Bipartisan Bill to Promote Electrification of Off-Road Vehicles Introduced

The legislation is inspired in part by Minnesota’s Polaris Inc.

Rep. Dean Phillips (MN-03) announced the introduction of a bipartisan bill aimed at promoting electrification in the off-road vehicle market. H.R. 9481, the Michael F. Donoughe Tax Credit for Off Road Electric Vehicles Act, would promote a greener tomorrow by making electric vehicles more affordable. This end-user tax credit, similar to what already exists for automobiles, will enable middle-class consumers, farmers and small businesses to purchase electric off-road vehicles for work and recreation. Currently, less than 1% of off-road vehicles on the market are electric. 

“We didn’t leave the Stone Age because we ran out of rocks,” said Rep. Phillips. “We found a better way of doing things! Congress should support our transition to a green economy by providing incentives for American families and businesses who adopt new, efficient technology. I’m grateful to bipartisan colleagues and local innovators like Polaris for being partners in that effort and am looking forward to seeing more electric vehicles on, and off, the roads in Minnesota and across the country.” 

The legislation is named in memory of Polaris Chief Technology Officer Mike Donoughe, who passed away this summer and spearheaded electrification for Polaris, a Minnesota-based company.  

“The growth and interest in electrification is happening across various sectors and the off-road vehicle segment is no different,” said Polaris CEO Mike Speetzen.“We have seen the advantages that electric technology can provide to off-road vehicles and their performance, especially for those who use their vehicle for utility purposes. We believe the ‘Michael F. Donoughe Tax Credit for Off Road Electric Vehicles Act’ will help promote the electrification of off-road vehicles and make them more affordable to the agricultural and outdoor industry professional. On behalf of the entire Polaris team, we also are honored and deeply appreciative of Rep. Phillips’s decision to name the bill after the late Mike Donoughe, a Polaris leader who passed away unexpectedly last summer. Mike was truly passionate about advancing electrification in off-road vehicles and he played a guiding role in our efforts.”  

The legislation brings new, green choices within reach for agricultural and outdoor industry professionals in America’s heartland. Technology has made electric off-road vehicles the workhorses of the hauling, plowing and hunting industries on America’s farms, ranches and other locations with tough-to-navigate terrain. If enacted, the Michael F. Donoughe Tax Credit for Off Road Electric Vehicles Act would create a federal tax credit equal to 10% of the purchase price of a new qualified plug-in electric off-road vehicle, up to $2,500. Qualified off-road vehicles include:

  1. Off-highway vehicles designed primarily for non-road use and travel over rough terrain
  2. Vehicles propelled primarily by an electric motor which draws electricity from a battery with a capacity not less than 6 kilowatt hours
  3. Vehicles that achieve a speed of 40 mph
  4. Vehicles that weigh less than 3,500 pounds
  5. Vehicles that are assembled in North America
  6. Vehicles that are purchased after Dec. 31, 2022.

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