On the heels of the passage of the new federal energy bill, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) posted estimates of tax credits for 31 hybrid and diesel vehicles included in the bill’s tax credit provisions.
The estimates were made to display the potential scale of the tax credits, which will be available as of Jan. 1, 2006. The estimates come from manufacturer announcements, preliminary 2006 model year data and 2005 model year data
Hybrid vehicles, according to the estimates, will receive credits from $250 to $3,150 out of a maximum of $3,400. The Toyota Prius is expected to collect the highest credit.
A vehicle’s city fuel economy, relative to the average for its weight class, is factored in determining the amount of the credit. Vehicles that save at least 1,200 gallons of fuel in their lifetime as compared to the class average receive additional credits. The emission requirements are fairly tight, so diesels will not be able to achieve credits from the start because they are not yet clean enough to meet those standards.
Credits will be phased out, however, once 60,000 of automakers vehicles have received credits. The program also favors heavier vehicles, allowing them more lenient emission requirements.