California Laws and Incentives

Listed below are the summaries of all current California laws, incentives, regulations, funding opportunities, and other initiatives related to alternative fuels and vehicles, advanced technologies, or air quality. You can go directly to summaries of:

State Incentives

Natural Gas Vehicle Incentives

The Institute of Transportation Studies at University of California Irvine administers the Natural Gas Vehicle Incentive Project (NGVIP) to provide funding for qualified natural gas vehicles (NGVs). Eligible vehicles include new on-road natural gas light-, medium-, or heavy-duty vehicles that are fully warrantied and meet California Air Resources Board requirements. Each applicant must complete a NGVIP reservation form and receive a confirmed reservation before purchasing an eligible NGV. Each applicant may apply for up to 30 incentives. Vehicles must operate on natural gas at least 90% of the time for three years after purchase. Incentive amounts are based on the NGV's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) as follows:

GVWR (lbs.)Incentive Amount
Up to 8,500$1,000
8,501 - 16,000$6,000
16,001 - 26,000$11,000
26,001 - 33,000$20,000
33,001 & greater$25,000

The California Energy Commission Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) funds the NGVIP. For more information, including vehicle eligibility requirements and exclusions, see the NGVIP website. Funding availability is based on confirmed reservations. No funding is currently available, though applicants may be placed on a waitlist (verified October 2015).

Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) and Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Purchase Vouchers

Through the Hybrid Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP), the California Air Resources Board provides vouchers to eligible fleets to reduce the incremental cost of qualified medium- and heavy-duty HEVs and ZEVs at the time of purchase. Vouchers are available on a first-come, first-served basis and range from $12,000 to $110,000. Only fleets that operate vehicles in California are eligible. HVIP funds for the current year are still available (verified October 2015). For more information, including a list of qualified vehicles and other requirements, see the HVIP website.

Plug-In Hybrid and Zero Emission Light-Duty Vehicle Rebates

The Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) offers rebates for the purchase or lease of qualified vehicles. Qualified vehicles are light-duty zero emission and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles the California Air Resources Board (ARB) has approved or certified. Rebates are available on a first-come, first-served basis to individuals, business owners, and government entities in California that purchase or lease new eligible vehicles. Manufacturers must apply to ARB to have their vehicles included in the CVRP.

Vehicles purchased on or before March 28, 2016, are eligible for rebates of up to $5,000. For vehicles purchased on or after March 29, 2016, eligibility for the rebate for individuals is based on gross annual income, as stated on the individual's federal tax return. Individuals with a gross annual income above the following thresholds are only eligible for rebates for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs):

  • $250,000 for single filers
  • $240,000 for head-of-household filers
  • $500,000 for joint filers
For individuals with low and moderate household incomes of less than or equal to 300% of the federal poverty level, rebates are increased by $1,500, for a total rebate amount of up to $6,500. Increased rebates are available for ARB-approved FCEVs, battery electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

ARB determines annual funding amounts for the CVRP, which is expected to be effective through 2023. For more information, including information on income verification, a list of eligible vehicles, and how to apply, see the CVRP website.

(Reference California Health and Safety Code 44274 and 44258)

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Loan and Rebate Program

The Electric Vehicle Charging Station Financing Program (Program), part of the California Capital Access Program (CalCAP), provides loans for the design, development, purchase, and installation of EVSE at small business locations in California. The Program may provide up to 100% coverage to lenders on certain loan defaults. Lenders must apply to the California Pollution Control Financing Authority (CPCFA) to participate and enroll each qualified EVSE loan through CalCAP. Upon approval, CPCFA will pay a premium into the lender's loan loss reserve account for up to 20% of the loan amount and contribute an additional 10% for installations in multi-unit dwellings and disadvantaged communities.

Small businesses are eligible for a rebate of 50% of the loan loss reserve amount after the small business repays the loan in full or meets monthly payment deadlines over a 48-month period. Eligible borrowers must be small businesses with 1,000 or fewer employees and must maintain legal control of the EVSE for the entire loan period. The maximum loan amount is $500,000 per qualified small business and can be insured for up to four years.

The California Energy Commission funds the Program. For more information, including EVSE technical requirements and eligibility requirements for both borrowers and lenders, see the Program website.

Plug-In Hybrid and Zero Emission Light-Duty Public Fleet Vehicle Fleet Rebates

The Public Fleet Pilot Project (PFPP) offers rebates to eligible state and local public entities for the purchase of qualified light-duty fleet vehicles located in disadvantaged communities. The rebates are for up to $5,250 for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, $10,000 for battery electric vehicles, and $15,000 for fuel-cell electric vehicles the California Air Resources Board (ARB) has certified. Rebates are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Manufacturers must apply to ARB to have their vehicles included in the PFPP. Each entity may receive up to 30 rebates annually and cannot receive California Vehicle Rebate Project incentives for the same vehicle. For more information, including a list of eligible vehicles, locations, and entities, see the PFPP website. (Reference California Health and Safety Code 44274 and 44258)

Alternative Fuel and Vehicle Incentives

The California Energy Commission (CEC) administers the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) to provide financial incentives for businesses, vehicle and technology manufacturers, workforce training partners, fleet owners, consumers, and academic institutions with the goal of developing and deploying alternative and renewable fuels and advanced transportation technologies. The CEC must prepare and adopt an annual Investment Plan for the ARFVTP to establish funding priorities and opportunities that reflect program goals and to describe how program funding will complement other public and private investments. Funded projects include:

  • Commercial alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) demonstrations and deployment;
  • Alternative and renewable fuel production;
  • Research and development of alternative and renewable fuels and innovative technologies;
  • AFV manufacturing;
  • Workforce training; and
  • Public education, outreach, and promotion.
The program will be available until January 1, 2024. For more information, see the ARFVTP website. (Reference California Health and Safety Code 44270-44274.7 and California Code of Regulations, Title 13, Chapter 8.1)

High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) and High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lane Exemption

Compressed natural gas (CNG), hydrogen, electric, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) meeting specified California and federal emissions standards and affixed with a California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Clean Air Vehicle sticker may use HOV lanes regardless of the number of occupants in the vehicle. White Clean Air Vehicle Stickers are available to an unlimited number of qualifying CNG, hydrogen, and electric vehicles. Green Clean Air Vehicle Stickers are available for the first 85,000 applicants that purchase or lease a qualified PHEV. Both stickers will expire January 1, 2019. These vehicles are also eligible for reduced rates or exemptions from toll charges imposed on HOT lanes. As of December 18, 2015, the Green Clean Air Vehicle Stickers limit was reached. The DMV continues to accept applications without payment should additional stickers be authorized. For more information, including a list of qualifying vehicles, see the California Air Resources Board Carpool Lane Use Stickers website. (Reference California Vehicle Code 5205.5 and 21655.9)

