This section provides basic information and links to resources on federal, state, utility, and other programs to assist with the purchase of electric vehicles and charging equipment.
To encourage the purchase of new electric vehicles, the federal government offers an income tax credit for up to $7,500 for the purchase of new electric vehicles. All-electric vehicles receive the full $7,500 tax credit, while plug-in hybrid electric vehicles receive a tax credit between $2,500 and $7,500.
This tax credit was set up to jumpstart the electric vehicle economy, and the tax credit does not apply to vehicles made by manufacturers that have sold over 200,000 electric vehicles, which both GM and Tesla have done. More information on this tax credit is provided by the IRS.
Because municipalities do not pay taxes, they cannot claim the tax credit directly. However, vehicle dealers who sell or lease vehicles to municipalities or other governmental units are able to claim the tax credit. Municipalities have successfully used this tax provision in negotiating purchase or lease arrangements. For example, in September 2019, Lansdale Borough, in Montgomery County, PA, leased 3 Hyundai Kona PEVs from a dealer in New Jersey (the vehicle was not available for purchase in Pennsylvania). The dealer was able to take the full $7,500 tax credit and pass that on to the Borough in a reduced lease cost. DVRPC is working to learn to what extent the cooperative purchase programs noted below take advantage of this credit and pass it on to their governmental customers.
For additional information, see Capturing the Federal EV Tax Credit for Public Fleets.
Electric Vehicle Chargers
In addition, there is a federal tax credit for 30% of the cost of purchasing and installing vehicle charging equipment. Note that this tax credit is scheduled to expire at the end of 2021. Municipalities should keep it in mind should, as it is also available to the company providing charging equipment, similar to the vehicle tax credit.
National Cooperative Purchasing Programs
Climate Mayors Electric Vehicle Purchasing Collaborative
Local governments may purchase or lease electric vehicles and charging stations through the Climate Mayors Electric Vehicle Purchasing Collaborative using competitively bid contracts. This program is open to all U.S. cities, counties, state governments and public universities. The Collaborative also provides training, best practices, educational resources and analysis support, creating a one-stop shop to support EV transitions for public fleets.
State Resources—New Jersey
New Jersey has numerous resources for local governments to move toward electric vehicles. These are detailed at www.drivegreen.nj.gov/localresources.pdf and summarized below.
Clean Fleet Electric Vehicle Incentive Program
Grants of up to $4,000 per vehicle are available from the Board of Public Utilities for the purchase of up to two electric vehicles for local government authorities in New Jersey.
Heavy Duty Vehicle Electrification Grants
Grants are available to replace old diesel trucks, with electric powered trucks, and to offset the cost of associated charging infrastructure.
Electric Vehicles on NJ State Purchasing Contracts
All New Jersey local governments are able to purchase vehicles with discounted pricing through New Jersey START, a state purchasing agency. There are several PEV, including BEVs and PHEVs available to purchase through their contracts. Select “Contracts/Blankets” and enter the word hybrid in the “Contract/Blanket Description” field to browse the offerings.
Electric Vehicle Chargers
It Pay$ to Plug In: NJ's Electric Vehicle Charging Grants
Grants are offered by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJ DEP) to offset the cost of purchase and installation of electric vehicle charging stations at parking facilities, workplaces, government and educational facilities, non-profits, apartments and condominiums, and along highways.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania offers numerous resources for local governments. These are covered in an on-line presentation from September 28, 2020, and are summarized below. The Commonwealth has also published a Pennsylvania Electric Vehicle Roadmap, which contains additional information.
Electric Vehicles and Chargers
Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program (AFIG)
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) manages the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant (AFIG) program. Through a competitive grant program, AFIG provides $3 to $5 million per year to incentivize fleet transitions to alternative fuels, including electricity. The AFIG grant can be used to cover the incremental cost of purchasing a new electric vehicle of any size (class 1-8). AFIG grants can also support charging infrastructure.
Driving PA Forward
Driving PA Forward is the home for several Pennsylvania programs funded by the settlement of the Volkswagen emissions scandal. Several of these programs can benefit Pennsylvania municipalities in their transition to electric vehicles. There are programs to provide significant rebates for replacing class 4-8 diesel trucks with electric trucks as well as provide up to $4,500 per plug for Level 2 EV charging projects.
Electric Vehicles on PA State Purchasing Contracts
All Pennsylvania local governments are able to purchase vehicles with discounted pricing through COSTARS, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's cooperative purchasing program. There are several PEVs, including BEVs and PHEVs available to purchase through COSTARS. Use the drop-down to search by “Category.” Select “Vehicles” using the second dropdown, then hit “Search.” This will find just over 50 contracts. The contracts with a description of “Green (Eco-Friendly) Vehicles Contract” contain all of the hybrid and electric vehicle options. Click on the “O” in the third column to access a spreadsheet which has several tabs, one of which lists the available vehicles and their sales price.
Note that the purchaser is able to negotiate the price and vehicle configuration with the COSTARS dealer. In addition, be sure that the vehicle you specify has the options you need, such as the ability to use a fast charger (if you need that option).
Electric Vehicles and Chargers
PECO government customers can apply for a $50 rebate per plug-in vehicle purchased under PECO’s Smart Driver Rebate program. Governmental customers that receive a PA DEP Level 2 EV Charging Rebate through Pennsylvania’s Driving PA Forward Program (see above) can receive a supplemental $500 per charging station incentive from PECO (up to $1,500 per customer).
Duquesne Light Company
Duquesne Light’s municipal customers are eligible for a one-time bill credit of $60 for a leased or owned EV.
 Phone conversation with Joe Green, Lansdale Borough, PA. April 20, 2020.