Green Car

green car, hybrid vehicles, bio diesel vehicles, natural gas vehicles, alternative fuel tax credit








Green Car - Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Green Car | Information on Bio diesel vehicles, natural gas vehicles and much more. Also see what's available from the Federal Government for alternative fuel tax credits.

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Ok this is a very big step for most people. The single most intensive use of hydrocarbons that is in use by a typical homeowners is the good 'ol family car or van.

We have a lot of opportunity to save both energy and the environment with this particular choice. There are a variety of vehicles available on the commercial market from which we can choose.

Here is the short list of what is available:

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Green Car - Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Green Car - Hybrid Electric Vehicles:

Hybrid Electric Vehicles typically combine at least two different propulsion systems. Most often these are a gasoline engine and one or more electric drive motors.

Most hybrids on the road today compliment their gas engines by charging a battery when breaking - this is called a regenerative braking system and it converts the kinetic forces generated during braking into a battery-charging, rather than energy-wasting heat.

Engines are not restricted to gasoline in a hybrid design. You can also get bio diesel and ethanol based engines to achieve even better green qualities.

Hybrid cars are available in a variety of sizes and use groups. For instance you can purchase hybrids as a small commuter-sized vehicle all the way up to large busses or locomotive vehicles.

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Green Car - Hybrid Electric Vehicles

One great quality of the hybrid vehicle is the low emissions at the tailpipe. Note that you do not charge this vehicle battery from a convenience outlet. That is reserved for a Plug-in Hybrid vehicle, reviewed later in this article.

Typical available vehicles are:

Toyota Prius
Honda Insight

Green Car - Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Federal Tax Credit:

Tax incentives are available for many vehicles in the Hybrid category. For more information on makes, models and year click HERE.

The following requirements must be met to claim the credit:

    The original use of the vehicle commences with the taxpayer.
    The vehicle is acquired for use or lease by the taxpayer, and not for resale. (The credit is only available to the original purchaser of a new, qualifying vehicle. If a qualifying vehicle is leased to a consumer, the leasing company may claim the credit.)
    The vehicle is used mostly in the United States.
    The vehicle must be placed in service by the taxpayer after December 31, 2005 and must be purchased on or before December 31, 2010.
    Be sure to check about the credit phase-out and ending date.
    Also be sure to check for information on tax deductions for hybrids placed into service before January 1, 2006. Note: Prior to 2009, the hybrid vehicle credit could not be used to offset the alternative minimum tax (AMT). However, beginning in 2009, the credit can be applied against the AMT.
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Green Car - Battery Electric Vehicles

Green Car - Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV's):

Battery Electric Vehicles depend solely on electric power from on-board battery packs for their energy source. There is no supplemental source for powering the car once the battery has been depleted.

To be eligible for the tax credit, a vehicle must meet the following requirements:

    It must be powered primarily by an electric motor drawing current from rechargeable batteries, fuel cells, or other portable sources of electrical current.
    It must have at least four wheels and be manufactured primarily for use on public streets, roads, and highways (vehicles exclusively used on rail or rails do not qualify).
    It must meet all federal and state emissions requirements.
    It has never been used as a non electric vehicle.
    You must purchase the vehicle new and for your own use, not for resale
    You must drive it mostly in the United States.

Government agencies, tax exempt organizations, and foreign entities are not eligible. These cars have recently enjoyed renewed interest by consumers, with the rising cost of gasoline and increasing concern for the environment, including climate change.

Battery Electric Vehicles have been popular in the European countries, but are noticeably absent from the roads in the US.

Most consumers and car manufactures have been focusing on the Hybrid solution, which addresses both electric and on-board supplemental engines.

Battery Electric Vehicle Federal Tax Credit:

Qualifying electric vehicles purchased new are eligible for a one-time federal tax credit of up to $4,000. The credit will be reduced to $1,000 for 2006 and will expire at the end of that year..

    Also be sure to check for information on tax deductions for hybrids placed into service before January 1, 2006. Note: Prior to 2009, the hybrid vehicle credit could not be used to offset the alternative minimum tax (AMT). However, beginning in 2009, the credit can be applied against the AMT.
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Green Car - Bio diesel Vehicles

Green Car - Bio diesel Vehicles

Bio diesel is a renewable alternative fuel made from various sources ranging from waste vegetable oil to soybeans vs. the typical fossil fuel options available with typical gasoline or diesel fuel.

Bio diesel is usually made from plant oils or animal fat through a series of chemical reactions and it is both non-toxic and renewable.

Generally speaking, bio diesel fuel is a blended form of fuel that is added to standard petroleum-based diesel fuel and about a 80/20 ratio. The blend is referred to a Bxx, where the xx can be from 20 to 100. So B20 is 20 percent bio diesel and B100 is 100% bio diesel.

The great thing about bio diesel is that this natural fuel can be used in standard diesel engines with little or not modification at all.

