Cars Eligible for the New Federal EV Tax Credit

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The new $7,500 federal tax credit for a new electric car is complicated, considering where a car and battery are made, what it costs, and when you buy it. To make that easier, here’s a short list of the cars that qualify. It’s based on research by Consumer Reports and the Department of Energy, with my caveats.

Available nowChevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUVChevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUV

Chevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUV

General engines

The Bolt is a really solid choice, although it has a black eye from a past battery failure linked to some fires. That, along with the fact that GM is about to switch to its new Ultium electric platform for all of its EVs, could give you a break. If you select a Bolt, wait until January 1, 2023, when GM may again offer federal tax credits after maximizing the old program some time ago.

Ford F-150 Lightning2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

Ford F-150 Lightning


The F-150 Lightning is the only full-size electric pickup on the market right now, and it’s a huge hit. You’ll need to keep the total price below $80,000 to qualify for the new tax credit, which shouldn’t be too hard, even though the truck has gone through two major price increases: The original base of $41,669 with destination is now $ 53,769. You might also want to wait to compare it to the electric Silverado coming in 2023 — a suggestion of brand-hopping that used to be almost unheard of in truck country.

Ford Mustang Mach E2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT

Ford Mustang Mach E

Antuan Goodwin/CNET

The Mustang Mach-E sits squarely among a bunch of Teslas at the top of the sales charts, inspiring Ford to double down on production plans. The next major redesign is way off in the 2026 model year, so the key question is whether you’ll wait until calendar 2023 to see some better lithium iron phosphate batteries it’ll get and to compare it to the electric Chevy Blazer that would most likely power the Mach-E’s. must be its direct competitor.

Nissan Leafogi-2023-nissan-leaf-37

Nissan Leaf


The Leaf doesn’t set anyone on fire — it lacks soul in reviewer Jon Wong’s opinion — but Nissan knows how to build a good piece of electric transportation. It’s said the Leaf could be discontinued for the US in 2026, but that’s far enough away to be unrelated to buying one today.

Rivian R1S and R1Trivian-r1t-hq-promo

Rivian R1T

The Rivians are really fresh and exciting, but you’ll have a tough time trying to fit even the cheapest under the $80,000 truck and utility tax cap. Another concern is that Rivian has just recalled nearly every vehicle ever made to tighten a nut. It’s an important fastener, related to steering wheel control, but I’m less concerned than if it were a battery, motor or computer.

Tesla Model 3 and Model YTesla Model 3 and Model Y

Tesla Model 3 and Model Y


What hasn’t been said about these two Teslas, except that you won’t be able to get the new federal tax credit until January 23, when Tesla rejoins the program after being the first company to max out from the old program. Since the Model 3 is classified as a car, you are faced with a $55,000 price cap, while the Model Y is classified as a commercial vehicle by the EPA, so should enjoy the higher $80,000 price cap. Both offer plenty of room to get most options except for the $15,000 Full Self Driving tech, but that could be a good thing.

Volkswagen ID.42023 Volkswagen ID 4

Volkswagen ID.4


This is a bit tricky: The new tax credit rules specify cars made in North America, meaning they apply if you buy an ID.4 of made in the brand new Tennessee plant, which just started producing of cars as I write this. Previous ID.4s were made in Germany, which is prohibited under the new tax credit rules. Since the ID.4 is classified as a small SUV, it should have a price cap of $80,000; No problem, for that amount you can buy two.

Available soon

If we turn the corner on January 1, 2023, not only will some manufacturers be eligible for the tax credit again, but new models will also enter the market.

Cadillac Lyriq2023 Cadillac Lyriq

Cadillac Lyriq

Andrew Krok/CNET

The Lyriq is the sexiest member of an electric phalanx that GM will introduce in 2023-2024. It’s also a flagship for the company’s vaunted Ultium platform, which drives an all-new ball game at GM. At the time of writing, the Lyriq appears on the EPA listings as a utility, which would mean an $80,000 price cap.

Chevrolet Blazer EV2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV

Chevrolet Blazer EV


This is the big shoe waiting to drop when you’re considering a Ford Mustang Mach-E. The new electric Blazer will channel the Camaro in such a way that the Mach-E channels a Mustang. Know that the Electric Blazer is a new model, not a conventional Blazer with an electric retrofit. As of today, I don’t see an EPA rating for it, but it’s clearly a utility that should have an $80,000 price cap.

Chevrolet Silverado EV2024 Chevy Silverado EV

Chevrolet Silverado EV


Ford has validated the electric pickup category, but Chevy will be the first to offer it a choice that any smart car buyer should expect before taking a step. Although history indicates that truck owners rarely change brands, the switch to electric driving is so drastic that I think many will consider switching. Fords were never eligible for a federal tax credit, unlike GM vehicles that don’t get it back until 1/1/2023, so if you need an electric pickup now, say for business tax reasons, the F-150 Lightning is your blueberry. And it’s not clear to me that in 2023 Chevrolet will offer many versions of the electric Silverado that fall below the $80,000 price cap, especially when you consider that dealer prices will count against you. Here’s a wildcard: The electric RAM pickup arrives in 2024 and while it will be late to the party, it can learn from the mistakes of the first movers.

Tesla Cybertrucktesla cybertruck

Tesla Cybertruck


This perpetual “next year” vehicle is presumably coming next year, when Tesla vehicles become eligible for federal tax credits again for the first time in years. I have no faith whatsoever in Cybertruck’s promised $39,900 base price in a world where Ford couldn’t hold the line at roughly the same base price for an electric F-150. On the other hand, I can’t imagine a single buyer of the Cybertruck would change their mind if they don’t qualify for a tax credit.

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