Connecticut Laws and Incentives

Listed below are the summaries of all current Connecticut 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

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Grants

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) provides funding to municipalities, state agencies, and private businesses for the cost and installation of eligible EVSE. Funding is available for 50% of project costs (up to $2,000 per unit and $4,000 per site) to 100% of project costs (up to $10,000 per site), depending on how well the project matches program criteria. For EVSE that is available to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and located in a major downtown area or other central destination currently underserved by EVSE, DEEP will provide up to $5,000 per unit or up to $10,000 per site. All EVSE must be available to the public at no cost for three years, with further criteria required for maximum funding. For more information, including application submission deadlines, refer to the Connecticut DEEP Electric Vehicle Charging Station Incentive Program & Resources website.

Hydrogen and Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Rebate

The Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate Program (CHEAPR) offers rebates for the incremental cost of the purchase or lease of a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV), all-electric vehicle (EV), or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). Rebates are offered based on battery capacity in the following amounts:

Eligible FCEV, EV, or PHEVs purchased or leased before July 1, 2016:

Rebate AmountRequired Battery Capacity
$3,000Greater than 18 kWh or any fuel cell electric vehicle
$1,5007 to 8 kWh
$750Less than 7 kWh

Eligible FCEV, EV, or PHEVs purchased or leased on or after July 1, 2016:

Vehicle TypeRebate AmountRequired Battery Capacity
PHEV$3,000Greater than 18 kWh
$1,50010 to 18 kWh
$750Less than 10 kWh
EV$3,000Greater than 25 kWh
$1,50020 to 25 kWh
$750Less than 20 kWh
FCEV$5,000-

Rebates are offered on a first-come, first-served basis until funds expire. For more information, see the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection EV Connecticut website.

Reduced Registration Fee for Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles are eligible for a reduced biennial vehicle registration fee of $38. For more information, refer to the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles Vehicle Registration Fees website. (Reference Connecticut General Statutes 14-49(f))

Electric Vehicle Emissions Inspection Exemption

Vehicles powered exclusively by electricity are exempt from state motor vehicle emissions inspections. For more information, see the Connecticut Emissions Program website.

Biofuels Research Grants

The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development administers a fuel diversification grant program to provide funding to Connecticut higher education or agricultural research institutions for research to promote biofuel production from agricultural products, algae, and waste grease, as well as biofuel quality testing. (Reference Connecticut General Statutes 32-324g)

Idle Reduction Weight Exemption

A commercial vehicle equipped with idle reduction technology may exceed the state's gross, total axle, total tandem, or bridge formula vehicle weight limits by up to 550 pounds to compensate for the additional weight of the idle reduction technology. The additional weight may not exceed the actual weight of the idle reduction unit. (Reference Connecticut General Statutes 14-267c)

Laws and Regulations

Public Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Requirements

Owners and operators of public EVSE that require payment must allow multiple payment options that allow access by the public. In addition, payment should not require users to pay a subscription fee or obtain a membership of any kind, however payment required may be based on price schedules for such memberships. Owners and operators can impose restrictions on the amount of a time a vehicle can use the EVSE.

In addition, owners and operators of a public EVSE must disclose the location and characteristics of each EVSE to the U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center. Information that must be disclosed includes, but is not limited to, address, voltage, and timing restrictions.

(Reference House Bill 5510, 2016)

Electric Vehicle (EV) Registration Data

By January 1, 2018, the Department of Motor Vehicles (Department) should record the number of EVs registered in Connecticut. An EV is defined as any battery electric, fuel cell, plug-in hybrid, or range-extended battery electric vehicle. The data should be publicly available on the Department's website and include the number of EVs registered in state each year, and the total number of EVs registered in the state. The information should be updated every six months. (Reference House Bill 5510, 2016, and Connecticut General Statutes 14-12)

Public Utility Definition

An owner of an electric vehicle charging station is not defined as a public utility. (Reference House Bill 5510, 2016, and Connecticut General Statutes 16-19f)

Utility Company Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Load Projection Requirement

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority requires electric distribution companies to integrate EV charging load projections into distribution planning. Projections will be based on the number of EVs registered in the state as well as on projected fluctuation in EV sales. By January 1, 2017, and annually thereafter, electric distribution companies must publish a report detailing the EV charging load projections for the company's distribution planning. (Reference House Bill 5510, 2016)

Utility Company Electric Vehicle (EV) Rates

By June 1, 2017, utility companies must evaluate if it is appropriate to implement EV time of day rates for residential and commercial customers. A time of day rate means a rate for EVs that is designed to reflect the cost of electricity to the consumer at different times of the day. (Reference House Bill 5510, 2016 and Connecticut General Statutes 16-19f)

Integrated Resources Plan Report

The Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection (Commissioner), in consultation with the electric distribution companies, must deliver a plan to the Commissioner that analyzes, among other things, the potential for electric vehicles (EVs) to provide energy storage and other services to the electric grid, and identify strategies to ensure that the grid is prepared to support increased EV charging based on projections of sales of EVs. The report must be delivered by January 1, 2018, and biennially thereafter. (Reference House Bill 5510, 2016 and Connecticut General Statutes 16a-3a)

