the quarter in which the manufacturer records 60,000 sales. The credit is reduced in following calendar quarters and is available against the alternative minimum tax (AMT). This proposal is estimated to cost $1.056 billion over 10 years.

This is the first time that the House has endorsed a "plug-in electric drive vehicle credit." All previous legislation was aimed exclusively at plug-in hybrids.