EV Tools and Tax Credits

Do you own a tire dealership that also repairs drivelines? Do you work in a state that wants to ban internal combustion engines? If not, are your future plans for your business considering that possibility?

If the government takes away fossil fuel-powered vehicles, would it make sense for elected officials to offer you job retraining? What about tax credits for retooling? Let me suggest a future that you can plan for now. Dismissing the idea that your career and business could become obsolete may not be in your best interest.

Let us look at other jobs. Would it be safe to say that a coal miner, oil rig operator or natural gas fitter are fossil fuel workers? I imagine we can all agree on that. We work with oil, gasoline and diesel for a living. Is a motor vehicle technician a fossil fuel worker? That's not much of a stretch. Those fluids are fossil fuels. When coal mines are closed, the men and women who are now out of work are offered retraining. This training is often subsidized by taxpayer money, both state and federal. Companies that offer these workers jobs in their own communities are often given incentives to build factories in that area. You may not agree with that practice, but it happens all the time.

Equipment, some quite expensive, is a large part of a shop’s capital expenses.

Purchasing and setting up alignment, ADAS and tire machines can create a $100,000 expense or more. Most shops expect this and plan ahead. The costs are high - both for the facility and a well-trained work force. I have never in my lifetime seen as much change happening so fast.

If you believe, as I do, that burning fossil fuels is a problem - I know many people are skeptical - and stopping the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles is necessary, why not ask for help from the politicians who are making the laws?

What does that look like? First, get the training you need to be ready for electric vehicles (EVs). Write your elected officials to help pay the cost of tuition. That is being done today in my home state of Massachusetts, but don’t stop there.

When the training is done, you will know what tools and equipment are needed. 

Why should the fossil fuel industry get tax breaks and you don’t? Certain tools could qualify for a tax credit. My company had a heat pump installed this year in our building to help burn less natural gas.

A $10,000 credit was paid by the state so the renewable electrical generation that is coming online can replace the carbon we used for well over a century. This also saves money heating and cooling the shop.

EV charging stations are being built out this year with more federal and state funds than ever before. If your tire store is in the correct location and you can give up a few parking spots, this may cost you nothing. A shop in Maryland years ago was in the right place at the right time and they have four chargers at their location, thanks to Uncle Sam. 

"As of January 1, 2023, the credit for qualified refueling property subject to depreciation equals 6% with a maximum credit of $100,000 for each single item of property.

"Businesses meeting prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements may be eligible for a 30% credit with the same $100,000 limit.

"For consumers who purchase and install qualified alternative fuel vehicle refueling property for their principal residence, including electric vehicle charging equipment, between December 31, 2022, and January 1, 2033, the tax credit equals 30% of the cost with a maximum amount of $1,000 per item.”

This refers to EV charging equipment.

Talk to your chamber of commerce, utility company, and city officials who want to see a future like this. They may be young and excited to help.

“Energetics will partner with Automotive Career Development Center (ACDC) to develop and deploy an upskilling workforce development program that will support fossil fuel workers currently employed as automotive technicians in their transition to servicing hybrid and electric vehicles.”

The above, italicized explanation is how my company ended up working with Massachusetts shop owners and technicians. Can that happen in your state? We've been in the high voltage training business since 2000. That is not a typo. Massachusetts had planned to ban the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2035 with a policy signed into law in August 2022.

About the Author

Craig Van Batenburg

Craig Van Batenburg is MTD's monthly EV Intelligence columnist and the owner of Van Batenburg's Garage Inc. dba Automotive Career Development Center, which provides training for facilities that service - or want to service - electric and hybrid vehicles. For more information, see www.fixhybrid.com or email Craig at [email protected].