Bio diesel Vehicles Available:

BMW X5 diesel SUV
2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
Audi Q7 TDI
BMW 335d

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Green Car - Alternative Fuel Tax Credits

Green Car - Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Federal Tax Credit:

Some diesels purchased or placed into service after December 31, 2005 may be eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $3,400. (No eligible vehicles were manufactured for sale until 2008.)

Credit amounts begin to phase out for a given manufacturer once it has sold over 60,000 eligible hybrid and diesel vehicles.

For more information on makes, models and year click HERE.

The following requirements must be met to claim the credit:

    The original use of the vehicle commences with the taxpayer.
    The vehicle is acquired for use or lease by the taxpayer, and not for resale. (The credit is only available to the original purchaser of a new, qualifying vehicle. If a qualifying vehicle is leased to a consumer, the leasing company may claim the credit.)
    For qualifying vehicles used by a tax-exempt entity, the person who sold the qualifying vehicle to the person or entity using the vehicle is eligible to claim the credit, but only if the seller clearly discloses in a document to the tax-exempt entity the amount of credit.
    The vehicle is used mostly in the United States.
    The vehicle must be placed in service by the taxpayer after December 31, 2005 and must be purchased on or before December 31, 2010.

Check for more about the credit phase-out and ending date Note: Prior to 2009, the Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit could not be used to offset the alternative minimum tax (AMT). However, beginning in 2009, the credit can be applied against the AMT.

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Green Car - Natural Gas Vehicles

Green Car - Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV):

Natural gas, which is called compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LPG) and is the cleanest-burning petroleum-based fuel that we have available to us.

Worldwide, there were 10 million natural gas vehicles in 2009, led by Pakistan (2.0 million) and the United States only had 110,000.

Existing gas-powered vehicles and easily be converted to run on compressed natural gas and the number of vehicles running on CNG is increasing worldwide.

Some of the disadvantages of natural gas vehicles is the location of a natural gas storage tank. Another is the availability of CNG at remote refueling stations outside the home base of the vehicle.

While quite simple to accommodate refueling at home by simply tapping into your existing gas source, the distribution of refueling stations is slow in coming.

Green Car - Natural Gas Vehicle Tax Incentives:

Qualifying alternative fuel vehicles (AFV's) purchased or placed into service between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2010 may be eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $4,000.

Vehicles placed into service before January 1, 2005 may be eligible for a $2,000 clean-fuel vehicle tax deduction.

To be eligible for this tax credit, the vehicle must only be capable of operating on any of the following alternative fuels:

Compressed natural gas (CNG)
Liquefied natural gas (LNG)
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)
Hydrogen
Any liquid at least 85% methanol by volume

Expect to see additional vehicles introduced to the U.S. market in a few short years as additional focus is placed on natural gas vehicles as an alternative fuel source.

Green Car - Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV's):

A Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle boosts the qualities of having an internal combustion engine, along with an electric drive and battery system that can be recharged from a standard electrical convenience outlet in your garage.

They are sometimes called grid-connected hybrids, gas-optional hybrids, or GO-HEV's.

Compared to their conventional internal combustion engine counterparts, PHEV's reduce overall air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and cut our dependence on fossil fuels - all things that contribute to global climate change.

As of 2009, most PHEV's on the road in the US are conversions of 2004 or later Toyota Prius and Ford Escape models, which have had plug-in charging and more batteries added and their electric-only range extended.

Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles Available:

Chevrolet Volt (late 2009)
Volkswagen Golf (late 2009)

Green Car - Ethanol:

Ethanol (ethyl alcohol) is the same type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages. As a fuel, ethanol can be used in more than 30 flex fuel vehicle models that have been designed to run on alcohol, gasoline, or any combination of the two fuels from the same tank.

Most ethanol today is produced from corn or sugar cane, although this will change as cheaper cellulosic ethanol made from fast growing woody grasses and other biomass becomes a reality.

Green Car - Alternative Fuel Vehicle Tax Incentives:

Qualifying alternative fuel vehicles (AFV's) purchased or placed into service between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2010 may be eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $4,000.

Vehicles placed into service before January 1, 2005 may be eligible for a $2,000 clean-fuel vehicle tax deduction.

More About Tax Incentives or Tax Credits:

What's the difference between a deduction and a credit?

A tax deduction reduces the amount of income for which you are taxed. For example, if your taxable income were $50,000, a $2,000 deduction would reduce it to $48,000. So, you would pay taxes on an income of $48,000 instead of $50,000. This means your actual savings would be a fraction of the $2,000 deduction.

A tax credit reduces the total amount of income tax you owe. So, if you owed $10,000 in federal income tax, a $2,000 credit would reduce the amount you owed to $8,000. With a credit, your actual savings would be $2,000.

Where can I find information on State incentives?

The U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center maintains a list of State & Federal Incentives & Laws for HEV's and alternative fuel vehicles.

Let's Go With That Energy Efficient Green Car!

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