Federal Laws and Incentives for EVs

The list below contains summaries of all Federal laws and incentives related to EVs.

Incentives

Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit

This incentive expires December 31, 2013, but will remain posted until the federal tax filing deadline.

Fueling equipment for natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas (propane), electricity, E85, or diesel fuel blends containing a minimum of 20% biodiesel installed between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2013, is eligible for a tax credit of 30% of the cost, not to exceed $30,000. Permitting and inspection fees are not included in covered expenses. Fueling station owners who install qualified equipment at multiple sites are allowed to use the credit towards each location. Consumers who purchased qualified residential fueling equipment prior to December 31, 2013, may receive a tax credit of up to $1,000. Unused credits that qualify as general business tax credits, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), may be carried backward one year and carried forward 20 years. For more information about claiming the credit, see IRS Form 8911, which is available on the IRS Forms and Publications website. (Reference Public Law 112-240, 26 U.S. Code 30C and 38, and IRS Notice 2007-43)

Point of Contact
U.S. Internal Revenue Service
Phone: (800) 829-1040
http://www.irs.gov/

Qualified Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Tax Credit

A tax credit is available for the purchase of a new qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicle that draws propulsion using a traction battery that has at least five kilowatt hours (kWh) of capacity, uses an external source of energy to recharge the battery, has a gross vehicle weight rating of up to 14,000 pounds, and meets specified emission standards. The minimum credit amount is $2,500, and the credit may be up to $7,500, based on each vehicle's traction battery capacity and the gross vehicle weight rating. The credit will begin to be phased out for each manufacturer in the second quarter following the calendar quarter in which a minimum of 200,000 qualified plug-in electric drive vehicles have been sold by that manufacturer for use in the United States. This tax credit applies to vehicles acquired after December 31, 2009. For more information, see the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Plug-In Electric Vehicle Credit website and IRS Form 8936, which is available via the IRS Forms and Publications website.

A credit is also available for the purchase of a new qualified two- or three-wheeled plug-in electric drive vehicle that draws propulsion using a traction battery that has at least 2.5 kWh of capacity, uses an external source of energy to recharge the battery, has a gross vehicle weight rating of up to 14,000 pounds, is manufactured primarily for use on public roadways, and can drive at least 45 miles per hour. The credit is for 10% of the cost of the qualified vehicle, up to $2,500, and applies to vehicles acquired between January 1, 2012, and December 31, 2013. While this specific credit expires December 31, 2013, it will remain posted until the federal tax filing deadline.

(Reference Public Law 112-240, Section 403; and 26 U.S. Code 30D)

Point of Contact
U.S. Internal Revenue Service
Phone: (800) 829-1040
http://www.irs.gov/

Advanced Energy Research Project Grants

The Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) was established within the U.S. Department of Energy with the mission to fund projects that will develop transformational technologies that reduce the nation's dependence on foreign energy imports; reduce U.S. energy related emissions, including greenhouse gases; improve energy efficiency across all sectors of the economy; and ensure that the United States maintains its leadership in developing and deploying advanced energy technologies. The ARPA-E focuses on various concepts in multiple program areas including, but not limited to, vehicle technologies, biomass energy, and energy storage. For more information, visit the ARPA-E website.

Point of Contact
U.S. Department of Energy
Phone: (202) 586-5000
Fax: (202) 586-4403
http://www.energy.gov

Improved Energy Technology Loans

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) provides loan guarantees through the Loan Guarantee Program to eligible projects that reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases, and support early commercial use of advanced technologies, including biofuels and alternative fuel vehicles. The program is not intended for research and development projects. DOE may issue loan guarantees for up to 100% of the amount of the loan for an eligible project. For loan guarantees of over 80%, the loan must be issued and funded by the Treasury Department's Federal Financing Bank. For more information, see the Loan Guarantee Program website. (Reference 42 U.S. Code 16513)

Point of Contact
Loan Guarantee Program
U.S. Department of Energy
Phone: (202) 586-8336
Fax: (202) 586-7366
http://www.energy.gov

Airport Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) and Infrastructure Incentives

The Zero Emissions Airport Vehicle and Infrastructure Pilot Program provides funding to airports for 50% of the eligible cost to acquire ZEVs. The vehicles must be used in on-road applications, employed exclusively for airport purposes, and must meet the Federal Aviation Administration's Buy American requirements. Airports are also eligible for funding to install or modify fueling infrastructure to support the vehicles involved in the project. To be eligible, an airport must be for public use. The program will give priority to applicants located in nonattainment areas, as defined by the Clean Air Act, and projects that achieve the greatest air quality benefits, as measured by the amount of emissions reduced per dollar of funds spent under the program. For more information, see the Zero Emissions Airport Vehicle and Infrastructure Pilot Program website. Reference Public Law 112-95 and 49 U.S. Code 47136a)

