New York Laws and Incentives
Listed below are the summaries of all current New York 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:
Heavy-Duty Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Purchase Vouchers
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) provides incentives for alternative fuel trucks and buses and diesel emission controls. Incentives are released on a staggered schedule and include:
- Vouchers of up to $20,000 for the purchase or lease of all-electric Class 3 through 8 trucks operating and domiciling in any non-attainment or maintenance area of New York State;
- Vouchers of up to $40,000 for the purchase of compressed natural gas, hybrid electric and all-electric Class 3 through 8 trucks operating in New York City; and,
- Vouchers that cover up to 80% of the cost of purchasing and installing emission reduction equipment for medium- and heavy-duty diesel vehicles that are primarily operated in New York City.
Biofuel Production Tax Credit
Biofuel producers in New York State may qualify for a state tax credit of $0.15 per gallon of biodiesel (B100) or ethanol produced after the production facility has produced, and made available for sale, 40,000 gallons of biofuel per year. The maximum annual credit available is $2.5 million per taxpayer for no more than four consecutive taxable years per production facility. If the taxpayer is in a partnership or is a shareholder of a New York S corporation, the maximum credit amount is applied at the entity level, so the aggregate credit allowed to all partners or shareholders may not exceed $2.5 million. Additional requirements may apply. This credit expires December 31, 2019. (Reference New York Tax Law 28*2 and 187-c)
Idle Reduction Weight Exemption
Any motor vehicle equipped with qualified idle reduction technology may exceed the state's vehicle weight limits by up to 400 pounds to compensate for the additional weight of the idle reduction technology. The vehicle's operator must maintain written certification of the device's weight and proof that it is fully functional and must provide such proof to a law enforcement officer upon request. (Reference New York Vehicle and Traffic Law 385)
Biofuel Fueling Infrastructure Funding
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) administers the Biofuel Station Initiative Program, which provides funding to retail fueling stations offering E85 and biodiesel blends in the state, and to petroleum terminal operators to store, blend, and dispense biofuels. NYSERDA provides a reimbursement of up to 50% of new biofuel dispensing installation costs, including equipment, storage tanks, and associated piping equipment, up to $50,000 per site. NYSERDA also provides a cost reimbursement of up to 50% for new biofuel storage, handling, blending, and rack dispensing equipment, including installation costs, up to $150,000 per site. NYSERDA accepts applications from public access retail fueling station owners and operators in the state. Funding is limited and does not cover facility permitting or engineering costs. A 50% cost-shared technical assistance is also available for the following: technical review of design and construction specifications for the biofuel equipment; analysis of existing and proposed equipment; preparation and submission of requests for biofuel specific permits and waivers to local and state code officials; and facility staff training. For more information, see the NYSERDA Biofuel Station Initiative Program Opportunity Notice.
School Bus Emissions Reduction Funding
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) administers the Clean Air School Bus Program, which provides funds to municipalities, departments, public authorities, and school districts to cover the cost of purchasing and installing emissions control retrofit devices on school buses. Eligible devices include U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-verified diesel particulate filters, diesel oxidation catalysts, and closed crankcase filter systems. Idle reduction technology, such as diesel fuel-fired coolant heaters, is also eligible. For more information, see the NYSERDA Clean Air School Bus Program website.
Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) and Fueling Infrastructure Funding and Technical Assistance
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) provides financial and technical assistance to public, private, and not-for-profit organization fleet managers who want to evaluate the feasibility and cost of adding AFVs and fueling facilities to their operations. NYSERDA also provides support to encourage the use of emission reduction and anti-idling technologies for diesel vehicles. Low-cost training for vehicle mechanics is also available through certified institutions. For more information, see the NYSERDA Funding Opportunities websites.
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Research and Development Funding
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) provides funding for projects that enhance mobility, improve efficiency, reduce congestion, and diversity transportation methods and fuels through research and development of advanced technologies. NYSERDA offers annual solicitations that support new product development and demonstration as well as research on new transportation policies and strategies. NYSERDA also supports projects that demonstrate the benefits of commercially available products that are underutilized in New York State. Once developed, NYSERDA provides incentives to accelerate the market introduction of emerging technologies through its Alternative Fuel Vehicle Program. For more information, see the NYSERDA Transportation Research and Development website.
High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane Exemption
Through the Clean Pass Program, eligible electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles may use the Long Island Expressway HOV lanes, regardless of the number of occupants in the vehicle. Vehicles must display the Clean Pass vehicle sticker, which is available from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. For a list of eligible vehicles and Clean Pass sticker application instructions, see the Clean Pass Program website.
