Mazda May Offer Plug-In Hybrids, Electric Cars

By dancurranjr On December 7th, 2010

Mazda will look to grow its offering of ‘green’ cars with the announcement that it is considering offering both plug-in hybrid models and electric cars in the future. In an interview with Bloomberg News, Mazda CEO Takashi Yamanouchi said both types of vehicles are currently being studied by the Japanese automaker.

It’s not yet clear if Mazda intends to develop its own powertrain systems for these vehicles or if it will find a suitable partner in the auto industry. Mazda still has a close relationship with Ford, even though the Blue Oval is no longer a majority shareholder in Mazda.

Another likely possibility is a tie-up with Toyota, which will provide the powertrains for a new line of hybrid models that Mazda is set to bring to market in 2013.

SOURCE: AutoGuide

Auto Tax Credits For Eco-Friendly Hybrid Cars

By dancurranjr On May 25th, 2009

irsAuto tax incentives for Hybrid cars and electric vehicles are being phased out later in 2009. However, there could be new tax credits for these eco-friendly cars. The whole purpose of these tax deductions is to reduce the amount of carbon emissions, which provide cleaner air quality.

The tax incentives started with the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which replaces the clean-fuel burning deduction with a tax credit. A tax credit is subtracted directly from the total amount of federal tax owed, thus reducing or even eliminating the taxpayer’s tax obligation. The tax credit for hybrid vehicles applies to electric vehicles purchased or placed in service on or after January 1, 2006.

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 Hybrid vehicle must also have a drive train powered by both an internal combustion engine and a rechargeable battery.

This is a list of some of the models, which qualify, including the amount for the tax credit:

  • Chrysler Aspen Hybrid – $2,200
  • Dodge Durango Hybrid – $2,200
  • Ford Escape Hybrid 2WD – $3,000
  • Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD – $1,950
  • Mazda Tribute Hybrid 2WD – $3,000
  • Mazda Tribute Hybrid 4WD – $1,950
  • Mercury Mariner Hybrid 2WD – $3,000
  • Mercury Mariner Hybrid 4WD – $1,950
  • Nissan Altima Hybrid – $2,350

This is not a complete list and there might be another wave of tax credits for all-electric vehicles. Most automakers, including Ford, General Motors, Honda, and Toyota are already building new prototypes. These prototypes will enter the market in late 2010, 2011, and 2012.

Critics of the Energy Policy Act and the recent tax credits say the government should do more to help convert gasoline powered automobiles to Hybrid and electric solutions. For example, the government is already phasing out the tax credits during the economic recession. The critics feel that the tax credits should be extended for at least another 24 months.

The tax credits started with a $7,500 deduction which actually helped the new Hybrids gain respect and awareness. However, consumers can still save fuel costs as most of the new Hybrids can travel up to 50 miles without using a single drop of gasoline. As gas prices rise, drivers can switch the vehicle from gas to electric power for shorter travel rides.

Tax Savings for 2008 and 2009 Model Hybrid Vehicles

By dancurranjr On August 20th, 2008

Thinking of buying a hybrid car? Doing so will save the environment and keep money in your wallet. You could be eligible for a tax credit of up to $3,000 depending on when the car is purchased and the model you buy.

The Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit applies to cars purchased after Jan. 1, 2006. Currently, there are more than 40 different models of hybrid vehicles eligible for the credit. You can see which cars qualify by visiting www.IRS.gov. Once 60,000 hybrid cars from a particular manufacturer are sold, the tax credit is reduced until it’s ultimately phased out.

Keep in mind, though, that the credit is only available to the original buyer of the car. So, if you purchase a used hybrid vehicle, you can’t claim the tax credit. And, if you lease a hybrid car, the credit goes to the company leasing the vehicle.

The Internal Revenue Service has certified several vehicles as eligible for the hybrid tax credit. According to the IRS, “The tax credit for hybrid vehicles applies to vehicles purchased on or after January 1, 2006, and may be as much as $3,400 for those who purchase the most fuel-efficient vehicles.” In cooperation with the automakers, the IRS has certified the maximum hybrid tax credit for the following vehicles:

2008 Hybrid Models Tax Breaks

  • 2008 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid: $1,300
  • 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid (2WD and 4WD): $2,200
  • 2008 Ford Escape 2WD Hybrid: $3,000
  • 2008 Ford Escape 4WD Hybrid: $2,200
  • 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid (2WD and 4WD): $2,200
  • 2008 Honda Civic GX compressed natural gas vehicle: $4,000
  • 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid CVT: $2,100
  • 2008 Lexus LS 600h L Hybrid: $450
  • 2008 Lexus RX 400h 2WD and 4WD: $550
  • 2008 Mazda Tribute 2WD Hybrid: $3,000
  • 2008 Mazda Tribute 4WD Hybrid: $2,200
  • 2008 Mercury Mariner 2WD Hybrid: $3,000
  • 2008 Mercury Mariner 4WD Hybrid: $2,200
  • 2008 Nissan Altima Hybrid: $2,350
  • 2008 Saturn Aura Hybrid: $1,300
  • 2008 Saturn Vue Green Line: $1,550
  • 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid: $650
  • 2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid 4WD: $650
  • 2008 Toyota Prius: $787.50

2009 Model Year Hybrid Vehicles (So Far)

Make

Model

Credit Amount

Ford

Escape Hybrid 2WD

$3,000

Ford

Escape Hybrid 4WD

$1,950

Mercury

Mariner Hybrid 2WD

$3,000

Mercury

Mariner Hybrid 4WD

$1,950

The Least and Most Fuel Efficient Hybrid Vehicles

By dancurranjr On August 18th, 2008

The 2000 Honda Insight - Hybrid gas mileage king.Nothing has come close to the Godfather of American-sold hybrid cars; the 73mpg 2000 Honda Insight.

It’s been 8 years since the Insight went on sale and the closest gas mileage any hybrid on the road today gets to the Insight is 46mpg – a 27mpg DECREASE. So much for “improving” technologies over time . . .

Here’s what passes as a hybrid today – the 11 least efficient hybrid vehicles:

1-2) (tie) Chrysler Aspen Hybrid & Dodge Durango Hybrid 19 MPG
3-5) (tie) Chevy Tahoe Hybrid, Lexus LS 600h L, GMC Yukon Hybrid 21 MPG
6) Lexus GS 450h 23 MPG
7-8) (tie) Lexus RX 400h, Toyota Highlander Hybrid 26 MPG
9-11) (tie) Ford Escape Hybrid, Mercury Mariner Hybrid, Mazda Tribute Hybrid 32 MPG

Consumerist, via Hybrid Cars [HybridCars]

The Most Efficient?

1) Toyota Prius: 46 MPG
2) Honda Civic: 42 MPG
3) Toyota Camry: 34 MPG
4) Nissan Altima: 34 MPG
5) Ford Escape / Mercury Mariner / Mazda Tribute (2wd): 32 MPG