Despite a number of big automakers getting behind hydrogen, the proposed tax credit for the alternative fuel has died on the vine. Because Congress has not made any progress in renewing the income-tax credit issued by the Feds for vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells, as of January 1, 2015 it will no longer be a reality. The news comes via Autoblog Green.
Right now under the tax credit, the average fuel cell vehicle owner enjoys an income-tax credit of about $4,000. That amount can increase by as much as $4,000 depending on a vehicle’s curb weight and overall efficiency. Overall, that’s a better incentive than electric vehicle owners are receiving.
Lately, there has been considerable debate about the merits of hydrogen as a fuel source. Electric car advocates have argued that it is too expensive and impractical. Rapidly falling gas prices has generated concern that an intense interest in hydrogen and pretty much anything but gasoline to power a vehicle will go by the wayside.
It’s doubtful that the tax credit will be gone forever. There are some powerful players that are backing fuel cell technology, such as Toyota with the upcoming release of the Mirai hydrogen-powered car. Hyundai is selling a fuel cell version of the Tucson in certain parts of California, while Honda and others are working on increasing the number of fueling stations in the state. Also, this sort of thing has happened with other tax incentives like for installing charging stations for electric cars.
Some are suggesting that the tax credit issue was pushed aside because of some more pressing matters Congress was facing. The big one was funding the U.S. government. Anyone who wants to take advantage of it before it is gone for now must purchase a fuel cell vehicle by December 31, 2014.