The States Offering the Best Electric Vehicle Incentives in 2018

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV
Electric car incentives can knock the price of a Chevrolet Bolt EV below $27,500 in several states. | General Motors

While several electric vehicles that cost less than $35,000 in 2018, only one model below $40,000 offers more than 200 miles per charge. That makes new EVs either not practical or out of the reach financially for most customers on the market.

By early 2019, that situation should change with new models by Hyundai and Kia coming to the U.S. Yet this new wave of EVs will continue to cost more than comparable vehicles powered by gas.

Fortunately for consumers, the federal tax credit of $7,500 can still be taken on most EVs through 2019. (The Tesla Model 3 is one exception.) Meanwhile, many states are offering either rebates or tax credits on top of that amount. That allows many consumers to subtract $10,000 or more from the purchase price of an EV.

Here are the states who offer the most money on top of the federal EV tax credit in 2018, whether in rebates or further tax credits. Most states also offer these incentives for plug-in hybrids.

(Note: Be sure to check on the current status in your state before making purchase decisions, as there are deadlines as well as the chance that funding will run out.)

7. New York

  • State rebate: $2,000

While New York has lagged behind other states in electric car initiatives, Empire State residents currently have $2,000 in incentives to put toward an EV. The best part is, New York’s incentive is a rebate, so you can subtract it from the price of the car at the dealership.

6. Massachusetts

2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid at Stockbridge’s Red Lion Inn | Eric Schaal/The Cheat Sheet
  • State rebate: $2,500

In Massachusetts, the MOR-EV program offers $2,500 in rebate on a battery EV, $1,500 on a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and $750 on an electric motorcycle on top of the federal tax credit. These figures apply to models that cost less than $60,000.

For vehicles that cost more than $60,000 consumers, can still claim $1,000 on an EV or plug-in hybrid. Massachusetts allows residents to buy cars out-of-state and still claim a rebate, in case a local dealer isn’t stocking the one you want.

5. Connecticut

  • State rebate: $3,000

Not to be outdone by its New England neighbor, Connecticut offers up to $3,000 in rebates on long-range EVs and $2,000 for plug-in hybrids on top of the federal credits. However, state officials peg the amount of rebate by the EPA-estimated range.

Any model capable of 175 miles or more qualifies for the $3,000. Otherwise, EVs that get 100-175 miles on a charge and PHEVs that go 40 miles or more on electric power qualify for $2,000. As a consolation prize, short-range EVs and PHEVs get $500.

4. Maryland

  • State tax credit: $3,000

Maryland has one of the most comprehensive packages for consumers looking to buy an affordable EV. As in Massachusetts, Maryland residents have to set their sights on models below $60,000, as any vehicle below that amount qualifies for an excise tax credit.

In this case, the state credits you $100 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), up to $3,000. That means anything from a Ford Focus Electric (33.5 kWh) to a 2018 Nissan Leaf (40 kWh) would qualify for the full amount.

Maryland goes even further by offering a rebate of 40% off home charging equipment (up to $700).

3. Delaware

  • State rebate: $3,500

Delaware, another Mid-Atlantic state looking to jumpstart EV sales, offers $3,500 for the purchase of an electric car with an MSRP of $60,000 or less. PHEVs in that price range qualify for $1,500 off, while models over $60,000 qualify for $1,000.

In June, Delaware News Journal reported the credits would be available through 2019, so there is time for state residents to take advantage. A full $11,000 off the cost of a new car is nothing to sneeze at.

2. California

2017 Ioniq Electric Vehicle (EV)
2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric, an EV only on sale in California | Hyundai
  • State and local rebates: $2,500-$7,500

There are lots of clauses (and a multitude of programs) involved with California electric car incentives, but the state offers some of the highest dollar amounts in the country. Most residents will qualify for a $2,500 rebate that can be taken along with the $7,500 tax credit.

However, California takes it several steps further, partly because low-income residents often do not have $7,500 in taxes to claim at the end of the year. To that end, Californians may receive up $7,500 in state and local incentives for the purchase of a qualifying EV.

The best way to check on what’s available is to run your zip code through the website.

1. Colorado

  • State credit: $5,000

While California’s incentives are very hard to top, Colorado still offers the highest dollar amount ($5,000) off the purchase of a new EV for people regardless of income. (We could not identify limitations by MSRP, either, following a review of state forms.)

In other words, you buy the electric car you want, and by the time you pay your taxes the following year, you’d get a total credit of $12,500. That’s quite an incentive to consider a clean vehicle.