There are two types of commercialized zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) available to consumers today, the fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) and the battery electric vehicle (BEV). Both types of vehicles support greenhouse gas reductions, improve local air quality, and reduce reliance on oil. Many automakers are now investing in fuel cells as an essential technology to create consumer-friendly zero-carbon transportation options.

 Yet, just as the fuel cell electric vehicle market is beginning to gain serious momentum with major automakers working on FCEVs, Congress has failed to renew the federal tax credit for FCEVs. Battery electric vehicles, however, continues to enjoy tax incentives created under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 with credits of up to $7,500. This tax credit was structured without a set expiration date. Instead, it “sunsets” based on market penetration for individual manufacturers selling more than 200,000 vehicles, followed by a prolonged phase-out of the credit. The BEV tax credit is an example of an incentive policy structured to achieve market results. Why not strive for stronger consumer adoption across the entire ZEV market?

A lopsided incentive policy creates an uneven playing field for zero emissions vehicles. Consider urging your representatives in Congress to reinstate the $8,000 FCEV credit, or create a new tax credit that would put FCEVs on the same footing as BEVs.