Toyota Offers Free EV Charging To bZ4X Buyers As Tax Credit Runs Out

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EV buyers love getting incentives, from tax credits to rebates to free charging. In that spirit, Toyota recently announced a collaboration with the EVG0 charging network to offer 2023 Toyota bZ4X buyers free EV charging on the 35-state EVG0 network for a full year – and that’s in addition to the full $7500 federal tax credit the carmaker should still qualify for through Q1 of 2022 … after that, though?

It’s been well-established by now that electric car buyers tend to be more educated about the vehicles they’re shopping than “average” new car buyers (or, in some cases, dealers), and one point that both the EV faithful and e-curious seem rock-solid on is that EVs get a $7500 incentive from the federal government to help reduce their purchase price. There’s a problem, though – because that incentive only exists for the firs 200,000 to buy from a given manufacturer, and Toyota is getting perilously close to that 200K number.

How Close is Close

As of Q4, 2021, the number of Toyotas sold that met the requirements to earn the full $7500 (or a portion of that) federal tax credit stood at 190,047 units. The Toyota Prius Prime (156,668 units) and Toyota RAV4 Prime (30,907 units) accounted for the majority of Toyota’s sales. If CarsDirect‘s numbers are right and Toyota sells approximately 10,000 plug-in hybrids every quarter as it is, the company may hit that 200,000 mark before the first Toyota bZ4X BEVs reach customers.

That’s not to say that bZ4X buyers will get nothing from the government when they buy their cars, just less. It works like this: the full $7,500 credit is available until the end of the quarter when the 200,000-unit mark is hit, and for two following quarters. After that, tax credit drops to $3750 (50% of the original) for the next two quarters, then down to $1875 for another two quarters.  After that, there will be no more tax credits Toyota-branded electrified vehicles.

How that will impact sales of Toyota’s first mainstream BEV crossover is anyone’s guess, but the association with EVGo seems to indicate that Toyota realizes this might become a problem in the near term. Another indication that Toyota is thinking ahead is the alliance with Subaru and, to a lesser extent, Mazda.

What About Subaru and Mazda

Courtesy of Subaru.

The Subaru Solterra EV is a mechanical twin to the Toyota bZ4X electric crossover, but – because it’s being sold as a Subaru – the Solterra will still be eligible for the full $7500 tax credit long after its Toyota-badged siblings. The same will probably also be true of the upcoming Mazda CX-50 hybrid and future Mazda BEVs, which are expected to lean heavily on Toyota for powertrain and battery components.

It’s worth noting, too, that Toyota Motor Credit handles financing for Mazda and Subaru customers in the US, so this is something that may have been on the cards for a long time, already. It makes sense, too. Toyota can keep building cars that qualify for the incentive, sell them to Mazda and Subaru, and Mazda and Subaru can sell them to dealers and end-users. It’s a win-win, assuming badge-engineering continues to get a pass.

In the meantime, the EVGo deal seems like it’s something to celebrate. “The arrival of our all-electric bZ4X marks an important step in our commitment towards electrifying 70% of our fleet by 2030. We want our bZ4X customers to enjoy a high-quality ownership experience that is as seamless and worry-free as possible,” said Christopher Yang, vice president, EV Charging Solutions, Toyota Motor North America. “Collaborating with EVgo, the nation’s largest public fast charging network [citation needed], will help provide bZ4X owners with access to a fast, reliable charge where and when they need it.”

Gotta give away something, I guess. What do you guys think – do “free” charging offers like Toyota’s get your attention, or will you be more likely to seek out similar hardware under a different brand name to keep the $7500? Let us know in the comments!

Source | Images: EVGo, via CarBuzz.


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