Though Texas may not be a fan of Tesla’s direct sales model, the Lone Star state is ready to offer alternative-fuel vehicle buyers some extra cash. As soon as next week, buyers of CNG, propane, plug-in hybrid, and electric vehicles will be eligible for a $2,500 state tax credit. Combined with the $7,500 Federal tax credit, this could chop $10,000 off the cost of a new alt-fuel vehicle.
The credit only applies to vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 9,600 pounds or less, which is generous enough to apply to many commercial vehicles like the VIA X-Trux. The only other eligibility factor is that EVs must have a battery size of at least 4 kWh, a low barrier of entry that applies to pretty much every hybrid or EV out there, including the Chevy Volt. I wonder if this isn’t also an olive branch to Tesla Motors in a bid to bring the Tesla Gigafactory to Texas.
Actually, scratch that; the tax credit doesn’t apply to Tesla vehicles as they’re “illegal” to sell in Texas, requiring customers to jump though numerous hoops to get their EVs.
Alas, this tax credit is also limited-time offer, expiring in next August and with just enough funding to pay for 2,000 CNG/LPG and 2,000 electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles. With 26 million people calling Texas home and more than 1.275 million new car sales in 2012 alone, this tax credit isn’t likely to make it to next year. It’s an interesting dichotomy going on in Texas, a state where green energy is big business, but dug-in interests seem are doing what they can to halt the march of progress.
If you’re a resident of Texas in the market for a cleaner car, you might want to get a jump on this offer while you can.