Whether your reasoning is to help the environment or to save money,
hybrids might be able to do both. The Department of Treasury (IRS) has
announced how much money buyers can expect to save on their taxes when
they buy a hybrid.
Here is the lineup for Ford Vehicles:
2006 Ford Escape Hybrid Front WD- $2,600
2006 Ford Escape Hybrid 4 WD - $1,950
2006 Mercury Mariner Hybrid 4 WD- $1,950
Here is the lineup for Toyota and Lexus Vehicles:
2005 Toyota Prius - $3150
2006 Toyota Prius - $3150
2006 Toyota Highlander 4WD Hybrid - $2600
2006 Toyota Highlander 2WD Hybrid - $2600
2006 Lexus RX400h 2WD - $2200
2006 Lexus RX400h 4WD - $2200
The above list does not include all hybrids that qualify for a tax
credit, but only the ones that have specific values disclosed.
According to a January 14th IRS press release, buyers of
vehicles that run off fuel cells, natural gas, liquefied natural gas,
liquefied petroleum gas, hydrogen, or any liquid that is at least 85
percent methanol may qualify for a tax credit. The maximum allowable
credit for vehicles weighing 8,500 pounds or less is $4,000.
Each automaker is allowed just 60,000 tax credits total. In other
words, the credits are available for the first 60,000 hybrids delivered
to their dealerships. Toyota may be the first to run out of tax
credits. Some insiders say they could deliver 60,000 hybrids by the end
So if you want to take advantage of the tax credits, buy early. The tax
credits will be phased-out over a 15-month period. Also, it is unclear
whether leasing a vehicle will qualify you for a tax credit. According
to hybridcars.com, the tax law probably does not allow a taxpayer to
lease a qualifying vehicle, but some language in the Energy Act's
provision about the tax credit make mention of "lessor."