The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

CLEAR ACT Reintroduced in U.S. Senate to Promote Alt-Fuel, Hybrid, and Electric Vehicles

May 03, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Orrin Hatch, supported by a coalition of environmental groups, automakers, and alternative fuel associations, re-introduced to Congress for the third time the CLEAR ACT — Clean Efficient Automobiles Resulting from Advanced Car Technologies, according to the Green Car Congress. The CLEAR ACT is designed to lower the cost barriers to implementing alternative fuels and advanced technologies through the use of tax incentives, most of which go directly to the consumer.
  • A base credit of up to $1,000 on hybrid-electric vehicles for the amount of electric drive power along with an additional credit of up to $3,000 depending upon fuel economy performance. These credits are available for six years.
  • A base credit of $4,000 and an incremental credit of $2,000 for battery-electric vehicles with extended range or payload capabilities.
  • A base credit of up to $2,500 for dedicated alternative-fuel vehicles (CNG, LPG, LNG) with an additional $1,500 credit for vehicles certified to Super Ultra Low Emission (SULEV) standards. Flex-fuel vehicles are not eligible since they can operate on either gasoline or E-85 (ethanol) and are available in the market without any incremental cost.
  • A $4,000 base credit for fuel cell vehicles along with an additional credit of up to $4,000 depending on fuel economy performance. These credits are available for 10 years.
  • Credits for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles based on individual weight categories and amounts varying with the largest vehicles over 26,000 lbs. receiving up to $40,000 for fuel cell or battery electric, $32,000 for alternative fuel, or $24,000 for hybrid applications.
  • A credit of 50 cents for every gallon of gas equivalent of alternative fuel (such as natural gas, LNG, LPG, hydrogen, B100, and methanol) is provided to the retail distributor. This credit is available for six years. (Presumably it is up to the distributor to decide whether or not to reflect the credit in its end-user pricing.)
  • An extension of an existing $100,000 tax deduction for 10 years and a credit for actual costs of up to $30,000 for the installation of alternative fuel sites available to the public.
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