Voluntary Vehicle Retirement Incentives

Through the California Bureau of Automotive Repair's (Bureau) Consumer Assistance Program (CAP), the owner of a personal motor vehicle may receive $1,500 to retire the vehicle early from operation. Owners must meet low-income eligibility requirements, must successfully complete a smog test (pass or fail) within 180 days of application, and may only retire one vehicle annually. An eligible vehicle must be registered in the state without substantial lapse for at least two years prior to retirement. The owner must retire the vehicle at a dismantler under contract with the Bureau. The Bureau also offers financial assistance of up to $500 toward emissions-related repairs for vehicles remaining in service that cannot pass the biennial smog check inspection. For more information, additional eligibility requirements and, application materials, see the CAP website. (Reference California Health and Safety Code 44062.3 and 44125)

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) and Fueling Infrastructure Grants

The Motor Vehicle Registration Fee Program (Program) provides funding for projects that reduce air pollution from on- and off-road vehicles. Eligible projects include purchasing AFVs and developing alternative fueling infrastructure. Contact local air districts and see the Program website for more information about available grant funding and distribution from the Program. (Reference California Health and Safety Code 44220 (b))

Emissions Reductions Grants

The Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program (Program) provides incentives to cover the incremental cost of purchasing engines and equipment that are cleaner than required by law. Eligible projects include heavy-duty fleet modernization, light-duty vehicle replacements and retrofits, idle reduction technology, off-road vehicle and equipment purchases, and alternative fuel and electric vehicle infrastructure projects. The Program provides funds for significant near-term reductions in nitrogen oxide emissions, reactive organic gases, and particulate matter emissions. Funding is available until January 1, 2024. Contact local air districts for more information about grant funding availability and distribution. Also see the Program website.

The California Air Resources Board, in consultation with local air districts, must convene working groups to evaluate the Program's policies and goals.

(Reference Senate Bill 513, 2015, and California Health and Safety Code 44275-44299.2)

Point of Contact
Diesel Hotline
California Air Resources Board
Phone: (866) 6DIESEL (634-3735)
8666diesel@arb.ca.gov

Heavy-Duty Vehicle Emissions Reduction Grants

The Goods Movement Emission Reduction Program (Program) provides funding for projects that reduce emissions from freight movement in the state, including heavy-duty truck replacement, repower, or retrofit; and truck stop electrification infrastructure development. For more information about funding application opportunities, see the Program website. (Reference California Health and Safety Code 39625-39627.5)

Point of Contact
Goods Movement Emission Reduction Program
California Air Resources Board
Phone: (916) 44-GOODS (444-6637)
gmbond@arb.ca.gov
http://www.arb.ca.gov/gmbond

Low Emissions School Bus Grants

The Lower-Emission School Bus Program (Program) provides grant funding for the replacement of older school buses and for the purchase of air pollution control equipment for in-use buses. The California Air Resources Board must verify that the air pollution control devices reduce particulate matter emissions by at least 85% for each retrofitted school bus. Public school districts in California that own their buses are eligible to receive funding. Private school transportation providers that contract with public school districts in California to provide transportation services are also eligible to receive funding for the retrofit of in-use buses. New buses purchased to replace older buses may be fueled with diesel or an alternative fuel, provided that the required emissions standards specified in the current guidelines for the Program are met. Funds are also available for replacing on-board natural gas tanks on older school buses and for updating deteriorating natural gas fueling infrastructure. Commercially available hybrid electric school buses may be eligible for partial funding. For more information, see the Program website and contact local air districts to confirm funding availability. (Reference California Health and Safety Code 41081 and 44099)

Point of Contact
Lisa Jennings
Air Pollution Specialist, Lower-Emission School Bus Program
California Air Resources Board
Phone: (916) 322-6913
Fax: (916) 322-3923
lisa.jennings@arb.ca.gov
http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/schoolbus/schoolbus.htm

Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Career Training

The Clean Technology and Renewable Energy Job Training, Career Technical Education, and Dropout Prevention Program provides grant funding to school districts for occupational training programs that focus on employment in clean technology and renewable energy businesses, such as clean vehicle technologies, and cellulosic ethanol, biodiesel, biomass power, green waste, and fuel cell production. This program is subject to funding appropriation. (Reference California Education Code 54690-54699)

Advanced Transportation Tax Exclusion

The California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAEATFA) provides a sales and use tax exclusion for qualified manufacturers of advanced transportation products, components, or systems that reduce pollution and energy use and promote economic development. Incentives are not available after December 31, 2020. For more information, including application materials, see the CAEATFA Sales and Use Tax Exclusion Program website. (Reference Assembly Bill 1269, 2015, and California Public Resources Code 26000-26017)

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Electricity Tax Exemption for Transit Use

CNG and electricity that local agencies or public transit operators use as motor vehicle fuel to operate public transit services is exempt from applicable user taxes a county imposes. (Reference California Revenue and Taxation Code 7284.3)

Residential Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Financing Program

Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing allows property owners to borrow funds to pay for energy improvements, including purchasing and installing EVSE. The borrower repays over a defined period of time through a special assessment on the property. Local governments in California are authorized to establish PACE programs. Property owners must agree to a contractual assessment on the property tax bill, have a clean property title, and be current on property taxes and mortgages. Financing limits are 15% of the first $700,000 of the property value and 10% of the remaining property value. For more information, see the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority PACE website. (Reference California Public Resources Code 26050-26082)

Vehicle Emissions Reduction Grants - Sacramento

The Sacramento Emergency Clean Air and Transportation (SECAT) Program provides grants to offset the costs of projects that reduce on-road emissions within the Sacramento federal ozone nonattainment area. Eligible projects include upgrades and exchanges of heavy-duty diesel vehicles with vehicles compliant with Air Resources Board diesel regulations. Other advanced technology implementation projects may also qualify. For more information, including current funding opportunities, see the SECAT website. (Reference California Health and Safety Code 44299.50-44299.55)

Point of Contact
Kristian Damkier
Associate Air Quality Engineer
Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District
Phone: (916) 874-4892
Fax: (916) 874-4899
kdamkier@airquality.org
http://www.4secat.com/

Employer Invested Emissions Reduction Funding - South Coast

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) administers the Air Quality Investment Program (AQIP). AQIP provides funding to allow employers within SCAQMD's jurisdiction to make annual investments into an administered fund to meet employers' emissions reduction targets. The revenues collected are used to fund alternative mobile source emissions and trip reduction programs, including alternative fuel vehicle projects, on an on-going basis. Programs such as low emission, alternative fuel, or zero emission vehicle procurement and old vehicle scrapping may be considered for funding. For more information, including current requests for proposals and funding opportunities, see the AQIP website.

Point of Contact
Vasken Yardemian
Senior Staff Specialist
South Coast Air Quality Management District
Phone: (909) 396-3296
Fax: (909) 396-3252
vyardemian@aqmd.gov
http://www.aqmd.gov/home/programs/business/business-detail?title=air-quality-investment-program

Technology Advancement Funding - South Coast

The South Coast Air Quality Management District's (SCAQMD) Clean Fuels Program provides funding for research, development, demonstration, and deployment projects that are expected to help accelerate the commercialization of advanced low emission transportation technologies. Eligible projects include powertrains and energy storage or conversion devices (e.g., fuel cells and batteries), and implementation of clean fuels (e.g., natural gas, propane, and hydrogen), including the necessary infrastructure. Projects are selected via specific requests for proposals on an as-needed basis or through unsolicited proposals. For more information, see the SCAQMD Research, Development, and Demonstration website.

