Connecticut Laws and Incentives

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

State Incentives

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Grants

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) provides funding to municipalities, state agencies, and private businesses for the cost and installation of eligible EVSE. Funding is available for 50% of project costs (up to $2,000 per unit and $4,000 per site) to 100% of project costs (up to $10,000 per site), depending on how well the project matches program criteria. For EVSE that is available to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and located in a major downtown area or other central destination currently underserved by EVSE, DEEP will provide up to $5,000 per unit or up to $10,000 per site. All EVSE must be available to the public at no cost for three years, with further criteria required for maximum funding. The program is not currently accepting applications (verified June 2018). For more information, including application submission deadlines, refer to the Connecticut DEEP Electric Vehicle Charging Station Incentive Program & Resources website.

Heavy-Duty Vehicle Emissions Reduction Grants

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) allocates a portion of its designated funds from the Volkswagen Clean Air Act Civil Settlement for the replacement or repower of eligible heavy-duty on-road vehicles through its Diesel Emissions Mitigation Program (Program). The Program provides up to 65% of the cost of new diesel or alternative fuel replacements and repowers for eligible public entities. For eligible private entities, the Program provides up to 40% of the cost of a new diesel or alternative fuel repower, up to 25% of the cost of a new diesel or alternative fuel vehicle, up to 60% of the cost of an all-electric repower, and up to 60% of the cost of a new all-electric vehicle and associated charging infrastructure. Vehicles that qualify for replacement or repower include:

Model YearVehicle Type
1992-2009Class 8 Local Freight Trucks and Port Drayage Trucks
1992-2009Class 4-7 Local Freight Trucks
2009 or olderClass 4-8 School Buses, Shuttle Buses, and Transit Buses

For more information, including application guidelines, see the DEEP VW Grant Information website.

Hydrogen and Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Rebate

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

Vehicle TypeRebate AmountRequired Battery Range
PHEV$2,00040 miles or greater
$500Less than 40 miles
EV$3,000175 miles or greater
$2,000100-174 miles
$500Less than 100 miles
FCEV$5,000-

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

Loans for Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs) and Residential Charging Infrastructure

The Connecticut Green Bank offers Smart-E low-interest loans of up to $30,000 for Connecticut residents to purchase a new or used PEV. The vehicle must be registered with the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles. Loans are also available for Connecticut PEV drivers to purchase Level 2 and DC fast electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). To qualify, applicants must own or lease a model year 2012 or later PEV and occupy the residence at which the EVSE will be installed. For more information, see the Connecticut Green Bank Smart-E Loan website.

Reduced Registration Fee for Electric Vehicles

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

Electric Vehicle Emissions Inspection Exemption

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

Biofuels Research Grants

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

Idle Reduction Weight Exemption

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

Laws and Regulations

Autonomous Vehicle Task Force and Pilot Program

A task force is established to study fully autonomous vehicles (AVs), including evaluating the standards established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding state responsibilities for regulating AVs. The task force will also evaluate the laws proposed or enacted by other states to regulate AVs and recommend how the state should regulate AVs. The task force must submit to the Connecticut General Assembly an interim report by July 1, 2019, and a final report by January 1, 2020.

The Connecticut Office of Policy and Management, in consultation with the Departments of Motor Vehicles, Transportation, and Emergency Services and Public Protection, will establish a pilot program for up to four municipalities to allow approved candidates to test AVs on local highways. No later than January 1, 2019, and annually thereafter, the Office of Policy and Management will submit a report to the General Assembly on the implementation and progress of the pilot program. For more information about the pilot program, including how to apply, see the Fully Autonomous Vehicle Testing Pilot Program website.

(Reference House Bill 5314, 2018, and Public Act 17-69)

Public Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Requirements

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

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

(Reference Connecticut General Statutes 16-19ggg)

Electric Vehicle (EV) Registration Data

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

Public Utility Definition

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

Utility Company Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Load Projection Requirement

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority requires electric distribution companies to integrate EV charging load projections into distribution planning. Projections will be based on the number of EVs registered in the state as well as on projected fluctuation in EV sales. Electric distribution companies must publish an annual report detailing the EV charging load projections for the company's distribution planning. (Reference Connecticut General Statutes 16-19fff)

Utility Company Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Rates

By July 1, 2018, utility companies must evaluate if it is appropriate to implement PEV time of day rates for residential and commercial customers. A time-of-day rate is a rate for PEVs that is designed to reflect the cost of electricity to the consumer at different times of the day. Utilities that have already made this determination prior to July 1, 2017, are not required to do so again. (Reference Senate Bill 333, 2018, and Connecticut General Statutes 16-19f)

Integrated Resources Plan Report

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

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Procurement Preference

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

Ethanol Labeling Requirement

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

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Deployment Support

Connecticut joined California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, 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.

In June 2018, the Task Force published a new ZEV Action Plan for 2018-2021. Building on the 2014 Action Plan, the 2018 Action Plan makes recommendations for states and other key partners in five priority areas:

  • Raising consumer awareness and interest in electric vehicle technology;
  • Building out a reliable and convenient residential, workplace and public charging/fueling infrastructure network;
  • Continuing and improving access to consumer purchase and non-financial incentives;
  • Expanding public and private sector fleet adoption; and
  • Supporting dealership efforts to increase ZEV sales.

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

Zero Emissions Bus Implementation Plan

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

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

Cars and light-duty trucks purchased by state agencies must meet the following requirements:

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

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

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

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

School Bus Emissions Reduction

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

Idle Reduction Requirement

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

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Sales Requirements and Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Standards

The Connecticut LEV II Program requires that all new vehicles sold in Connecticut meet California motor vehicle emissions and compliance requirements specified in Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations. These regulations apply to new vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of up to 14,000 pounds. Manufacturers must meet the greenhouse gas emissions standard and the ZEV production and sales requirements. For more information, see the Connecticut LEV II Program website. (Reference Connecticut General Statutes 22a-174-36b and 22a-174g)

Aftermarket Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Conversion Requirements

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

Emissions Reduction Credits

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

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Propane Tax

CNG and propane used in motor vehicles is subject to a state motor fuel tax rate of $0.26 per gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE). For taxation purposes, one GGE is equal to 126.67 standard cubic feet of natural gas and 35.97 cubic feet of propane. (Reference Connecticut General Statutes 12-458, and Special Notice 2014-2)