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:
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. Funding availability is based on confirmed reservations. For more information, including vehicle eligibility requirements and exclusions, see the NGVIP website.
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 $2,500 to $117,000. Only fleets that operate vehicles in California are eligible. 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 vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) 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.
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):
- $150,000 for single filers
- $204,000 for head-of-household filers
- $300,000 for joint filers
ARB determines annual funding amounts for the CVRP, which is expected to be effective through 2023. ARB must submit a report to the State Legislature on the environmental and economic impacts of the CVRP by December 31, 2018. For more information, including information on income verification, a list of eligible vehicles, and how to apply, see the CVRP website.
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. Only individuals with low and moderate household incomes will receive rebates. All other applicants will be put on a waitlist. 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.
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 for qualified CNG, hydrogen, and electric vehicles. Green Clean Air Vehicle Stickers are available for qualified purchased or leased PHEVs. Stickers are valid through the following dates:
- Stickers issued before January 1, 2019 expire January 1, 2019;
- Stickers issued on or after January 1, 2019 for a vehicle that had been issued a sticker between January 1, 2017 and January 1, 2019, expire January 1, 2022; and
- All other stickers issued on or after January 1, 2019 expire on January 1 of the fourth year after the sticker was issued.
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 $1,000 to retire the vehicle early from operation. Applicants must provide proof of a failed smog test and may only retire one vehicle annually. Low-income eligible applicants may receive $1,500 to retire the vehicle and must provide proof of a completed smog test, pass or fail. 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)
Voluntary Vehicle Retirement and Replacement Grants
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) will administer the Clean Cars 4 All Program (Program) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and benefit low-income residents through the retirement and replacement of high-emission motor vehicles. The Program will be focused on funding projects for the voluntary early retirement and replacement from operation of passenger vehicles and light- and medium-duty trucks primarily in disadvantaged communities, when possible, as defined by the California Environmental Protection Agency. Low-income eligible applicants may receive compensation towards a replacement vehicle or mobility option of no less than $2,500. Compensation for other eligible applicants may not exceed the compensation received by low-income recipients. Eligible applicants that have received funding for voluntary vehicle retirement under the California Bureau of Automotive Repair's Consumer Assistance Program are eligible for vehicle replacement funding under the Program. ARB must establish the Program guidelines by January 1, 2019.(Reference Assembly Bills 188 and 630, 2017, and California Health and Safety Code 44124.5-44125)
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 California Health and Safety Code 44275-44299.2)
Point of Contact
California Air Resources Board
Phone: (866) 6DIESEL (634-3735)
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)
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)
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Pilot Programs
The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) will provide funding for pilot utility programs to install EVSE at a school facilities, other educational institutions, and state parks or beaches. Priority will be given to locations in disadvantaged communities, as defined by the California Environmental Protection Agency. Utilities may submit project proposals until July 20, 2018. (Reference Assembly Bills 1082 and 1083, 2017 and California Public Utilities Code 740.13-740.14)
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 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 26004-26082)
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
Associate Air Quality Engineer
Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District
Phone: (916) 874-4892
Fax: (916) 874-4899
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
South Coast Air Quality Management District
Phone: (909) 396-3296
Fax: (909) 396-3252
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 Eligibility||Vehicle <8 Years||Fuel Economy >35 mpg||PHEV or ZEV||Alternative 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 Eligible||Not Eligible||$2,500||$2,500 Value|
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 TVP 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.
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment and Charging Incentives - SMUD
Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) offers residential customers a $599 rebate or a free Level 2 (240 volt) plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) charger. Rebates or chargers are available to SMUD residential customers with the purchase or lease of a new PEV. To be eligible for the rebate or charger, completed applications must be postmarked within 180 days of the date of purchase or lease of the PEV. Additional terms and conditions apply. For more information, including the rebate application, please see SMUD's Drive Electric Incentive website.
Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Rebate - PG&E
Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) provides rebates of $500 to residential customers who purchase or lease an eligible PEV. Residential account holders may apply on behalf of a PEV owner in their household or their tenant in a multifamily household with the vehicle owner's permission. For more information, see the PG&E Clean Fuel Rebate website.
Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Rebate - SCE
Southern California Edison (SCE) provides rebates of $450 to residential customers who purchase or lease an eligible new or preowned PEV. Residential account holders may apply on behalf of a PEV owner in their household. For more information, see the SCE Clean Fuel Rewards Program website.
All-Electric Vehicle Rebate - SDG&E
San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) customers are eligible for a $10,000 rebate for the purchase of a new 2017 BMW i3 at participating dealerships. Rebates are available through January 2, 2018, or until funds are exhausted. For more information, see the SDG&E 2017 BMW i3 website.
Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Credit - SDG&E
San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) offers an annual credit of $200 to customers who own or lease a PEV. The credit is available to qualified customers through 2020. For more information, including how to apply, see the SDG&E Electric Vehicle Climate Credit website.