Voluntary Vehicle Retirement Incentives - San Joaquin Valley and South Coast

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and the South Coast Air Quality Management District administer the Enhanced Fleet Modernization Program (EFMP) Pilot Retire and Replace program, providing incentives to replace a vehicle eligible for retirement with a more fuel-efficient vehicle. Used vehicles must be no more than eight years old and applicants must live in the San Joaquin Valley or South Coast air basins. Eligible replacement vehicles must meet a minimum fuel economy average by model year or average at least 35 miles per gallon (mpg). Alternative fuel vehicles are also eligible, including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and zero emission vehicles (ZEVs). Funding for alternative transportation mobility options, such as public transportation or car sharing, is also available in lieu of purchasing another vehicle. The incentive amounts vary by income level as compared to the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and replacement vehicle type.

Income EligibilityVehicle <8 YearsFuel Economy >35 mpgPHEV or ZEVAlternative Transportation Mobility Option
Low Income (<225% FPL)$4,000$4,500$4,500$4,500 Value
Moderate Income (<300% FPL)Not Eligible$3,500$3,500$3,500 Value
Above Moderate Income (<400% FPL)Not EligibleNot Eligible$2,500$2,500 Value

For more information, including eligible vehicles and applicable requirements, see the California Air Resources Board website. (Reference California Health and Safety Code 44062.3 and 44125)

Hybrid and Zero Emission Truck and Bus Vouchers - San Joaquin Valley

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) contributed funds to the California Hybrid and Zero Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) for eligible vehicles used in the eight-county San Joaquin Valley Air Basin. These "plus-up" vouchers range from $12,000 to $30,000, depending on the vehicle, and are in addition to California Air Resources Board voucher amounts. Vehicles must be domiciled in the air basin 100% of the time for at least three years. For more information, see the San Joaquin Valley Plus-Up website.

Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Rebate - San Joaquin Valley

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) administers the Drive Clean! Rebate Program, which provides rebates for the purchase or lease of eligible new vehicles, including qualified natural gas, hydrogen fuel cell, propane, zero emission motorcycles, battery electric, neighborhood electric, and plug-in electric vehicles. The program offers rebates of up to $3,000, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis for residents and businesses located in the SJVAPCD. For more information, including a list of eligible vehicles and other requirements, see the SJVAPCD Drive Clean! Rebate Program website.

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Incentives - San Joaquin Valley

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District administers the Public Benefit Grant Program, which provides funding to cities, counties, special districts (such as water districts and irrigation districts), and public educational institutions for the purchase of new AFVs, including electric, natural gas, and propane vehicles, as well as hybrid electric vehicles. The maximum grant amount allowed per vehicle is $20,000, with a limit of $100,000 per agency per year. Projects are considered on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information, see the Public Benefit Grant Program website.

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Incentives - San Joaquin Valley

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) administers the Charge Up! Program, which provides funding for public agencies and businesses for the purchase and installation of new, publicly accessible EVSE. A single port Level 2 station is eligible for up to $5,000 per unit, and a dual port Level 2 station may receive up to $6,000 per unit. There is an annual funding cap of $50,000 per applicant. Applicants interested in funding for DC fast charging infrastructure should contact SJVAPCD to review project eligibility. For more information, including application requirements and restrictions, see the Charge Up! Program website.

Heavy-Duty Truck Vouchers - San Joaquin Valley

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) administers the Truck Voucher Program (TVP) for small businesses to retrofit or replace existing heavy-duty trucks. Qualified businesses must be independently owned and operated, be located in California, have fewer than 100 employees, and have an annual gross income of $14 million or less during the year of their application. Vouchers funded under these programs must achieve emissions reductions beyond those required by law or regulation. Applications for the programs can be obtained and submitted at an SJVAPCD certified dealership or retrofit installer. Applications will be accepted on a continual basis until funding for the program is exhausted. Applicants must be awarded a voucher from the SJVAPCD prior to ordering and/or purchasing the replacement truck or equipment. Other rules and conditions apply. For more information on program requirements, refer to the SJVAPCD Grants and Incentives website.

Low Emission Vehicle Incentives and Technical Training - San Joaquin Valley

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) administers the REMOVE II program, which provides incentives for cost-effective projects that result in motor vehicle emissions reductions and long-term impacts on air pollution in the San Joaquin Valley. REMOVE II is providing funding for vanpool agencies that reduce or replace single occupant vehicle commutes in the San Joaquin Valley. To participate, vanpool agencies must submit an application to SJVAPCD and sign a contract to become a Vanpool Voucher Incentive Program partner. REMOVE II also includes an Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Mechanic Training Component that provides incentives to educate personnel on the mechanics, operation safety, and maintenance of AFVs, fueling stations, and tools involved in the implementation of alternative fuel technologies. For more information, see the REMOVE II website, the Vanpool Voucher Incentive Program and the AFV Mechanic Training Component website.

Air Quality Improvement Program Funding - Ventura County

The Ventura County Air Pollution Control District (VCAPCD) administers the Clean Air Fund, which provides grants for qualified air quality improvement projects located in Ventura County. The Clean Air Fund Advisory Committee is interested in projects that will have significant emissions reduction impacts or support innovative air pollution reduction technologies. For more information, see the VCAPCD Clean Air Fund website.

Point of Contact
Stan Cowen
Air Quality Engineer
Ventura County Air Pollution Control District
Phone: (805) 645-1408
Fax: (805) 645-1444
stan@vcapcd.org
http://www.vcapcd.org/grant_programs.htm

Utility/Private Incentives

Propane Vehicle Rebates - Western Propane Gas Association (WPGA)

Rebates of $500 are available to public and private fleets to purchase or convert a qualified propane vehicle. Recipients must provide monthly product performance information. All conversion systems for vehicles must be certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the California Air Resources Board. All vehicles must be registered and operated in California. Incentives are available on a first-come, first-served basis or until December 31, 2015. Additional terms and conditions apply. For more information, see the Western Propane Gas Association website.

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate - LADWP

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) provides rebates to commercial and residential customers toward the purchase of Level 2 or DC fast charge EVSE. Commercial customers who purchase and install EVSE for employee and public use can receive $750, $1,000, or $15,000, depending on the charger type. Residential customers who purchase or lease qualifying plug-in electric vehicles can receive $750. EVSE must be installed within the LADWP service area; rebates do not cover the cost of installation. Rebates are available to the first 2,000 approved customers. The program will be in effect through December 31, 2015, or until funds are exhausted, whichever occurs first. For program guidelines and application materials, see the Charge Up L.A.! website.

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging Rate Reduction - SMUD

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) offers two discounted pricing plans to residential customers who charge PEVs. Options include whole house and dedicated meter plans. For more information, see the SMUD PEV Pricing Plans website.

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging Rate Reduction - LADWP

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) offers a $0.025 per kilowatt discount for electricity used to charge PEVs during off-peak times. Residential customers who install a separate time-of-use meter panel will also receive a $250 credit. For more information, see the LADWP Electric Vehicle Incentives website.

