A Guide to the American Electric Vehicles Still Eligible for the $7,500 Tax Credit

The electric vehicle (EV) consumer market just got more complicated. The Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law August 16th, 2022, ushered in sweeping changes to the qualifications and incentive values of the popular EV tax credit program. This federal policy originally allowed buyers to claim credits up to $7,500 to reduce the upfront purchase/leasing costs of new electric vehicles. However, updated rules now require models meet strict domestic manufacturing criteria around minerals and components sourcing to be eligible for maximum savings.

As an experienced EV industry analyst, I‘ll cut through the complexity clearly summarizing which American automakers have vehicles that still qualify car shoppers for the full $7,500 tax credit. I‘ll also provide actionable insights for weighing incentive opportunities amidst rapidly evolving federal EV legislation.

Breaking Down Changes to the Electric Vehicle Tax Credit

First, let‘s quickly recap what the EV tax credit is and why changes occurred. The program was instituted in 2009 during the Obama administration to incentivize consumer adoption of electric vehicles. Credits effectively lowered sticker prices to increase affordability. Initially, once an automaker sold 200,000 EVs, their subsidy allocation phased out.

Fast forward to 2022 and policymakers agreed the program needed restructuring to also stimulate domestic manufacturing. By imposing battery mineral and component sourcing requirements for maximum credits, the concept is to onshore more of the EV supply chain. This works to build American jobs while reducing dependence on overseas raw materials.

Here is a breakdown of the tax credit amounts now available based on which manufacturing criteria vehicles satisfy:

Sourcing Requirements MetFederal Tax Credit
Critical mineral and battery component$7,500
Critical mineral only$3,750
Battery component only$3,750
None$0

To understand specifically which American brands have EVs still eligible for maximum savings in light of these changes, let‘s explore further.

American Electric Vehicles Qualifying for the $7,500 Tax Credit

Many headline-grabbing EV models like the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Nissan Leaf Plus, and Tesla Model 3 Standard Range no longer make the cut for full credits. But several manufacturers are still offering vehicles aligned with the updated domestic content rules.

Below I break down which U.S. electric vehicles remain eligible for $7,500 tax credits by brand including critical specs and pricing details. I‘ll also provide some added analysis on factors to consider from an industry insider perspective when evaluating options.

Cadillac

  • Cadillac Lyriq (MSRP: $58,590) – Cadillac‘s inaugural luxury SUV EV effort, the Lyriq brings dramatic styling and technology starting under $59K. Customers can expect up to 312 miles range from its 100 kWh battery pack. With most automakers struggling with initial EV manufacturing scale, the Lyriq doubling battery size versus competitors could position Cadillac as an early leader in 300+ mile range offerings in non-pickup segments.

Expert POV: "Cadillac hit a home run for tech-savvy EV buyers looking for more than the minimum range and have the budget for a premium vehicle," notes Mike Harley, Executive Editor at Kelley Blue Book. "Lyriq delivers performance, charging speed, range, and a gorgeous cabin setting the bar in American luxury SUVs."

Chevy

GM‘s mainstream volume brand Chevy secured maximum tax credit eligibility across an array of models spanning affordability to all-out performance. From a strategic perspective, government manufacturing incentives allow GM to enhance the attraction of both existing and upcoming offerings as they scale EV production. Buyers win with more value upfront.

  • Chevy Bolt EV/EUV – Starting at $26,595 and $28,195 respectively, the compact crossover Bolt twins extended range over earlier generations topping out around 250 miles. These likely represent GM‘s best shot at converting budget conscience hybrid/ICE drivers to EVs based on entry-level pricing with tax credits factored in.

  • Chevy Blazer EV (Available Summer 2023) – Poised to compete with the Mustang Mach E and Tesla Model Y, Chevy‘s 3-row Blazer EV Sagar promises 0-60 in under 4 seconds and upwards of 320 mile range estimates "in ideal driving conditions" on premium models. With a starting MSRP of $47,595 and lower-tier options capping before the $55K vehicle price limit, most versions should qualify buyers for the credit.

Expert POV: "Blazer EV is the first salvo in Chevy‘s plan to convert its immense pickup/SUV customer base to electric," observes John O‘Dell, editor-in-chief at CarBuzz. "Combining instant torque and loads of power with 3 rows of seating gives families everything they love about large SUVs without the carbon emissions."

  • Chevy Silverado EV (Available Fall 2023) – Chevy‘s legendary half-ton hauler goes all-electric boasting 664 horsepower, over 10,000 pounds max trailering capacity, and 400+ miles range on the flagship RST First Edition. With MSRP for that model hitting $105,000, it likely won‘t make the tax credit cutoff. However the entry WT trim at $39,900 probably will based on its working truck design signaling strong appeal around capabilities versus creature comforts.