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) and Charging Incentives - Sonoma Clean Power
Qualified Sonoma Clean Power (SCP) customers are eligible to receive a free JuiceNet-enabled EVSE from eMotorWerks, which allows the EVSE to be connected to Wi-Fi and communicate with the SCP CleanCharge software. This software helps customers avoid using as much power when California's electric grid is particularly expensive or harmful to the environment. Customers with an existing standard, non-connected EVSE, are eligible to receive a free JuicePlug (smart grid adapter) to convert to a JuiceNet-enabled EVSE. Customers are responsible for shipping and installation costs. Eligible customers may also receive a $250 rebate in JuicePoints to pay for charging. Other terms and conditions may apply. For more information, including frequently asked questions, see SCP's Drive EverGreen 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 EVSE. Commercial customers who purchase and install EVSE for employee and public use can receive up to $4,000 for each charger. Eligible customers may qualify for up to 20 rebate awards depending on the number of parking spaces. Residential customers who install wall-mounted chargers can receive up to $500. EVSE must be installed within the LADWP service area; rebates do not cover the cost of installation. Rebates are available on a first-come, first-served basis through June 30, 2018, 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 - LADWP
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) offers a $0.025 per kilowatt-hour 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 Plans 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.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Credit - PG&E
Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) administers the Clean Fuel Rebate program, which offers an annual bill credit for CNG account holders that purchase CNG as a transportation fuel from a PG&E station. Customers must have an active CNG transportation fueling account. This program is available through 2020, or until funds are exhausted. Additional terms and conditions apply. For more information, see the Clean Fuel Rebate 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 December 31, 2020. 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 Assembly Bill 1073, 2017, and 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 must 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)
Volkswagen Group of America's (VW) Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Investment Plan
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved the VW California ZEV Investment Plan. As required by the October 2016 2.0-Liter Partial Consent Decree, VW must invest $800 million over ten years to support the increased adoption of ZEV technology in California. VW will submit a series of four 30-month cycle ZEV investment plans to CARB for approval; EPA has approved the Cycle 1 plan, covering Quarter 1, 2017, through Quarter 2, 2019. The Cycle 1 plan includes building a basic charging network, launching a multi-lingual public outreach and education campaign, and beginning ZEV access projects. ZEV infrastructure rollouts will be focused in six metropolitan areas: Fresno, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, and Sacramento. VW has also designated Sacramento as the first "Green City," with the goal of offering residents a better quality of life through enhanced mobility and improved air quality. For more information, see the California ZEV Investment Plan: Cycle 1 and CARB's Volkswagen Settlement website.
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.
The Commission and ARB must annually issue a 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. For more information see ARB's Hydrogen Transportation Initiatives website.
(Reference California Health and Safety Code 43018.9)
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 California Green Building Standards Code within the California Building Standards Code. For more information, see the California Building Codes Standards Commission website. (Reference California Health and Safety Code 18941.10)
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)
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 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 items of value. (Reference California Government Code 14678)
Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) Parking Space Regulation
An individual may not park a motor vehicle within any on- or off-street parking space specifically designated by a local authority for parking and charging PEVs unless the vehicle is a PEV fueled by electricity. Eligible PEVs must be in the process of charging to park in the space. A person found responsible for a violation is subject to traffic violation penalties. (Reference Assembly Bill 1452, 2017, and California Vehicle Code 22511)
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. A city or county with a population of fewer than 200,000 residents was required to adopt such an ordinance by September 30, 2017. Each city or county must consult with the local fire department or district and the utility director to develop the ordinance, which must 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 California Government Code 65850.7)
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.
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 (CEC), 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 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.
(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 California Code of Regulations Title 17, Section 95480-95486)
Support for Zero Emission and Autonomous Vehicle Infrastructure
Cities and counties that receive funding from the Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program are encouraged to use funds towards advanced transportation technologies and communication systems, including, but not limited to, zero emission vehicle fueling infrastructure and infrastructure-to-vehicle communications for autonomous vehicles. (Reference Senate Bill 1, 2017, and California Streets and Highways Code 2030)
Support for Advanced 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)
Support for Idle Reduction Efforts
The California Legislature urges motorists to not idle their vehicles in spaces where children congregate, such as schools and parks. (Reference Assembly Concurrent Resolution 160, 2016)
State Transportation Plan
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) must update the California Transportation Plan (Plan) by December 31, 2020, 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 the 2016 report is available on the Caltrans website. Caltrans must also review the Plan and prepare a report for the legislature and governor that includes actionable, programmatic transportation system improvement recommendations every five years. (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 websites 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.
|2025 and later||22%|
Autonomous Vehicle Testing and Operation Requirements
Autonomous vehicles may be operated on public roads for testing purposes, if there is a licensed vehicle operator seated in the driver's seat monitoring the safe operation of the autonomous vehicle and capable of taking immediate manual control of the vehicle in the event that the automated driving system fails. Autonomous vehicles may not be operated on public roads for purposes other than testing unless the vehicle manufacturer submits an application to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the application is approved, and the autonomous vehicle meets, at minimum, the following requirements:
- It is equipped with an easily accessible way for the driver to engage or disengage the autonomous driving system;
- It contains an indicator inside of the vehicle that notifies the driver when the autonomous driving system is engaged;
- It has a means to alert the driver when the autonomous driving system has failed and either allows the driver to take manual control of the vehicle, or is capable of bringing itself to a complete stop;
- It meets all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; and
- It has a separate mechanism to capture and save the vehicle's sensor data at least 30 seconds before a collision involving the vehicle occurs.
Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) Autonomous Vehicle Pilot Authorization
LAVTA may conduct a pilot to test shared autonomous vehicles, without a driver in the driver's seat, that are not equipped with a steering wheel, brake pedal, or accelerator. The autonomous vehicles must operate at speeds of less than 35 miles per hour at all times, and can only be tested within the City of Dublin. Prior to the start of the pilot, LAVTA must submit a detailed description of the testing program to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). LAVTA may conduct this pilot until up to 180 days after the DMV enacts its regulations for the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles that may be operated without a driver in the driver's seat. (Reference Assembly Bill 1444, 2017, and California Vehicle Code 38756)
Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) Autonomous Vehicle Pilot Authorization
CCTA may conduct a pilot to test autonomous vehicles, without a driver in the driver's seat, that are not equipped with a steering wheel, brake pedal, or accelerator. The autonomous vehicles must operate at speeds of less than 35 miles per hour at all times, and can only be tested at a privately owned business park designated by CCTA and at GoMentum Station. CCTA may conduct this pilot up to until 180 days after the California Department of Motor Vehicles enacts its regulations for the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles that may be operated without a driver in the driver's seat. (Reference California Vehicle Code 38755)
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.
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:
|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, $0.1017 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.
Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Fee
Beginning July 1, 2020, zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) owners must pay an annual road improvement fee of $100 upon vehicle registration or registration renewal for ZEVs model year 2020 and later. The California Department of Motor Vehicles will increase the fee annually to account for inflation, equal to the increase in the California Consumer Price Index for the prior year. (Reference Senate Bill 1, 2017)
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). Specifically, DGS must reduce or displace the fleet's consumption of petroleum products by 20% by January 1, 2020, as compared to the 2003 consumption level. Beginning in fiscal year 2024, DGS must also ensure that at least 50% of the light-duty vehicles purchased by the state are zero emission vehicles (ZEVs). Further, at least 15% of DGS' fleet of new vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 19,000 pounds or more must be ZEVs by 2025, and at least 30% by 2030.
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. DGS is also required to:
- 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.
Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Programs Report
The California Air Resources Board (ARB), in partnership with its stakeholders, must complete a report that reviews each of ARB's ZEV-related programs by July 1, 2019. Specifically, the report must include an analysis of the greenhouse gas and air quality goals of each ZEV program, the progress of each program towards meeting its goals, and a cost-benefit analysis of each program. In this report, ARB must also propose recommendations for improvements to these programs and on how to encourage the cost-effective deployment of ZEVs in fleets across the state. (Reference Senate Bill 498, 2017, and California Health and Safety Code 43018.8)
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 website.
As of 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 Requirement
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, the Natural Resources Agency, and 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, implemented the California Sustainable Freight Action Plan (Plan), which establishes targets to improve freight efficiency and transition to zero emission technologies. The Plan identifies state policies, programs, and investments to achieve the following targets:
- Improve freight system efficiency by 25% by 2030; and
- Deploy over 100,000 zero emission freight vehicles and associated equipment, maximizing the number of vehicles powered by renewable energy, by 2030.
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
California Air Resources Board
Phone: (866) 6DIESEL (634-3735)
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. 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.
Point of Contact
California Air Resources Board
Phone: (866) 6DIESEL (634-3735)
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.
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Signage Authorization on Highways
EVSE facilities located at roadside businesses are eligible to be included on state highway exit information signs. Signage must be consistent with California's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. (Reference Assembly Bill 1633, 2017, and California Streets and Highway Code 101.7)
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. In addition, certain jurisdictions may develop NEV transportation plans. Specifically, Orange County (Ranch Plan Planned Community) must publish a NEV transportation report by November 1, 2020, and a NEV transportation plan by January 1, 2022. The report must be submitted to the legislature and must describe the NEV transportation plan, an evaluation of the effectiveness of the plan, and a recommendation as to whether the plan should be continued, discontinued, or expanded state-wide.
(Reference 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) formed 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 implemented a pilot program to identify and evaluate issues related to potential implementation of an RUC program. The Agency must prepare and submit a report of its findings to the California State Legislature no later than June 30, 2018. For more information, see the Agency's Road Charge Pilot Program website. (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)