Point of Contact
Peggy Wade
Federal Aviation Administration, Planning and Environmental Division
U.S. Department of Transportation
Phone: (202) 267-8824
peggy.wade@faa.gov

Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Technology Research and Demonstration Bonds

Qualified state, tribal, and local governments may issue Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds subsidized by the U.S. Department of Treasury at competitive rates to fund capital expenditures on qualified energy conservation projects. Eligible activities include research and demonstration projects related to cellulosic ethanol and other non-fossil fuels, as well as advanced battery manufacturing technologies. Government entities may choose to issue tax credit bonds or direct payment bonds to subsidize the borrowing costs. For information on eligibility, processes, and limitations, see IRS Notices 2009-29, 2010-35, and 2012-44 or contact local issuing agencies. (Reference 26 U.S. Code 54D)

Laws and Regulations

Vehicle Acquisition and Fuel Use Requirements for Federal Fleets

Under the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 1992, 75% of new light-duty vehicles acquired by covered federal fleets must be alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs). As amended in January 2008, Section 301 of EPAct 1992 defines AFVs to include hybrid electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles, and advanced lean burn vehicles. Federal fleets are also required to use alternative fuels in dual-fuel vehicles unless the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) determines an agency qualifies for a waiver; grounds for a waiver include lack of alternative fuel availability and cost restrictions. Fleets that use fuel blends containing at least 20% biodiesel (B20) may earn credits toward their annual requirements. Additionally, Executive Order 13423, issued in January 2007, requires federal agencies with 20 vehicles or more in their U.S. fleet to decrease petroleum consumption by 2% per year, relative to their Fiscal Year (FY) 2005 baseline, through FY 2015. Agencies must also continue to increase their alternative fuel use by 10% per year, relative to the previous year, based on a FY 2005 baseline.

Executive Order 13514, issued in October 2009, requires each federal agency to develop, implement, and annually update a Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan. Federal agencies must measure, reduce, and report their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with an overall federal government direct GHG emissions reduction goal of 28% by 2020, relative to a FY 2008 baseline. Federal fleets of 20 vehicles or more must reduce petroleum consumption by a minimum of 2% per year through the end of FY 2020 as compared to 2005 baseline usage. Each agency must establish a comprehensive inventory of GHG emissions for FY 2010, to be updated on an annual basis thereafter. Reductions may be achieved through a variety of measures including the use of AFVs, and fleet optimization efforts.

Additional requirements for federal fleets were included in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, including fleet management plan requirements (Section 142), low GHG emitting vehicle acquisition requirements (Section 141), and renewable fuel infrastructure installation requirements (Section 246). DOE is currently developing a rulemaking on the alternative fuel increase requirements (verified December 2013; Section 142).

For more information, visit the Sustainable Federal Fleets website.

(Reference 42 U.S. Code 13212, Executive Order 13423, and Executive Order 13514)

Point of Contact
Federal Energy Management Program
U.S. Department of Energy
https://federalfleets.energy.gov/fleet_management_contacts

Vehicle Acquisition and Fuel Use Requirements for State and Alternative Fuel Provider Fleets

Under the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 1992, certain state government and alternative fuel provider fleets are required to acquire alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs). Compliance is required by fleets that operate, lease, or control 50 or more light-duty vehicles within the United States. Of those 50 vehicles, at least 20 must be used primarily within a single Metropolitan Statistical Area/Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area. Those same 20 vehicles must also be capable of being centrally fueled. Under Standard Compliance, covered fleets earn credits for each vehicle purchased, and credits earned in excess of their requirements can be banked or traded with other fleets. Additionally, fleets that use fuel blends containing at least 20% biodiesel (B20) in medium- and heavy-duty vehicles may earn credits toward their annual AFV acquisition requirements. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is currently developing a rulemaking to allocate credits for electric drive vehicles and investments in infrastructure, equipment, and emerging technologies (verified December 2013).

On March 20, 2007, DOE issued a final rule on Alternative Compliance, which allows fleets the option to choose a petroleum reduction path in lieu of acquiring AFVs. Interested fleets must obtain a waiver from DOE by proving that they will achieve petroleum reductions equivalent to that achieved by having AFVs running on alternative fuels 100% of the time. For more information, visit the EPAct State and Alternative Fuel Provider Fleets website. (Reference 42 U.S. Code 13251 and 13263a, and 10 CFR 490)

Point of Contact
EPAct Transportation Regulatory Activities
U.S. Department of Energy
regulatory_info@afdc.nrel.gov
http://www.eere.energy.gov/vehiclesandfuels/epact/contacts.html

Vehicle Acquisition and Fuel Use Requirements for Private and Local Government Fleets

