Ford hybrid tax credits are going fast

Ford will soon launch the revitalized Fusion and Mercury Milan lines, continuing the pattern of ongoing improvements to these well-rated sedans. Highlighting the 2010 models is the addition of hybrid variants. Ford is touting a 41 mpg city, 36 mpg highway fuel economy rating for the Fusion hybrid—notably more efficient than the Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry hybrids based on EPA numbers. (Photo is from the 2008 LA Auto Show.)

These Ford Motor Company hybrids, along with the Escape and Mariner hybrid SUVs, are eligible for full tax credits if purchased or ordered before March 31st. After that time, the credits are reduced by 50 percent due to Ford crossing the 60,000-vehicle threshold that begins a scale-down process for tax credits. (See what vehicles are eligible and their credit amounts.)

Like all appealing incentives, there is a catch. Ford says the 2010 hybrids go on sale in the spring, though will not release a date. Spring begins March 20, less than two weeks before the tax credit is reduced.

A Ford representative explained that customers could order a vehicle prior to March 31st, to be delivered later, and still receive the credit. However, it may prove difficult, or even impossible, to secure a test drive prior.

In April, there will still be a significant credit available–$1,700. Ultimately, no matter which vehicle you are drawn to, if a tax credit is a significant factor, be sure to check with your accountant to ensure you can receive it based on your tax scenario. And remember, tax credits do not apply on a lease. (See “Hybrid cars and the vanishing tax credit.”)

Ford Hybrid tax credits
  1/1 – 3/31/09 4/1 – 9/30/09 10/1 – 3/31/10
2010 Fusion Hybrid $3,400 $1,700 $850
2010 Milan Hybrid 3,400 1,700 850
2009 Escape Hybrid FWD 3,000 1,500 750
2009 Escape Hybrid 4WD 1,950 975 487.50
2009 Mariner Hybrid FWD 3,000 1,500 750
2009 Mariner Hybrid 4WD 1,950 975 487.50

Learn more about the updated 2010 Fusion and read our 2009 Mercury Mariner First Drive.


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