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging Rate Reduction - SCE

Southern California Edison (SCE) offers a discounted rate to customers for electricity used to charge PEVs. Two rate schedules are available for PEV charging during on- and off-peak hours, the Residential Time-of-Use Plan and the Electric Vehicle Plan. For more information, see the SCE Electric Vehicle Residential Rates website.

Clean Vehicle Electricity and Natural Gas Rate Reduction - PG&E

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) offers discounted Residential Time-of-Use rates for electricity used for plug-in electric vehicle charging. Discounted rates are also available for compressed or uncompressed natural gas used in natural gas vehicle (NGV) home fueling appliances. For more information, see the PG&E Electric Vehicle Rate Options and NGV Rates websites.

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) and Natural Gas Infrastructure Charging Rate Reduction - SDG&E

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) offers lower rates to customers for electricity used to charge PEVs. SDG&E's PEV Time-of-Use rates are available in two variations: EV-TOU-2 bills home and vehicle electricity use on a single meter; and EV-TOU bills vehicle electricity use separately, requiring the installation of a second meter. Lower rates are also available to customers who own a natural gas vehicle and use a qualified compressed natural gas fueling appliance at home. For more information about PEV Time-of-Use rates, see the SDG&E EV Rates and NGV Rates website.

Natural Gas Rate Reduction - SoCalGas

Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) offers natural gas at discounted rates to customers fueling natural gas vehicles (NGVs). G-NGVR, Natural Gas Service for Home Fueling of Motor Vehicles, is available to residential customers; G-NGV, Natural Gas Service for Motor Vehicles, is available to commercial customers. For more information, see the SoCalGas NGVs website.

Biofuel Volume Rebate Program - Propel Fuels

Propel Fuels offers a rebate to qualified fleet customers for monthly purchases of more than 500 gallons of biodiesel blends and E85. Fleet customers must purchase the fuel directly from Propel public retail locations using the Propel CleanDrive Fleet Card. The program offers a rebate of $0.03 per gallon for purchases of less than 1,000 gallons of biofuel per month, and $0.05 per gallon for purchases of 1,000 gallons or more per month. The rebate is applied at the end of each monthly billing cycle. For more information, see the Propel Clean Fleet Solution website.

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) and Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) Insurance Discount

Farmers Insurance provides a discount of up to 10% on all major insurance coverage for HEV and AFV owners. To qualify, the automobile must be a dedicated AFV using ethanol, compressed natural gas, propane, or electricity, or be a HEV. A complete vehicle identification number is required to validate vehicle eligibility. For more information, see the Farmers California Insurance Discounts website.

Laws and Regulations

Establishment of a Zero Emission Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicle Program

The California Clean Truck, Bus, and Off-Road Vehicle and Equipment Technology Program (Program) will provide funding for zero and near-zero emission heavy-duty vehicles, including vocational trucks, short- and long-haul trucks, buses, and eligible off-road vehicles and equipment. The Program is expected to provide $12 million to $20 million in funding annually through January 1, 2018. At least 20% of allocated funds must go towards early commercial deployment of eligible vehicles and equipment. The California Air Resources Board and the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission will develop and administer the Program. Remanufactured and retrofitted vehicles meeting warranty and emissions requirements may also qualify for funding. (Reference California Health and Safety Code 39719.2)

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Policies for Residential and Commercial Renters

The lessor of a dwelling or commercial property must approve written requests from a lessee to install EVSE at a parking space allotted for the lessee on qualified properties. Certain exclusions apply to residential dwellings and commercial properties. All modifications and improvements must comply with federal, state, and local laws and all applicable zoning and land use requirements, covenants, conditions, and restrictions. The lessee of the parking space equipped with EVSE is responsible for the cost of the installation, maintenance, repair, removal, or replacement of the equipment, electricity consumption, as well as any resulting damage to the EVSE or surrounding area. The lessee must also maintain a $1 million umbrella liability coverage policy and name the common interest development as an additional insured entity under the policy. (Reference California Civil Code 1947.6 and 1952.7)

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Initiative

The California Air Resources Board's (ARB) Charge Ahead California Initiative will work toward a goal of placing in service at least 1 million ZEVs and near-zero emission vehicles in California by January 1, 2023. In consultation with the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, ARB will prepare a funding plan that includes a market and technology assessment, assessments of existing zero and near-zero emission funding programs, and programs that increase access to disadvantaged, low-income, and moderate-income communities and consumers. Potential programs include those involving innovative financing, car sharing, charging infrastructure in multi-unit dwellings in disadvantaged communities, and public transit. The funding plan must be updated at least every three years through January 1, 2023. (Reference California Health and Safety Code 44258.4)

Hydrogen Fueling Station Evaluation

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) may not enforce any element of regulations that would require a supplier to construct, operate, or provide funding to construct or operate a publicly available hydrogen fueling station.

Annually, ARB must aggregate and share the number of hydrogen vehicles that manufacturers project will be sold or leased over the next three years and the total number of hydrogen vehicle registered in the state. Based on this information, ARB must evaluate the need for additional publicly available hydrogen fueling stations for the subsequent three years and report findings to the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission (Commission) including the of number of stations, geographic areas where stations are needed, and minimum operating standards, such as number of dispensers and filling pressures.

The Commission will allocate up to $20 million per year to fund the number of stations deemed necessary based on ARB's evaluation and reports. The Commission may stop funding new stations if it determines, in consultation with ARB, that the private sector is developing publicly available stations without the need for government support.

On or before December 31, 2015, and annually thereafter, the Commission and ARB must jointly review and report on progress toward establishing a hydrogen fueling station network that meets the needs of vehicles being used in the state. The review will determine the remaining cost and time required to establish a network of 100 publicly available hydrogen fueling stations and whether funding from the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program is necessary to achieve this goal.

(Reference California Health and Safety Code 43018.9)

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Open Access Requirements

EVSE service providers may not charge a subscription fee or require membership for use of their public charging stations. In addition, providers must disclose the actual charges for using public EVSE at the point of sale; allow at least two options for payment; and disclose the EVSE geographic location, schedule of fees, accepted methods of payment, and network roaming charges to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Exceptions apply.

The California Air Resources Board may adopt interoperability billing standards for network roaming payment methods for EVSE. Providers would be required to meet these standards within one year of adoption.

