GE Capital Solutions Fleet Services has announced an industry-first Hybrid Rebate Program for companies that lease hybrid vehicles. The rebate program is designed for customers that make significant investments in new technology aimed at improving their environmental performance.
Since the Energy Tax Incentives Act of 2005 became law, there has been confusion about how it relates to commercial vehicle fleets. Nearly $875 million of the Act's $14.5 billion is reserved for advanced vehicular technology projects such as hybrid tax credits. Despite this, leasing companies have been waiting for additional guidance from the IRS. "While it's unclear what may happen with future hybrid incentive programs from the IRS, we wanted to put a program together that would help our customers today," said Robert Kruger, commercial tax leader for GE Capital Solutions Fleet Services.
The program processes a rebate back to hybrid lease customers in a straightforward manner. The IRS sets the vehicle specific credit amounts and OEM specific phase-out requirements. Based on IRS regulations, GE Capital Solutions tracks eligible vehicles for its customers by utilizing PricewaterhouseCoooper's Like Kind Exchange Services group to calculate the hybrid credit based on eligible vehicles as reported by Polk's VIN validation service. GE Capital Solutions provides the allocated rebate to its customers and does not charge an additional administrative fee for the service. Based on this program, GE Capital Solutions approved more than $2.2 million in hybrid rebates for its customers in 2007.
John Righini, chief marketing officer for GE Capital Solutions Fleet Services, summed up the rationale behind the program, "We're always looking for ways to make technology adoption easier for our customers and this new program is an important step," Righini said. "We look forward to implementing additional initiatives that will help our customers 'go green.'"
GE is also working with the U.S. Department of Energy to develop smaller, lower cost, higher performing drivetrain motors for hybrid electric vehicles. In addition, GE is developing capacitors with higher power density and higher temperature capability. This helps reduce the vehicle's size, cost, and weight and also improves performance.