Consumers interested in electric vehicles are finding that there may be more potential benefits available than they first suspected.

Years ago one of the true selling points for plug-in vehicles was the tax credit that accompanied the purchase. Georgia, for instance, offers a $5,000 tax CREDIT while California offers a $5,000 tax REBATE. (Residents of these states need to read the fine print to understand exactly how much they stand to get back.)

In Tennessee this week, where Nissan has a plant that produces the all-electric Nissan Leaf, the state announced it is adding a second car model (the Chevy Volt) to its electric vehicle rebate program because the program has drawn fewer participants than expected.

The state will begin offering $2,500 rebates to owners of the Chevrolet Volt. One of the conditions of the program requires car owners to agree to allow data about how they use and charge their vehicles to be collected for a government-funded study.

That information is being gathered by California-based ECOtality, according to the Tennessean. The company received a $99 million stimulus grant from the U.S. Dept. of Energy and Tennessee added $2.5 million in matching grant money for the rebates.

Many other states offer tax credits and/or rebates too. In Illinois, for instance, an electric vehicle gets you a rebate of up to 80 percent of the vehicle's cost or $4,000, whichever is less.

States such as California, Colorado, Florida, New York and Virginia give these car owners access to high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes even if they do not meet the occupancy requirements.

In Arizona and Utah an electric vehicle gets you free parking and you get that in Sacramento too, (but not in the rest of California).

If you'd like to see the full list of benefits, click here:
Electric Car Offers state-by-state