(Reference California Health and Safety Code 44268 and 44268.2)

Mandatory Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Building Standards

The California Building Standards Commission (Commission) published mandatory building standards for EVSE installation in parking spaces at multi-family dwellings and non-residential developments in the 2013 edition of the California Building Standards Code within the California Green Building Standards Code. For more information, see the California Building Codes Standards Commission Approved Standards website. (Reference California Health and Safety Code 18941.10)

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Parking Incentive Programs

The California Department of General Services (DGS) and California Department of Transportation (DOT) must develop and implement AFV parking incentive programs in public parking facilities operated by DGS with 50 or more parking spaces and park-and-ride lots owned and operated by DOT. The incentives must provide meaningful and tangible benefits to drivers, such as preferential spaces, reduced fees, and fueling infrastructure. Fueling infrastructure built at park-and-ride lots is not subject to restricted use by those using bicycles, public transit, or ridesharing. (Reference California Public Resources Code 25722.9)

Public Utility Definition

A corporation or individual that owns, controls, operates, or manages a facility that supplies electricity to the public exclusively to charge light-duty battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, compressed natural gas to fuel natural gas vehicles, or hydrogen as a motor vehicle fuel is not defined as a public utility. (Reference Assembly Bill 109, 2015, and California Public Utilities Code 216)

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging Electricity Exemption

Electricity used to charge PEVs at a state-owned parking facility is exempt from California law prohibiting gifting public money or things of value. (Reference California Government Code 14678)

State Agency Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Installation

State Agency Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Installation California state agencies must actively identify and pursue opportunities to install EVSE, and accommodate future EVSE demand, at state employee parking facilities in new and existing agency buildings. (Reference Executive Order B-18-12, 2012)

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Local Permitting Policies

A city or county with a population of 200,000 or more residents must adopt an ordinance that creates an expedited, streamlined permitting process for EVSE by September 30, 2016. A city or county with a population of fewer than 200,000 residents must adopt such an ordinance by September 30, 2017. The city or county will consult with the local fire department or district and the utility director to develop the ordinance, which will include a checklist of all requirements for EVSE to be eligible for expedited review. A complete application that is consistent with the city or county ordinance must be approved, and entities submitting incomplete applications must be notified of the necessary required information to be granted expedited permit issuance. (Reference Assembly Bill 1236, 2015)

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Policies for Multi-Unit Dwellings

A common interest development, including a community apartment, condominium, and cooperative development, may not prohibit or restrict the installation or use of EVSE in a homeowner's designated parking space. These entities may put reasonable restrictions on EVSE, but the policies may not significantly increase the cost of the EVSE or significantly decrease its efficiency or performance. If installation in the homeowner's designated parking space is not possible, with authorization, the homeowner may add EVSE in a common area for their use. The homeowner must obtain appropriate approvals from the common interest development association and agree in writing to comply with applicable architectural standards, engage a licensed installation contractor, provide a certificate of insurance, and pay for the electricity usage associated with the EVSE. Any application for approval should be processed by the common interest development association without willful avoidance or delay. The homeowner and each successive homeowner of the parking space equipped with EVSE is responsible for the cost of the installation, maintenance, repair, removal, or replacement of the station, as well as any resulting damage to the EVSE or surrounding area. The homeowner must also maintain a $1 million umbrella liability coverage policy and name the common interest development as an additional insured entity under the policy. If EVSE is installed in a common area for use by all members of the association, the common interest development must develop terms for use of the EVSE. (Reference California Civil Code 4745 and 6713)

Access to Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Registration Records

The California Department of Motor Vehicles may disclose to an electrical corporation or local publicly owned utility a PEV owner's address and vehicle type if the information is used exclusively to identify where the PEV is registered. (Reference California Vehicle Code 1808.23)

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Infrastructure Information Resource

The California Energy Commission, in consultation with the Public Utilities Commission, must develop and maintain a website containing specific links to electrical corporations, local publicly owned electric utilities, and other websites that contain information specific to PEVs, including the following:

  • Resources to help consumers determine if their residences will require utility service upgrades to accommodate PEVs;
  • Basic charging circuit requirements;
  • Utility rate options; and
  • Load management techniques.
(Reference California Public Resources Code 25227)

Biomethane Promotion

The California Public Utility Commission (Commission) must adopt policies and programs to promote in-state production and distribution of biomethane to meet energy and transportation needs. (Reference California Public Utilities Code 399.24)

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Promotion Plan

All state agencies must support and facilitate the rapid commercialization of ZEVs in California. In particular, the California Air Resources Board, California Energy Commission, Public Utilities Commission, and other relevant state agencies must work with the Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative and the California Fuel Cell Partnership to establish benchmarks to achieve targets for ZEV commercialization. These targets include:

  • By 2015, all major metropolitan areas in California will be able to accommodate ZEVs and have infrastructure plans and streamlined permitting in place;
  • By 2020, the state will have established adequate infrastructure to support one million ZEVs;
  • By 2025, there will be 1.5 million ZEVs on the road in California and clean, efficient vehicles will displace 1.5 billion gallons of petroleum fuels annually; and
  • By 2050, greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector will be 80% less than 1990 levels.
The ZEV promotion plan also directs the state fleet to increase the number of ZEVs in the fleet through gradual vehicle replacement. By 2015, ZEVs should make up at least 10% of fleet light-duty vehicle (LDV) purchases and by 2020, at least 25% of fleet LDV purchases should be ZEVs. Vehicles with special performance requirements necessary for public safety and welfare are exempt from this requirement.

(Reference Executive Order B-16, 2012)

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Deployment Support

California joined Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont in signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to support the deployment of ZEVs through involvement in a ZEV Program Implementation Task Force (Task Force). In May 2014, the Task Force published a ZEV Action Plan (Plan) identifying 11 priority actions to accomplish the goals of the MOU, including deploying at least 3.3 million ZEVs and adequate fueling infrastructure within the signatory states by 2025. The Plan also includes a research agenda to inform future actions. On an annual basis, each state must report on the number of registered ZEVs, the number of public electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) and hydrogen fueling stations, and available information regarding workplace fueling for ZEVs. Each state also committed to:

  • Support ZEV commercialization through consistent statewide building codes and standards for installing EVSE, streamlined metering options for homes equipped with EVSE, opportunities to reduce vehicle operating costs, increased electric system efficiency through time-of-use electricity rates and net metering for electric vehicles, and integrating ZEVs with renewable energy initiatives;
  • Establish ZEV purchase targets for governmental agency fleets, explore opportunities for coordinated vehicle and fueling station equipment procurement, work to provide public access to government fleet fueling stations, and include commitments to use ZEVs in state contracts with auto dealers and car rental companies where appropriate;
  • Evaluate the need for, and effectiveness of, monetary incentives to reduce the upfront purchase price of ZEVs as well as non-monetary incentives, such as high occupancy vehicle lane access, reduced tolls, and preferential parking, and pursue these incentives as appropriate;
  • Work to develop uniform standards to promote ZEV consumer acceptance and awareness, industry compliance, and economies of scale, including adopting universal signage, common methods of payment and interoperability of EVSE networks, and reciprocity among states for non-monetary ZEV incentives;
  • Cooperate with vehicle manufacturers, electricity and hydrogen providers, the fueling infrastructure industry, corporate fleet owners, financial institutions, and others to encourage ZEV market growth;
  • Share research and develop a coordinated education and outreach campaign to highlight the benefits of ZEVs, including collaboration with related national and regional initiatives; and
  • Assess and develop potential deployment strategies and infrastructure requirements for the commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

For more information, see the Multi-State ZEV Task Force website.

