Unfortunately, many of the federal tax credits for popular hybrids – such as the Toyota Prius – expired quite a while ago. However, although a handful of vehicles no longer qualify for the tax incentives, there are plenty of energy efficient automobiles that can still result in a decent tax credit.
2010 BMW Active Hybrid X6 – Credit: $1,500
The 2010 Active Hybrid X6 BMW boasts superb fuel efficiency while maintaining the speed and class of a regular BMW. Although the vehicle does not have the best fuel efficiency rating or the lowest price tag, the vehicle is being marketed towards consumers who want an efficient luxury vehicle that can go from 0 to 60 in less than 6 seconds. The BMW Active is listed at $88,900 and qualifies for a federal tax incentive of $1,550.
2. 2010 Audi A3 TDI – Credit: $1,300
The 2010 Audi A3 TDI is a clean diesel SUV with the same capabilities as any typical sports utility vehicle; it also seats seven. Since the automobile uses diesel fuel, drivers can claim a tax credit for this car of up to $1,300. The Audi A3 TDI is one of the first of its kind, and was even awarded the 2010 Green Car of the Year award from Green Car Journal.
3. Chevy Volt – Credit: $7,500
Although the Chevy Volt has not hit sales floors yet, there is already a lot of anticipation of its upcoming release. The vehicle has an electric motor – powered by lithium ion batteries – and the car can travel 40 miles on a single charge. Although an official price has not been announced, experts predict it will be priced around $40,000, which would correlate with a tax credit of $7,500.
Tesla Roadster – Credit: $7,500
The most significant federal tax credits are available for plug-in electric vehicles, such as the Tesla Roadster. The credit amount may not seem as significant compared to the Roadster’s steep $109,000 price tag. However, many states including California are offering additional incentives for taxpayers who buy or lease a Tesla Roadster.
2010 Mercedes Benz ML450 Hybrid – Credit: $2,200
The 2010 Mercedes Benz ML450 is another hybrid offering drivers a luxury car that can be driven on only electricity, only gasoline, or an efficient combination of the two. The small scale SUV gets around 24 miles per gallon and qualifies for a $2,200 federal tax credit.
2011 Nissan Leaf – Credit: $7,500
The 2011 Nissan leaf is among the most affordable electric vehicles. It has not hit the market yet, but according to reports it can travel 100 miles on a $3.00 charge of electricity. The leaf will arrive at Nissan showrooms across the country this December. The MSRP should be around $32,780 before the credit, and the vehicle will also qualify for a $5,000 Californian clean vehicle rebate.
2010 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid – Credit: $2,200
The Chevy Tahoe Hybrid has an MSRP of $51,185, however if you purchase one before December 31st then it will qualify for a $2,200 federal credit. The vehicle averages 21 miles per gallon. Although the Tahoe is not the most efficient vehicle on my list, considering its size the mileage is still impressive.
2010 GMC Sierra Hybrid – Credit: $2,200
If you need to drive a truck that can haul items, but are looking for a way to cut your fuel expenses, then you should consider the 2010 GMC Sierra Hybrid. The truck is best for city drivers, who can benefit from a 21 mile per gallon average. Additionally, the Sierra has a $38,710 MSRP and will qualify for a $2,200 federal tax credit.