Electric vehicle incentives in Georgia | Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP

With interest and investment in electric vehicle (EV) technology increasing steadily, it is important for OEMs, suppliers, dealers, and consumers to be aware of federal and state incentives that may subsidize their particular EV decisions. In Georgia, specifically, several potential credits and discounts are available from the state and from private utilities. Consider the following:

Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Job Creation Tax Credit
A business enterprise that manufactures alternative energy products for use in battery, biofuel, and EV enterprises may claim an annual state tax credit for five years, based on the number of eligible new full-time employee jobs engaged in the qualifying activity. The credits range from $750 to $3,500 per year, depending on unemployment rates and income levels in the county of operation, as well as other details. An additional one-time credit of $500 per new job created may be available if certain additional conditions are met. Retail businesses are not eligible. (Reference: O.C.G.A. § 48-7-40 et seq.)

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Tax Credit
An eligible business enterprise may claim a state income tax credit for the purchase or lease of each qualified EV charger. The chargers, also known as electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), must be located in Georgia, be accessible to the public, and remain in Georgia for five consecutive years. The credit is 10% of the cost of the EVSE, up to $2,500, and cannot exceed the taxpayer’s income tax liability. A certification by the seller is required. (Reference: O.C.G.A. § 48-7-40.16; EPD, Clean Vehicle Tax Credits.)

Vehicle Conversion to Alternative Fuel Tax Credit
A Georgia taxpayer may claim a state income tax credit for the conversion of a conventionally fueled vehicle to an alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) that is registered in the state. The credit is 10% of the cost of the conversion, up to $2,500, and cannot exceed the taxpayer’s income tax liability. A certification from the Department of Natural Resources is required. (Reference: O.C.G.A. § 48-7-40.16; EPD, Clean Vehicle Tax Credits.)

High Occupancy Vehicle and High Occupancy Toll Lane Exemption
AFVs with an appropriate alternative fuel license plate may use high occupancy vehicle (HOV) and high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, regardless of the number of passengers. Qualified AFVs may use the HOT lanes toll-free. AFVs include plug-in EVs and bi-fuel or dual-fuel vehicles that operate on natural gas or propane. Applicants must provide proof they have paid registration fees in full before receiving the license plate.2 (Reference: O.C.G.A. §§ 32-9-4, 40-2-86.1, 40-6-54; DOR, MV-AFV Application and Verification for Issuance of an Alternative Fuel License Plate; DPS, I-85 Express Lanes (HOT Lanes).)

Plug-In EV Charging Rate Incentive – Georgia Power
Georgia Power offers a discounted electricity rate for residential customers charging plug-in EVs overnight. Eligible customers must own an appropriate smart meter capable of separately metering charger usage. (Reference: Georgia Power, Plug-In Electric Vehicle.)

EVSE Rebate – Georgia Power
Georgia Power offers residential customers a $250 rebate for a Level 2 EVSE installed by December 31, 2021. (Reference: Georgia Power, Terms & Conditions for Business and Residential Electric Vehicle Charger Rebate Programs.)4

For more information on federal and state incentives for EVs, visit the US Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center.

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1.Parallel state tax credits for the purchase or lease of new low-emission vehicles ($2,500) and zero-emission vehicles ($5,000) sunset – i.e., fell to $0 – for purchases or leases on or after July 1, 2015. (Reference: O.C.G.A. § 48-7-40.16(b)(2).)

2.Note that EVs are subject to an annual licensing fee – at present, $320.92 for commercial vehicles and $213.88 for non-commercial vehicles. These fees apply to plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles and flex-fuel vehicles only if they have an AFV license plate. AFV license plates are subject to a one-time $25 manufacturing fee, an annual $20 registration fee, and a $35 special tag fee. Electric, natural gas, propane, bi-fuel, and dual-fuel vehicles are eligible for an AFV license plate. (Reference: O.C.G.A. §§ 40-2-86.1, 40-2-151; DOR, Alternative Fuel Vehicles – Annual Licensing Fees Policy Bulletin.)

3.Other community electric providers within Georgia also have EV-favorable offerings. For example, Cobb EMC offers its “NiteFlex” rate plan, which provides 400 kWh free during “Super Off-Peak” hours – overnight, when most residential vehicle charging is likely to take place. (Reference: Cobb EMC, NiteFlex.)

4.Certain information on the Georgia Power website suggests that installation must occur before December 31, 2020. However, Georgia Power has confirmed by telephone that the installation period has been extended and the rebate is available through 2021.

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