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging Requirements

New PEVs must be equipped with a conductive charger inlet port that meets the specifications contained in Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) standard J1772. PEVs must be equipped with an on-board charger with a minimum output of 3.3 kilovolt amps. These requirements do not apply to PEVs that are only capable of Level 1 charging, which has a maximum power of 12 amperes (amps), a branch circuit rating of 15 amps, and continuous power of 1.44 kilowatts. (Reference California Code of Regulations Title 13, Section 1962.3)

Low Carbon Fuel Standard

California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Program requires a reduction in the carbon intensity of transportation fuels that are sold, supplied, or offered for sale in the state by a minimum of 10% by 2020. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) regulations require transportation fuel producers and importers to meet specified average carbon intensity requirements for fuel. In the regulations, carbon intensity reductions are based on reformulated gasoline mixed with 10% corn-derived ethanol and low-sulfur diesel fuel. Liquefied petroleum gas (propane) is exempt from LCFS requirements, as are non-biomass-based alternative fuels that are supplied in California for use in transportation at an aggregated volume of less than 3.6 million gasoline gallon equivalents per year. Other exemptions apply for transportation fuel used in specific applications. The LCFS Program allows producers and importers to generate, acquire, transfer, bank, borrow, and trade credits. Fuel producers and importers regulated under the LCFS must meet quarterly and annual reporting requirements. For more information, see the LCFS Program website. (Reference California Code of Regulations Title 17, Section 95480-95490; Executive Order S-01-07, 2007; and California Health and Safety Code 38500-38599)

State Agency Low Carbon Fuel Use Requirement

Beginning January 1, 2017, at least 3% of the aggregate amount of bulk transportation fuel purchased by the state government must be from very low carbon transportation fuel sources. Beginning January 1, 2018, the required amount of very low carbon transportation fuel purchased will increase by 1% annually until January 1, 2024. Some exemptions may apply, as determined by the California Department of General Services (DGS). Very low carbon fuel is defined as a transportation fuel having no greater than 40% of the carbon intensity of the closest comparable petroleum fuel for that year, as measured by the methodology in California Code of Regulations Title 17, Sections 95480-95486. DGS will submit an annual progress report to the California Legislature. (Reference Assembly Bill 692, 2015, and California Code of Regulations Title 17, Section 95480-95486)

Support for Advance Biofuel Development

The California Legislature urges the U.S. Congress or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to take action to amend the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard to favor non-food crop biofuel feedstocks and promote the development of advanced fuels, such as cellulosic ethanol. (Reference Assembly Joint Resolution 21, 2013)

State Transportation Plan

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) must update the California Transportation Plan (Plan) by December 31, 2015, and every five years thereafter. The Plan must address how the state will achieve maximum feasible emissions reductions, taking into consideration the use of alternative fuels, new vehicle technology, and tailpipe emissions reductions. Caltrans must consult and coordinate with related state agencies, air quality management districts, public transit operators, and regional transportation planning agencies. Caltrans must also provide an opportunity for general public input. Caltrans must submit a final draft of the Plan to the legislature and governor. A copy of a 2012 interim report is available on the Caltrans website. (Reference California Government Code 65070-65073)

Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Standards

California's LEV II exhaust emissions standards apply to Model Year (MY) 2004 and subsequent model year passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles meeting specified exhaust standards. The LEV II standards represent the maximum exhaust emissions for LEVs, Ultra Low Emission Vehicles, and Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicles, including flexible fuel, bi-fuel, and dual-fuel vehicles when operating on an alternative fuel. MY 2009 and subsequent model year passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles must meet specified fleet average greenhouse gas (GHG) exhaust emissions requirements. Each manufacturer must comply with these fleet average GHG requirements, which are based on California Air Resources Board calculations. Bi-fuel, flexible fuel, dual-fuel, and grid-connected hybrid electric vehicles may be eligible for an alternative compliance method.

In December 2012, ARB finalized regulatory requirements, referred to as LEV III, which allow vehicle manufacturer compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's GHG requirements for MY 2017-2025 to serve as compliance with California's adopted GHG emissions requirements for those same model years. See the LEVII and LEV III Program website for more information. (Reference California Code of Regulations Title 13, Section 1961-1961.3)

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Production Requirements

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) certifies new passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles as ZEVs if the vehicles produce zero exhaust emissions of any criteria pollutant (or precursor pollutant) under any and all possible operational modes and conditions. For manufacturers with annual sales greater than 60,000 vehicles, at least 14% of the vehicles they produce and deliver for sale in California must meet ZEV requirements for Model Years (MY) 2015 through 2017.

Manufacturers with annual sales between 4,501 and 60,000 vehicles may comply with the ZEV requirements through multiple alternative compliance options that include producing low emission vehicles and obtaining ZEV credits. Manufacturers with annual sales of 4,500 vehicles or less are not subject to this regulation.

ARB's emissions control program for MY 2017 through 2025 combines the control of smog, soot, and greenhouse gases (GHGs) and requirements for ZEVs into a single package of standards called Advanced Clean Cars. In December 2012, ARB finalized new regulatory requirements that allow vehicle manufacturer compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's GHG requirements for MY 2017-2025 to serve as compliance with California's adopted GHG emissions requirements for those same model years.

The accounting procedures for MY 2018-2025 are based on a credit system as shown in the table below. The minimum ZEV requirement for each manufacturer includes the percentage of passenger cars and light-duty trucks produced by the manufacturer and delivered for sale in California. The legislation also includes opportunities for compliance with transitional zero emission vehicles (TZEVs), which must demonstrate certain exhaust emissions standards, evaporative emissions standards, on-board diagnostic requirements, and extended warranties.

MYZEV Requirement
20184.5%
20197%
20209.5%
202112%
202214.5%
202317%
202419.5%
202522%

For more information, see the ZEV Program website. (Reference California Code of Regulations Title 13, Section 1962 -1962.2)

Alternative Fuel and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Retrofit Regulations

Converting a vehicle to operate on an alternative fuel in lieu of the original gasoline or diesel fuel is prohibited unless the California Air Resources Board (ARB) has evaluated and certified the retrofit system. ARB will issue certification to the manufacturer of the system in the form of an Executive Order once the manufacturer demonstrates compliance with the emissions, warranty, and durability requirements. A manufacturer is defined as a person or company who manufactures or assembles an alternative fuel retrofit system for sale in California; this definition does not include individuals wishing to convert vehicles for personal use. Individuals interested in converting their vehicles to operate on an alternative fuel must ensure that the alternative fuel retrofit systems used for their vehicles have been ARB certified. For more information, see the ARB Alternative Fuel Retrofit System website.

A hybrid electric vehicle that is Model Year 2000 or newer and is a passenger car, light-duty truck, or medium-duty vehicle may be converted to incorporate off-vehicle charging capability if the manufacturer demonstrates compliance with emissions, warranty, and durability requirements. ARB issues certification to the manufacturer and the vehicle must meet California emissions standards for the model year of the original vehicle.

