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Proposed bill would provide tax credit for used electric cars

The Affordable EVs for Working Families Act could provide used EV buyers with a couple grand back in their pockets at tax time.

Nissan Leaf charging

A couple grand back is always a nice surprise at tax time.

Peter Cade/Getty Images

It's not the first time we've seen a government push to incentivize used electric car purchases, but the latest comes with the Affordable EVs for Working Families Act. Last Thursday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Jimmy Gomez, both California Democrats, introduced the legislation that would provide up to $2,500 off the purchase of a used electric vehicle.

Feinstein and Gomez said expanding federal tax credits to those who buy a used EV, not just a new EV, could dramatically help curb CO2 emissions and help families save money by eliminating trips to the fuel pump. "This bill would help make electric cars affordable to a larger group of people and move us closer to a point where high-pollution gas-powered cars are off the roads," Feinstein said. "We need more legislation like this to incentivize behavior that will reduce global warming, and I'm proud to sponsor this bill."

"With an electric car in the driveway, working families will be able to save money on gas and maintenance costs while prioritizing the safety and security of our planet," Gomez added. The bill has nine additional co-sponsors, all Democrats, across the US Senate and House of Representatives.

The bill would phase out the available tax credit for those who earn over $75,000 per year and file taxes individually. The same goes for couples filing jointly and making over $150,000 per year. Qualifying used EVs would need to be at least two years old and cost less than $25,000. Frankly, the price cap doesn't provide too many options today, but it could be a useful benefit in the future. Used EVs that fall under the proposed price cap include the Chevrolet Spark EV, Kia Soul EV, Nissan Leaf and the occasional Chevrolet Bolt EV.