Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY
Two government incentives aimed at spurring sales of plug-in electric cars and motorcycles expire with the start of the new year.
One gives a 30% tax credit to individuals for home high-speed electric car charging units, up to $1,000. The other covers 10% of the price of an electric motorcycle, up to $2,500, according to Jay Friedland, legislative director for advocacy group Plug In America.
The credits already expired once, but were reinstated by Congress last January.
While electric cars can be charged from any wall socket, the high-speed chargers typically cut recharge times by more than half because they use 220 volts, instead of 110 volts.
With the electric-vehicle market still developing, "these incentives are really, really key," Friedland says, adding that they cost a fraction of subsidies to oil companies and other energy producers.
Brian Wynne, executive director of the Electric Drive Transportation Association, said Monday the charger credits have been effective. "It's a good incentive for folks," he says. "We worked hard to get them and get them extended."
Friedland says while professional installation is always recommended on home chargers, some models are available through home improvement store web sites. People who already have garages with 220-volt sockets, such as they might need for laundry or swimming pool filters, can plug in and start high-speed charging right away.
Businesses benefitted as well. The tax credit included up to $30,000 in tax credits for businesses that typically install multiple chargers.