Under the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 1992, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) was directed to determine whether private and local government fleets should be mandated to acquire alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs). In January 2004, DOE published a final rule announcing its decision not to implement an AFV acquisition mandate for private and local government fleets. In response to a March 2006 ruling by a U.S. District Court, DOE issued a subsequent final rulemaking on the new Replacement Fuel Goal in March 2007, which extended the EPAct 1992 goal to 2030. The goal is to achieve a domestic production capacity for replacement fuels sufficient to replace 30% of the U.S. motor fuel consumption. In March 2008, DOE issued its determination not to implement a fleet compliance mandate for private and local government fleets, concluding that such a mandate is not necessary to achieve the Replacement Fuel Goal. For more information on the Private and Local Government Fleet Rule compliance, visit the EPAct Private and Local Government Fleet Determination website. (Reference 42 U.S. Code 13257)

Alternative Fuel Definition

The following fuels are defined as alternative fuels by the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 1992: pure methanol, ethanol, and other alcohols; blends of 85% or more of alcohol with gasoline; natural gas and liquid fuels domestically produced from natural gas; liquefied petroleum gas (propane); coal-derived liquid fuels; hydrogen; electricity; pure biodiesel (B100); fuels, other than alcohol, derived from biological materials; and P-Series fuels. In addition, the U.S. Department of Energy may designate other fuels as alternative fuels, provided that the fuel is substantially non-petroleum, yields substantial energy security benefits, and offers substantial environmental benefits. For more information, see the EPAct website. (Reference 42 U.S. Code 13211)

Point of Contact
U.S. Department of Energy
Phone: (202) 586-5000
Fax: (202) 586-4403
http://www.energy.gov

Aftermarket Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Conversions

Conventional original equipment manufacturer vehicles altered to operate on propane, natural gas, methane gas, ethanol, or electricity are classified as aftermarket AFV conversions. All vehicle conversions, except those that are completed for a vehicle to run on electricity, must meet current applicable U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. For more information about vehicle conversion certification requirements, see the Alternative Fuels Data Center's Vehicle Conversions website and EPA's Alternative Fuel Conversion website. (Reference 40 CFR 85)

Point of Contact
Regulatory Compliance
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Phone: (734) 214-4343
complianceinfo@epa.gov
http://www.epa.gov

Alternative Fuel and Vehicle Labeling Requirements

Alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) and fuel dispensers must be labeled with information to help consumers make informed decisions about buying or fueling a vehicle. All new and used AFVs, including vehicles with an aftermarket conversion system installed, must be clearly labeled with the vehicle's cruising range as estimated by the manufacturer, as well as other descriptive information. The labeling requirements do not apply to hybrid electric vehicles. Alternative fuel dispensers must also be clearly labeled with the name of the fuel and fuel rating. This rule applies to, but is not limited to, the following fuel types: methanol, denatured ethanol, and/or other alcohols; mixtures containing 85% or more by volume of methanol, denatured ethanol, and/or other alcohols; natural gas; liquefied petroleum gas; hydrogen; coal derived liquid biofuels; biodiesel blends containing more than 5% biodiesel by volume; and electricity. (Reference 16 CFR 306 and 309)

Point of Contact
Federal Trade Commission
Phone: (202) 326-2222
http://www.ftc.gov/

High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane Exemption

States are allowed to exempt certified low emission and energy-efficient vehicles from HOV lane requirements within the state. Eligible vehicles must be certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and appropriately labeled for use in HOV lanes. The U.S. Department of Transportation is responsible for planning and implementing HOV programs, including the exemption criteria established by EPA. States that choose to adopt these requirements will be responsible for enforcement and vehicle labeling. The HOV exemption for low emission and energy-efficient vehicle expires September 30, 2017. (Reference Public Law 112-141 and 23 U.S. Code 166)

Vehicle Incremental Cost Allocation

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) must allocate the incremental cost of purchasing alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) across the entire fleet of vehicles distributed by GSA. This mandate also applies to other federal agencies that procure vehicles for federal fleets. For more information, see the GSA's AFV website. (Reference 42 U.S. Code 13212 (c))

Point of Contact
U.S. General Services Administration
Phone: (703) 605-5630
AFVteam@gsa.gov

Procurement Preference for Electric and Hybrid Electric Vehicles

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) must exhibit a preference for the lease or procurement of motor vehicles with electric or hybrid electric propulsion systems, including plug-in hybrid systems. Tactical vehicles designed for use in combat are excluded from the requirement. DOD must establish regulations to implement the electric vehicle preference. (Reference 10 U.S. Code 2922g)

Point of Contact
U.S. Department of Defense
Phone: (703) 571-3343
http://www.defense.gov/

Programs

Clean Cities

The mission of Clean Cities is to advance the energy, economic, and environmental security of the United States by supporting local initiatives to adopt practices that reduce the use of petroleum in the transportation sector. Clean Cities carries out this mission through a network of nearly 100 volunteer coalitions, which develop public/private partnerships to promote alternative fuels and advanced vehicles, fuel blends, fuel economy, hybrid vehicles, and idle reduction. Clean Cities provides information about financial opportunities, coordinates technical assistance projects, updates and maintains databases and websites, and publishes fact sheets, newsletters, and related technical and informational materials. For more information, see the Clean Cities website.

