Kris Kringle, portrayed by Edmund Gwenn in the 1947 classic movie "Miracle on 34th Street." (via Giphy)
I'm a Christmas traditionalist.
OK, so I expand the traditional holiday season. We, at my urging, put up holiday decorations right after Halloween. We have a lot of them, so it takes time.
Plus, I'm a fan and nonresident celebrant of Canada's Thanksgiving. Our neighbors to the north's celebration of the harvest and other blessings of the past year falls on the second Monday of October, following a more North American seasonal shift. Even better, it provides a welcome space between Turkey Day and Dec. 25. The United States' decision to have two huge meals (and family gatherings) withing a month is so wrong on so many levels!
And yes, some of my Christmas traditions have a Texas take, like the Mexican folk art armadillo that follows the three wise men into the Nativity crèche and the barbed wire ornament in the shape of the Lone Star State.
But I hew to tradition when it comes to Santa Claus. Cookies and milk are left out on Christmas Eve for him, along with some carrots for the reindeer. We time it by following his flight path, available online courtesy NORAD.
From reindeer to electric power: I know St. Nick and his elves probably have modernized some of their holiday processes. But I hope he never changes his actual delivery system. I just can't see Kris Kringle in anything but a sleigh, like the one featured in the classic Christmas movie "Miracle on 34th Street" scene that tops this post.
The rest of us, however, might be updating our transportation options this holiday season, or soon after 2023 arrives thanks to tax breaks for alternative energy vehicles.
Old electric vehicle (EV) and plug-in hybrid tax benefits were revised as part of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The changes were rolled into what is now known as the Clean Vehicle Credit.
Generally, there's a new federal tax credit of up to $7,500 for buyers or qualifying vehicles. But the catch here is qualifying.
Among the Provisions in the new law is a requirement for final assembly in North America. The Treasury Department is still working on the EV guidance, but recently announced that it is delaying issuance of proposed guidelines for the sourcing of electric vehicle batteries until March 2023.
Holiday weekend shout outs: While we wait for that and more on the new law's energy-related changes, this weekend's Christmas Eve Saturday Shout Outs go to items that can help us map our EV claim route.
The U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center has a special web page on the intricacies of the Electric Vehicle (EV) and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) Tax Credit.
The DoE also has another online listing of EVs assembled in North America. That page links to the Department of Transportation's decoder (a website, not ring) that you can use to confirm a vehicle's build location by entering its vehicle identification number, or VIN.
Or if you're looking for one-stop EV information shopping, check out Electrek's comprehensive look at the tax credit changes and every electric vehicle that qualifies for the current and upcoming U.S. federal tax credit. It even has a flow chart —
Traditional, not alternative, Merry Christmas wishes: On this Christmas Eve, here's hoping you made Santa's nice list and find everything you asked for under your tree on Christmas Day.
And if you're considering giving yourself or a loved one a more environmentally friendly auto, I hope these Saturday Shout Out items help you be the best EV Santa ever.
You also might find these items of interest:
- New website has more on inflation act's energy tax breaks
- Road user fees becoming more popular as more EVs hit U.S. highways
- EV buyers prefer rebates to tax credit; switch could save Uncle Sam money, too