  • Chevy Equinox EV (Projected 2024) – Not much is confirmed yet regarding Chevy‘s EV shift for America‘s 2nd best-selling compact SUV over the past five years. We know initial launch variants hope to deliver 300+ mile range and MSRP under $30K. If achieved, attracting the 70% of customers who lease instead of buy in the ICE Equinox segment today seems a probable transition plan.

Chrysler

The lone American minivan builder able to retain full tax credit eligibly for its plug-in hybrid variant:

  • Chrysler Pacifica PHEV – Delivering 82 MPGe fuel economy and 32 mile all-electric driving range courtesy of its 16 kWh battery before seamlessly shifting to hybrid operation, the Pacifica makes a compelling kid-hauling crossover alternative. With 83 cu ft maximum cargo room and available all-wheel drive, the Pacifica PHEV brings capability matched with running emissions-free for everyday commuting needs. Starting at $39,995 MSRP, Chrysler‘s minivan moves families to lower operating costs without range anxiety.

Ford

Of Ford‘s options, America‘s longtime bestselling EV pickup secures top tax credit savings.

  • Ford F-150 Lightning (MSRP: $48,769) – Underscoring domestic sourcing directives from DC, the homegrown Blue Oval F-150 Lightning pickup complies with full tax credit eligibility rules across most build configurations. Offering standard 426 hp 4×4 with up to 300 miles travel range plus the unique potential to directly power homes or worksites, the Lightning surpasses equivalent capabilities of the Mustang Mach E. We view the Lightning as Ford‘s crown jewel exhibiting EV innovation and cementing customer loyalty as national gas prices remain historically high. With 150,000 existing reservation holders as of late 2022, demand far outpaces their manufacturing capacity currently topping 15,000 units a year.

Expert POV: "The Lightning Pickup resonates perfectly with commercial tradesmen and outdoor enthusiasts always searching for more power distributed exactly when and where needed," observes Stephanie Brinley, Associate Director, AutoIntelligence at IHS Markit. "Striking that critical balance between worksite productivity and zero-emission mobility makes this truck impossible to ignore."

Lincoln

The sole qualifying member of Ford‘s luxury brand portfolio extended consumers a plug-in hybrid with the refinement you‘d expect from Lincoln:

  • Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring PHEV – This electrified SUV offers 21 miles electric charge before blending gas and battery use targeting a total EPA rated range around 500 miles on a tank. With base models at $68,490 MSRP drivers access luxury appointments like 28-speaker Revel Audio within family friendly dimensions. Lincoln‘s benchmark phone-as-a-key technology allows owners to leave behind bulky key fobs and enter through any door hassle-free.

Tesla

The EV pioneer everyone loves to reference has two high-volume models satisfying the latest manufacturing rules (albeit in limited configurations).

  • Tesla Model Y – Available in rear- and all-wheel drive dual motor configurations plus a blisteringly quick tri-motor Plaid powertrain, all three Model Y variations stay under the adjusted gross income and $80K EV price limits activating full $7,500 credits. With class-leading performance specs from 0-60 acceleration times as low as 3.5 seconds to 330 mile max range, we view the Model Y as the full-sized crossover blueprint other automakers will aim to replicate…likely at higher price points once tax credits sunset.

  • Tesla Model 3 Performance – Joining the Model Y lineup retains eligibility is the top-shelf Model 3 Performance trim touting 0-60 in as little as 3.1 seconds courtesy of its 462 hp powerplant. Buyers must forego the optional $12K full self driving package to avoid surpassing the $55K car sticker threshold. Note the entry level Model 3 RWD no longer qualifies for more than $3,875 credits due to imported battery components.

Pre-Owned Electric Vehicle Tax Credit Opportunities

Alongside new car incentives, the Inflation Reduction Act introduced a federal tax credit covering used EV purchases for the first time starting January 1, 2023. There are layered requirements around pricing, ownership history, income limits and vehicle age/class, but at a high level:

  • Used EV buyers can claim up to $4,000 in credits or 30% of vehicle cost (whichever is less)
  • Applies to the purchase of pre-owned electric cars and trucks priced under $25,000 that are at least 2 years old
  • Reduces the upfront ownership barrier for second hand EVs, expanding access

Early data suggests over 35 million Americans could afford an electric car priced between $10K to $25K meaning the policy might incentivize value-focused drivers upgrading from outdated gas vehicles. Of course demand assumes used EV inventory scales affordably which remains dependent on new vehicle production volume and retirement cycles. Still for lower income households and small businesses, this tax credit introduces exciting EV ownership pathways by defraying the higher relative cost hurdle of pre-owned electric vehicle acquisition.

I‘ll wrap this EV tax credit analysis here. Hopefully the detailed breakdown of brands and models retaining $7,500 savings eligibility provides clarity during an undoubtedly confusing transitional moment in policy. Please drop me a note with any other questions!

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