Point of Contact
U.S. Department of Energy
Phone: (202) 586-5000
Fax: (202) 586-4403
http://www.energy.gov

State Energy Program (SEP) Funding

The SEP provides grants to states to assist in designing, developing, and implementing renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. Each state's energy office receives SEP funding and manages all SEP-funded projects. States may also receive project funding from technology programs in the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) for SEP Special Projects. EERE distributes the funding through an annual competitive solicitation to state energy offices. For more information, see the SEP website.

Point of Contact
U.S. Department of Energy
Phone: (202) 586-5000
Fax: (202) 586-4403
http://www.energy.gov

Clean Ports USA

Clean Ports USA is an incentive-based program designed to reduce emissions by encouraging port authorities and terminal operators to retrofit and replace older diesel engines with new technologies and use cleaner fuels. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Clean Diesel Campaign offers funding to port authorities and public entities to help them overcome barriers that impede the adoption of cleaner diesel technologies and strategies. For more information, see the Clean Ports USA website.

Point of Contact
Julie Henning
National Clean Diesel Campaign
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Phone: (734) 214-4442
Fax: (734) 214-4052
henning.julie@epa.gov
http://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/

Clean Construction USA

Clean Construction USA is a voluntary program that promotes the reduction of diesel exhaust emissions from construction equipment and vehicles by encouraging proper operations and maintenance, use of emissions-reducing technologies, and use of cleaner fuels. Clean Construction USA is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Clean Diesel Campaign, which offers funding for clean diesel construction equipment projects. For more information, see the Clean Construction USA website.

Point of Contact
Julie Henning
National Clean Diesel Campaign
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Phone: (734) 214-4442
Fax: (734) 214-4052
henning.julie@epa.gov
http://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/

Clean Agriculture USA

Clean Agriculture USA is a voluntary program that promotes the reduction of diesel exhaust emissions from agricultural equipment and vehicles by encouraging proper operations and maintenance by farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses, use of emissions-reducing technologies, and use of cleaner fuels. Clean Agriculture USA is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Clean Diesel Campaign, which offers funding for clean diesel agricultural equipment projects. For more information, see the Clean Agriculture USA website.

Point of Contact
Julie Henning
National Clean Diesel Campaign
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Phone: (734) 214-4442
Fax: (734) 214-4052
henning.julie@epa.gov
http://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/

Air Pollution Control Program

The Air Pollution Control Program assists state, local, and tribal agencies in planning, developing, establishing, improving, and maintaining adequate programs for prevention and control of air pollution or implementation of national air quality standards. Plans may emphasize alternative fuels, vehicle maintenance, and transportation choices to reduce vehicle miles traveled. Eligible applicants may receive federal funding for up to 60% of project costs to implement their plans. (Reference 42 U.S. Code 7405)

Point of Contact
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Phone: (202) 272-0167
http://www.epa.gov

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program

The CMAQ Improvement Program provides funding to state departments of transportation (DOTs), municipal planning organizations (MPOs), and transit agencies for projects and programs in air quality nonattainment and maintenance areas that reduce transportation-related emissions. Eligible activities include transit improvements, travel demand management strategies, traffic flow improvements, purchasing idle reduction equipment, development of alternative fueling infrastructure, conversion of public fleet vehicles to operate on cleaner fuels, and outreach activities that provide assistance to diesel equipment and vehicle owners and operators regarding the purchase and installation of diesel retrofits. State DOTs and MPOs must give priority to projects and programs to include diesel retrofits and other cost-effective emissions reduction activities, and cost-effective congestion mitigation activities that provide air quality benefits. For more information, see the CMAQ Improvement Program website. (Reference Public Law 112-141, and 23 U.S. Code 149)

Point of Contact
Federal Highway Administration
U.S. Department of Transportation
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/index.html

Voluntary Airport Low Emission (VALE) Program

The goal of the VALE Program is to reduce ground level emissions at commercial service airports located in designated ozone and carbon monoxide air quality nonattainment and maintenance areas. The VALE Program provides funding through the Airport Improvement Program and the Passenger Facility Charges program for the purchase of low-emission vehicles, development of fueling and recharging stations, implementing gate electrification, and other airport air quality improvements. For more information, see the VALE Program website. (Reference 49 U.S. Code 47139)

Point of Contact
Peggy Wade
Federal Aviation Administration, Planning and Environmental Division
U.S. Department of Transportation
Phone: (202) 267-8824
peggy.wade@faa.gov