As you may be aware, the US Treasury Department came forward this week with its official guidelines for the newly revamped US federal EV tax credit. Unfortunately, the new rules mean most EVs no longer qualify for at least a portion of the credit. It seemed Rivian lost all potential eligibility, but now that has changed.
Reportedly, Rivian submitted updated paperwork to ensure that its customers could at least take advantage of a portion of the US EV tax credit going forward. Now, it appears that both the Rivian R1T electric pickup truck and the R1S three-row electric SUV will be eligible for a partial tax credit.
Gallery: 2022 Rivian R1S First Drive
Without getting into all the confusing details, essentially the new tax credit has numerous rules that make it difficult for EVs to qualify. There are caps on the price of the vehicles themselves, as well as the income of those purchasing them. These restrictions are in place to make it so the credit doesn't aim to benefit high-end luxury EVs bought by wealthier individuals, but rather, is geared to help the masses get into an "affordable" EV.
Rivian's initial EV offerings certainly aren't cheap, though it is working to bring much less expensive models to market. In addition to the price of the EVs, the rules make it so that they must be assembled in North America and their battery packs must also comply with specific assembly and materials sourcing guidelines.
The US Treasury says to be eligible for the EV tax credit, 40% of a vehicle's battery materials must come from the US, be recycled in North America, or come from a country with which the US has a free trade agreement. The battery materials percentage will grow over the years to encourage EV makers to find ways to source battery packs and materials domestically.
After the US Treasury noted that Rivian was among several automakers to lose access to the tax credit, Rivian submitted updated paperwork. As reported by WGLT and shared by Electrek, a Rivian spokesperson made the following statement earlier this week:
Rivian has submitted updated documentation to the IRS stating that its 2023 R1T and R1S models qualify for the critical minerals sourcing criteria within the Section 30D Clean Vehicle Tax Credit which took effect on April 18, 2023. We expect this eligibility to be reflected on the IRS website pending future updates.
Within one day of the documentation making its way to the IRS, it updated its website to show that the R1T and R1S are now each eligible for a $3,750 EV tax credit.
However, it's important to emphasize that even if a vehicle qualifies for a credit, it doesn't mean the buyer has the appropriate personal tax situation to benefit from it. Before taking delivery of any new EV or PHEV, be sure to consult with a tax professional and clarify all details ahead of finalizing the sale.