Gov. Hogan Allows Maryland Clean Cars Act to Become Law

Earlier this month, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration published a helpful dealer bulletin that covers some new laws of interest that are taking effect on July 1. Importantly for dealers, HB 44, the Clean Cars Act of 2021, will go into effect at the beginning of next month after Gov. Larry Hogan allowed the bill to become law without his signature.

The bill, introduced by Del. David Fraser-Hidalgo (D-Boyds), retroactively replenishes the state’s electric-vehicle tax credit, which had run dry in 2020 and left many residents who purchased qualifying vehicles, and applied for the rebate, prior to July 1, 2020 waiting for their expected tax rebate check of as much as $3,000.

Please note the law does not extend the state EV tax credit for otherwise qualified vehicles that were purchased after July 1, 2020. The rebate extension was removed, in part, due to concerns that it could violate a provision in the latest federal COVID-19 relief bill that prohibits relief funds from being used to “either directly or indirectly offset a reduction” in net tax revenue.

The bill will also establish the state’s Electric Vehicle Recharging Equipment Program through 2023, and provide it with $1.8 million annually. As the Bulletin notes, anyone in the state is eligible to apply for a rebate for costs incurred to source, install “qualified electric vehicle recharging equipment.” The state’s existing Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Rebate Program has very limited funding for the remainder of the 2020-21 fiscal year, which ends June 30.

There is still a $7,500 federal tax credit for many new EVs, and it is likely that the General Assembly will once again debate a renewed state EV tax credit when it reconvenes in 2022.

Download Bulletin PDF