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Procurement Preference

In determining the lowest responsible qualified bidder for the award of state contracts, the Connecticut Department of Administrative Services may give a price preference of up to 10% for the purchase of AFVs or for the purchase of conventional vehicles plus the conversion equipment to convert the vehicles to dual or dedicated alternative fuel use. For these purposes, alternative fuels are natural gas, hydrogen, propane, or electricity used to operate a motor vehicle. (Reference Connecticut General Statutes 4a-59)

Ethanol Labeling Requirement

Any motor vehicle fuel sold at retail containing more than 1% ethanol or methanol must be labeled according to Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection specifications to indicate the percentage of ethanol in the fuel. (Reference Connecticut General Statutes 16a-15)

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Deployment Support

Connecticut joined California, 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.

Zero Emissions Bus Implementation Plan

As part of a state effort to identify strategies to expand the availability and use of hydrogen fuel and renewable energy sources, the Connecticut Department of Transportation, in consultation with the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, developed the Connecticut Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Deployment Transportation Strategy: 2011-2050. The strategy includes a plan to implement zero emissions buses on a state-wide basis and addresses the technological, facility, and financial arrangements necessary to fully implement a zero emissions bus fleet, including identifying specific locations for hydrogen fueling stations along state highways and other locations. (Reference Connecticut General Statutes 13b-38dd)

Alternative Fuel and Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Acquisition and Emissions Reduction Requirements

Cars and light-duty trucks that a state agency purchases must: 1) have an average U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated fuel economy of at least 40 miles per gallon; 2) comply with state fleet vehicle acquisition requirements set forth under the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct); and 3) obtain the best achievable fuel economy per pound of carbon dioxide emitted for the applicable vehicle classes. Alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) that the state purchases to comply with these requirements must be capable of operating on an EPAct-defined alternative fuel that is available in the state.

In addition, all cars and light-duty trucks that the state purchases or leases must be hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, or capable of using alternative fuel. All AFVs purchased or leased must be certified to the California Air Resources Board's (ARB) Ultra Low Emission Vehicle II (ULEV II) standard, and all light-duty gasoline vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles the state purchases or leases must be certified, at a minimum, to the California ARB ULEV II standard. The Connecticut Department of Administrative Services must report annually on the composition of the state fleet, including the volume of alternative fuels used.

Vehicles that the Connecticut Department of Public Safety designates as necessary for the Department of Public Safety to carry out its mission are exempt from these provisions.

(Reference Executive Order 22, 2009, and Connecticut General Statutes 4a-67d)

School Bus Emissions Reduction

Each full-sized school bus with a Model Year (MY) 1994 or newer engine must be equipped with specific emissions control systems, including either: a closed crankcase filtration system and a level 1, level 2, or level 3 device; an engine that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has certified as meeting MY 2007 emissions standards; or use of compressed natural gas or other alternative fuel that EPA or the California Air Resources Board has certified to reduce particulate matter emissions by at least 85% as compared to ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel. (Reference Connecticut General Statutes 14-164o)

Idle Reduction Requirement

School bus operators may not idle a school bus engine for more than three consecutive minutes except under the following conditions: uncontrollable traffic conditions or mechanical difficulties; operation of heating, cooling, safety or auxiliary equipment; outdoor temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit; maintenance of a safe temperature for students with special needs; school bus repair; or receipt or discharge of passengers on a public highway or road. (Reference Connecticut General Statutes 14-277)

Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Standards

The Connecticut Low Emission Vehicles II Program requires that all new vehicles sold in Connecticut meet California emissions and compliance requirements, as set forth in Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations. For more information refer to the Connecticut Low Emission Vehicles II Program website. (Reference Connecticut General Statutes 22a-174g)

Aftermarket Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Conversion Requirements

Conventional original equipment manufacturer vehicles altered to operate on propane, natural gas, methane, ethanol, or electricity are classified as aftermarket AFV conversions. All vehicle conversions must meet current applicable U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or California Air Resources Board standards for aftermarket conversions. Aftermarket systems must be properly certified for the specific vehicle or engine family that is being converted. (Reference Connecticut General Statutes 22a-174g)

Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Labeling Requirement

All Model Year (MY) 2008 and later passenger cars and light-duty trucks and MY 2009 and later medium-duty vehicles sold, leased, imported, delivered, purchased, rented, leased, acquired, or received in Connecticut must meet the California Air Resources Board emission control label and environmental performance label requirements, including smog and greenhouse gas index scores. (Reference Connecticut General Statutes 22a-201 through 22a-201c, and Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection Regulations 22a-174-36b)

Emissions Reduction Credits

Any state mobile emissions reduction credits program must allow credits for emissions reductions achieved by converting a vehicle to operate on an alternative fuel, even if the conversion took place before the credit program began. (Reference Connecticut General Statutes 22a-174i)

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Tax

CNG used in motor vehicles is subject to a state motor fuel tax rate of $0.26 per gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE). For taxation purposes, one GGE is equal to 5.66 pounds or 126.67 standard cubic feet of natural gas. (Reference House Bill 5466, 2014, and Special Notice 2014-2)