Washington State BMW i3 REx Sales Tax Exemption – Finalized Guidelines Here

3 years ago by Eric Loveday 7

BMW i3 REx Is Sales Tax Exempt In Washington

BMW i3 REx Is Sales Tax Exempt In Washington

Three months ago, InsideEVs broke the news that the state of Washington would exempt the BMW i3 REx from sales tax.  Full guidelines for that sales tax exemption are now available online and posted below:

Chevy Volt Not Eligible For Exemption

Chevy Volt Not Eligible For Exemption

Does the retail sales tax exemption apply to electric vehicles with extended range gas generators/motors?

The Department of Revenue and the Department of Licensing worked together to look at whether electric vehicles that have additional small gas motors, such as the BMW i3 REx or the Chevrolet Volt, are eligible for the retail sales tax exemption under RCW 82.08.809 for clean alternative fuel vehicles.

To be eligible for the exemption, a vehicle must be “exclusively powered by a clean alternative fuel.” The agencies determined that the term “exclusively powered” refers only to a vehicle’s drive train/method of propulsion because the term “powered” addresses the part of the vehicle directly responsible for propulsion. Therefore, vehicles with an additional gas (or other non-clean alternative fuel) motor that satisfy the elements of the exemption in RCW 82.08.809 and the two requirements listed below will qualify for the retail sales tax exemption:

  • The vehicle is subject to the Department of Licensing’s Electric Vehicle Registration Fee, under RCW 46.17.323.
  • The non-clean alternative fuel motor does not power the vehicle’s drive train.

The BMW i3 REx meets both of these requirements and, therefore, qualifies as “exclusively powered by a clean alternative fuel” eligible for the exemption. The term “powered” addresses the part of the vehicle directly responsible for its propulsion.

The Chevrolet Volt, however, is not eligible for the retail sales tax exemption because it is not subject to the electric vehicle registration fee under RCW 46.17.323 and its gas motor powers the vehicle’s drive train at certain levels of battery depletion.

For a list of vehicles that are subject to the Electric Vehicle Registration Fee under RCW 46.17.323, please visit the West Coast Electric Highway website.

For even more info, follow this link to Washington’s Department of Revenue website.

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7 responses to "Washington State BMW i3 REx Sales Tax Exemption – Finalized Guidelines Here"

  1. QCO says:

    It’s unfortunate for the Volt that this poorly implemented exemption focuses on the internal mechanical design details rather than the functional capabilities of the vehicle.

    However GM can partially offset this by bringing “Sparky the Compliace Car” to a 3rd state. Might be a good opportunity to test their intentions.

  2. ggpa says:

    It looks like BMW hired better lobbyists than GM. Tortured logic like this is a sad reminder of how broken our political system is.

    1. mutle says:

      The fact that the carbon fiber for the car is produced in the state probably helped a lot.

  3. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

    So, if GM applied a firmware patch to disable mode 4 (and thus decrease efficiency), it’d qualify for a sales tax exemption?

    Good thinking!

    1. evnow says:

      Or they have to manufacture carbon fibers at Moses Lake 😉

  4. ModernMarvelFan says:

    “The non-clean alternative fuel motor does not power the vehicle’s drive train.”

    hmmm…

    Electrical power is still powering the drive train…

    Why do we allow government to set the “technology” goals?

  5. ModernMarvelFan says:

    “First up was Chad Magendanz, a regular tipster to InsideEVs who just so happens to be Washington state representative 5th District. Magendanz has on order a BMW i3 REx, so his interest in this topic is obvious.”

    Oh, nevermind… That explains it.

    Why WA state law is written in such way…