ARB is considering amendments to the alternative fuel certification procedures for new and in-use vehicles and engines. For more information, see the Proposed Amendments website. (Reference California Code of Regulations Title 13, Section 2030-2032, and California Vehicle Code 27156)

Alternative Fuel Vehicle Retrofit Emissions Inspection Process

The California Department of Health and Safety may adopt a process by which state designated referees inspect vehicles that present prohibitive inspection circumstances, such as vehicles equipped with alternative fuel retrofit systems. (Reference California Health and Safety Code 44014)

Alternative Fuel Tax

The excise tax imposed on compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG or propane) used to operate a vehicle can be paid through an annual flat rate sticker tax based on the following vehicle weights:

Unladen WeightFee
All passenger cars and other vehicles 4,000 pounds (lbs.) or less$36
More than 4,000 lbs. but less than 8,001 lbs.$72
More than 8,000 lbs. but less than 12,001 lbs.$120
12,001 lbs. or more$168

Alternatively, owners and operators may pay an excise tax on CNG of $0.0887 per gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) measured at standard pressure and temperature, $0.01017 for each diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) of LNG, and $0.06 per gallon of propane. One GGE is equal to 5.66 lbs. of CNG and one DGE is equal to 6.06 lbs. of LNG. The excise tax on ethanol and methanol fuel blends containing up to 15% gasoline or diesel fuel is one-half the tax on gasoline and diesel prescribed by California Revenue and Taxation Code section 8651.

(Reference California Revenue and Taxation Code 8651-8651.8, and California Business and Professions Code 13404 and 13470)

Fleet Vehicle Procurement Requirements

When awarding a vehicle procurement contract, every city, county, and special district, including school and community college districts, may require that 75% of the passenger cars and/or light-duty trucks acquired be energy-efficient vehicles. By definition, this includes hybrid electric vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles that meet California's advanced technology partial zero emission vehicle (AT PZEV) standards. Vehicle procurement contract evaluations may consider fuel economy and life cycle factors for scoring purposes. (Reference California Public Resources Code 25725-25726)

Vehicle Acquisition and Petroleum Reduction Requirements

The California Department of General Services (DGS) is responsible for maintaining specifications and standards for passenger cars and light-duty trucks that are purchased or leased for state office, agency, and department use. These specifications include minimum vehicle emissions standards and encourage the purchase or lease of fuel-efficient and alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs). On an annual basis, DGS must compile information including, but not limited to, the number of AFVs and hybrid electric vehicles acquired, the locations of the alternative fuel pumps available for those vehicles, and the total amount of alternative fuels used.

Vehicles the state owns or leases that are capable of operating on alternative fuel must operate on that fuel unless the alternative fuel is not available. Additionally, the California State and Consumer Services Agency, in consultation with DGS and other appropriate state agencies, must develop, implement, and submit to the California Legislature and governor a plan to increase the state fleet's use of alternative fuels, synthetic lubricants, and fuel-efficient vehicles. This must be done by reducing or displacing the fleet's consumption of petroleum products by 20% by January 1, 2020, as compared to the 2003 consumption level. DGS must also:

  • Take steps to transfer vehicles between agencies and departments to ensure that the most fuel-efficient vehicles are used and to eliminate the least fuel-efficient vehicles from the state's motor vehicle fleet;
  • Submit annual progress reports to the California Department of Finance, related legislative committees, and the general public via the DGS website;
  • Encourage other agencies to operate AFVs on the alternative fuel for which they are designed, to the extent feasible;
  • Encourage the development of commercial fueling infrastructure at or near state vehicle fueling or parking sites;
  • Work with other agencies to incentivize and promote state employee use of AFVs through preferential or reduced-cost parking, access to electric vehicle charging, or other means, to the extent feasible; and
  • Establish a more stringent fuel economy standard than the 2007 standard.

(Reference Executive Order S-14-09, 2009, and California Public Resources Code 25722.5 - 25722.9)

Alternative Fuel and Vehicle Policy Development

The California Energy Commission (CEC) must prepare and submit an Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) to the governor on a biannual basis. The IEPR provides an overview of major energy trends and issues facing the state, including those related to transportation fuels, technologies, and infrastructure. The IEPR also examines potential effects of alternative fuels use, vehicle efficiency improvements, and shifts in transportation modes on public health and safety, the economy, resources, the environment, and energy security. The IEPR's primary purpose is to develop energy policies that conserve resources, protect the environment, ensure energy reliability, enhance the state's economy, and protect public health and safety. For the current IEPR, see the CEC California's Energy Policy

Beginning November 1, 2015, and every four years thereafter, the CEC must also include in the IEPR strategies to maximize the benefits of natural gas in various sectors. This includes the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel. (Reference California Public Resources Code 25302 and 25303.5)

Hydrogen Fuel Specifications

The California Department of Food and Agriculture, Division of Measurement Standards (DMS) requires that hydrogen fuel used in internal combustion engines and fuel cells must meet the SAE International J2719 standard for hydrogen fuel quality. For more information, see the DMS Hydrogen Fuel News website. (Reference California Code of Regulations Title 4, Section 4180-4181)

Heavy-Duty Truck Idle Reduction Requirements

A driver of a diesel-fueled vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds may not idle the vehicle's primary engine for more than five consecutive minutes at any location, and is not allowed to operate a diesel-fueled auxiliary power system (APS) on the vehicle for more than five minutes when located within 100 feet of a restricted area. Exceptions apply in certain situations and for certain vehicles. Any internal combustion APS used in California must comply with applicable state off-road and/or federal non-road emissions standards and test procedures for its fuel type and power category to ensure that emissions do not exceed the emissions of a truck engine operating at idle. Model Year 2008 and newer heavy-duty diesel engines must be equipped with non-programmable engine shutdown systems that automatically shut down the engine after five minutes of idling or optionally meet a stringent nitrogen oxide idling emissions standard. A heavy-duty diesel engine certified for optional idling emissions standards must have a "certified clean idle" label, issued by the engine manufacturer, affixed permanently on the driver's side hood of the truck. Similarly, off-road diesel engine APSs fitted with a proper, verified level 3 diesel particulate filter must have a "verified clean APS" label, issued by the APS manufacturer, affixed permanently on the driver's side hood of the truck.

Operators of trucks equipped with sleeper berths are required to shut down the engine manually when idling more than five minutes at any location within California and are subject to fines for violation. The California Department of Motor Vehicles will not register, renew, or transfer registration for any vehicle operator who has received a violation until the violation is cleared.

