Under the right circumstances, the IRS can help you save on gas. The Feds have been offering tax incentives to increase fuel economy. One of the incentive programs is the Advanced Lean Burn Technology Vehicles credit. Here you will find a list of qualifying vehicles. So far they are all diesels from model year 2009. So if you have been considering buying a diesel car this could be you chance to do so and get a tax credit at the same time.
The IRS will only give out the money if you are the original buyer of the vehicle, so no buying used. Also the vehicle must be for your personal use and not for resale. The amount of the credit depends on the model you choose. Also the credit amount decreases as the automaker sells more and more of the vehicle. It drops to zero after the sale of 60,000 vehicles. So if you want a larger tax credit, it helps to buy sooner rather than later.
Why the "Lean Burn" in the tax credit title? It means that the engine operates with more air in the cylinder than is necessary to burn all the gas. There is extra air. This allows for higher compression ratios and lower airflow friction losses (or pumping loss) but produces NOx pollutants. However, modern catalytic converter systems are capable of treating these. Perhaps in the next post we will talk about lean burn technology for saving on gas.