Alternative Fuel Tax Exemption and Rate Reduction
E85, compressed natural gas, and hydrogen fuel that is used exclusively to operate a motor vehicle engine is exempt from state sales and use taxes. Additionally, cities and counties may reduce the sales and use tax imposed on 20% biodiesel blends (B20) to 80% of the diesel fuel tax rate. The exemption and rate reduction are in effect until September 1, 2014. (Reference New York Tax Law 1111 and 1115)
Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) and Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Technical Assistance
National Grid provides technical assistance for NGV and PEV adoption and infrastructure development. Assistance includes technology viability evaluation, funding resource investigation, and high-level project management on a case-by-case basis. These services are only available to current or potential National Grid customers.
Point of Contact
Manager of Advanced Transportation
Phone: (781) 907-2253
Laws and Regulations
Fuel Exclusivity Contract Regulation
Motor fuel franchise dealers may obtain alternative fuels from a supplier other than a franchise distributor. Any franchise provision that prohibits or discourages a dealer from purchasing or selling E85, biodiesel blends of at least 2% (B2), hydrogen, or compressed natural gas from a firm or individual other than the distributor is null and void as it pertains to that particular alternative fuel if the distributor does not supply or offer to supply the dealer with the alternative fuel. Distributors who violate the law by entering into exclusivity contracts will be subject to a $1000 fine. If the distributor does offer renewable fuels, they may require the station to use their brands. (Reference New York General Business Law 199-j)
Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Acquisition Requirements
All new light-duty vehicles that state agencies and other affected entities procure must be AFVs, with the exception of designated specialty, police, or emergency vehicles. Hybrid electric vehicles qualify under these requirements. State agencies and other affected entities that operate medium- and heavy-duty vehicles must implement strategies to reduce petroleum consumption and emissions by using alternative fuels and improving vehicle fleet fuel efficiency. State agencies and other affected entities may substitute the use of 450 gallons of 100% biodiesel (B100) for the acquisition of one AFV. Alternatively, using 2,250 gallons of biodiesel blends of 20% (B20) or 9,000 gallons of biodiesel blends of 5% (B5) may also be substituted in place of purchasing one AFV. No more than 50% of a given state agency fleet's AFV purchase requirement may be met by substituting B100, B20, or B5. (Reference Executive Order 111, 2001; Executive Order 142, 2005; and Executive Order 4, 2008)
Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Standards
Any new light-duty passenger car, light-duty truck, or medium-duty passenger vehicle sold, leased, imported, delivered, purchased, or acquired in New York State must be certified to the California emissions standards set forth in Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) must meet a fleet average greenhouse gas emissions standard, as defined in the California Code of Regulations, which will become more stringent for each model year through 2016.
In addition, each OEM's fleet of passenger cars and light-duty trucks produced and delivered for sale in the state must meet at least the same percentage requirements for Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) set forth in Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations, Section 1962. An alternative compliance program expands the options available to OEMs to meet the mandate. Under this program, OEMs must make the following commitments:
- 7% of vehicles must meet Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) standards, 2% must meet Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (ATPZEV) standards, and 1% must meet ZEV standards, which includes battery electric or fuel cell vehicles;
- Any ZEV or PZEV models available in California must also be made available in New York State.
(Reference New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Regulations Chapter III, Part 218)
Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Access to Tunnels
An AFV powered by propane or natural gas may only use Port Authority of New York and New Jersey tunnels and the lower level of the George Washington Bridge if the vehicle conforms to applicable federal regulations and industry standards, displays required markings to identify its alternative fuel system, and has a fuel capacity that does not exceed 150 pounds. For more information, see the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Trucker's Resources website.
Low-Speed Vehicle Definition
A low-speed vehicle is defined as a limited use automobile that has a maximum speed greater than 20 miles per hour (mph) but not more than 25 mph or a truck that has a maximum speed greater than 20 mph but not more than 25 mph and a gross vehicle weight rating less than 3,000 pounds. All low-speed vehicles must comply with the safety standards established in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 571.500. (Reference New York Vehicle and Traffic Law 121-f)
Heavy-Duty Idle Reduction Requirement
Heavy-duty vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 8,500 pounds may not idle for more than five consecutive minutes when the vehicle is not in motion. Exceptions apply, including when idling is necessary due to traffic conditions; to maintain temperatures (under regulation) for passenger comfort; to provide auxiliary power or for maintenance purposes; to recharge batteries in hybrid electric vehicles; and for emergency service vehicles. (Reference New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Regulations Chapter III, Subpart 217-3)
School Bus Idle Reduction Requirement
All public school districts must ensure that every school bus or other school vehicle driver turns off the vehicle's engine while waiting for passengers to load or unload. Exceptions apply, including when idling is necessary for heating, mechanical, or emergency circumstances. School districts must also provide an annual notice to school personnel, including an overview of the regulations and available education materials. For more information, see the State Education Department website. This regulation is in effect through June 30, 2013. (Reference New York Education Law 3637)