For more information, see the California Air Resources Board Heavy-Duty Vehicle Idling Emission Reduction Program website. (Reference California Code of Regulations Title 13, Section 2485)

Idle Reduction Requirement at Schools

A school bus driver must turn off the engine upon stopping at a school, or within 100 feet of a school, and may not turn the engine on more than 30 seconds before departing from the location. When the bus is at least 100 feet away from a school, the driver may not idle the engine for more than five consecutive minutes, or for periods totaling more than five minutes during any one hour period. Transit and commercial vehicle operators may not idle for more than five consecutive minutes at each stop within 100 feet of a school, or for periods totaling more than five minutes during any one hour period. Exemptions apply for necessary idling while stopped in traffic, at traffic signals, and at the direction of law enforcement personnel. For more information, see the California Air Resources Board School Bus Idling Airborne Toxic Control Measure website. (Reference California Code of Regulations Title 13, Section 2480)

Freight Efficiency Action Plan

The California State Transportation Agency, the California Environmental Protection Agency, and the Natural Resources Agency must lead relevant state departments, including the California Air Resources Board, the California Department of Transportation, the California Energy Commission, and the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development, to develop an integrated action plan by July 2016 that establishes targets to improve freight efficiency and transition to zero-emission technologies. The action plan will identify state policies, programs, and investments to achieve the targets, and the involved parties will initiate corridor-level freight pilot projects to integrate advanced technologies, alternative fuels, freight and fuel infrastructure, and local economic development opportunities. (Reference Executive Order B-32-15, 2015)

Heavy-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Regulations

Box-type trailers that are at least 53 feet long and the heavy-duty tractors that pull these trailers must be equipped with fuel-efficient tires and aerodynamic trailer devices that improve fuel economy and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Tractors and trailers subject to the regulation must either use U.S. Environmental Protection Agency SmartWay certified tractors and trailers or retrofit existing equipment with SmartWay verified technologies. Vehicle owners must comply with these regulations when operating on California highways regardless of where the vehicles are registered. Exemptions apply for some local- and short-haul tractors and trailers. The compliance schedule depends on the type and age of the tractor or trailer. (Reference California Code of Regulations Title 17, Section 95300-95311)

Point of Contact
Diesel Hotline
California Air Resources Board
Phone: (866) 6DIESEL (634-3735)
8666diesel@arb.ca.gov

Mobile Source Emissions Reduction Requirements

Through its Mobile Sources Program, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) has developed programs and policies to reduce emissions from on-road heavy-duty diesel vehicles through the installation of verified diesel emission control strategies (VDECS) and vehicle replacements.

An on-road heavy-duty diesel vehicle rule (truck and bus regulation) requires the retrofit and replacement of nearly all privately owned vehicles operated in California with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 14,000 pounds. School buses owned by private and public entities and federal government owned vehicles are also included in the scope of the rule. The requirements include a phase-in period for the installation of VDECS on certain heavier in-use vehicles that began January 1, 2012 with the replacement of older vehicles starting January 1, 2015. By January 1, 2023, nearly all vehicles must have engines certified to the 2010 engine standard or equivalent. A drayage/port truck rule regulates heavy-duty diesel-fueled vehicles that transport cargo to and from California's ports and intermodal rail facilities. The rule requires that certain drayage trucks be equipped with VDECS and that all applicable vehicles have engines certified to the 2007 emissions standards. By January 1, 2023, all applicable vehicles must have engines certified to 2010 standards. A public transit agency fleet rule regulates public transit fleets and sets emissions reduction standards for new transit vehicles. A solid waste collection vehicle rule regulates solid waste collection vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 14,000 pounds or more that operate on diesel fuel, have 1960 through 2006 engine models, and collect waste for a fee. The fleet rule for public agencies and utilities requires fleets to install VDECS on vehicles or purchase vehicles that run on alternative fuels or use advanced technologies to achieve emissions requirements by specified implementation dates.

A summary of the requirements for diesel truck and equipment owners can be found in the ARB Multi-Rule Summary fact sheet. (Reference California Code of Regulations Title 13, 2021-2027)

Point of Contact
Diesel Hotline
California Air Resources Board
Phone: (866) 6DIESEL (634-3735)
8666diesel@arb.ca.gov

Tire Inflation Requirement

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) enforces regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles operating inefficiently with under inflated tires. These regulations apply to vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less. Automotive service providers performing or offering to perform automotive maintenance or repair services in the state must:

  • Check and inflate vehicle tires to the manufacturer recommended tire pressure rating, with air or nitrogen as appropriate, using a tire pressure gauge with a total permissible error of no more than plus/minus two pounds per square inch, when performing maintenance or repair;
  • Indicate on the vehicle service invoice that a tire inflation service was completed and specify the resulting pressure measurements;
  • Have access to a tire inflation reference published within the last three years; and
  • Keep a copy of the service invoice for at least three years and make the invoice available to ARB or an authorized representative upon request.
For more information, see the ARB Tire Inflation Regulation website. (Reference California Code of Regulations Title 17, Section 95550)

Fuel-Efficient Tire Program Development

The California Energy Commission (CEC) must adopt and implement a state-wide Fuel-Efficient Tire Program that includes a consumer information and education program and minimum tire efficiency standards. The CEC must consult with the California Integrated Waste Management Board on the program's adoption, implementation, and regular review. (Reference California Public Resources Code 25770-25773)

Low-Speed Electric Vehicle (EV) Access to Roadways

A low-speed EV, also known as a neighborhood electric vehicle, is defined as a motor vehicle with four wheels, a gross vehicle weight rating of 3,000 pounds or less, and capable of achieving a minimum speed of 20 miles per hour (mph) and a maximum speed of 25 mph. Low-speed EVs are subject to all provisions applicable to a motor vehicle and must meet federal safety standards established in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 571.500. Drivers of low-speed EVs must comply with all provisions applicable to drivers of motor vehicles. The operator of a low-speed EV may not operate the vehicle on any roadway with a posted speed limit greater than 35 mph except to cross a roadway at an intersection. (Reference California Vehicle Code 385.5 and 21250-21266)

Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) Access to Roadways

Discussions are encouraged between the California Legislature, the California Department of Motor Vehicles, and the California Highway Patrol regarding the adoption of a new classification for licensing motorists who use NEVs. Additional jurisdictions that may establish NEV transportation plans are as follows:

JurisdictionReport DeadlineNEV Transportation Plan Deadline
Amador County, City of Jackson, City of Sutter Creek, and Amador CityJanuary 1, 2015January 1, 2016
City of FresnoNovember 1, 2014January 1, 2016
Riverside CountyJanuary 1, 2016January 1, 2017
Orange County (Ranch Plan Planned Community)November 1, 2020January 1, 2022

(Reference Senate Bill 241, 2015, and California Streets and Highways Code 1962-1966.7)

Vehicle Miles Traveled Tax Feasibility Study Committee

The California Transportation Commission (Commission) and the California Transportation Agency (Agency) must create a Road Usage Charge (RUC) Technical Advisory Committee (Committee) to study RUC alternatives to the gas tax and assess the potential for mileage-based revenue collection. Based on the recommendations of the Committee, the Agency must implement a pilot program to identify and evaluate issues related to potential implementation of an RUC program by January 1, 2017. The Agency must then prepare and submit a report of its findings to the California State Legislature no later than June 30, 2018. (Reference California Vehicle Code 3090-3093)

Fleet Emissions Reduction Requirements - South Coast

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) requires government fleets and private contractors under contract with public entities to purchase non-diesel lower emission and alternative fuel vehicles. The rule applies to transit bus, school bus, refuse hauler, and other vehicle fleets of at least 15 vehicles that operate in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Orange counties. (Reference SCAQMD Rules 1186.1 and 1191-1196)

Point of Contact
Dean Saito
South Coast Air Quality Management District
Phone: (909) 396-2647
dsaito@aqmd.gov
http://www.aqmd.gov/home/regulations/fleet-rules