Florida Laws and Incentives
Listed below are the summaries of all current Florida 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 (NGV) and Propane Vehicle Rebates
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services offers a rebate for up to 50% of the incremental cost to purchase or lease a new original equipment manufacturer NGV or propane vehicle, or convert a vehicle to run on natural gas or propane, up to $25,000 per vehicle and $250,000 per applicant per fiscal year. To qualify, the dedicated or bi-fuel vehicle must be part of a public or private fleet and must be placed into service on or after July 1, 2013. Of the funds available for these rebates, 40% is reserved for government applicants; the remaining funds are allocated to commercial applicants. Funding is not available for the 2017-2018 fiscal year (confirmed June 2017). For more information, see the Natural Gas Fuel Fleet Vehicle Rebate website. (Reference Florida Statutes 206.997 and Florida Administrative Code 5O-4.001)
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Financing
Local governments may offer funding to property owners within their jurisdiction to help finance EVSE installations on their property or enter into a financing agreement for the same purpose. For additional information, property owners should contact their local government. (Reference Florida Statutes 163.08)
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate - Sarasota County
ChargeUP! Sarasota County offers rebates to businesses, non-profits, and local governments within Sarasota County for the installation of qualified Level 2 or DC fast charging EVSE. Businesses are eligible for a rebate of 25% of the cost of EVSE purchase and installation, up to $2,000, and non-profits or government organizations are eligible for a rebate of 50% of the cost of EVSE purchase and installation, up to $4,000. Qualified EVSE must be level 2 or DC fast charging stations, publicly available for at least 8 hours a day, and located in targeted locations that do not currently have EVSE. Additional restrictions apply, and program participants must apply for the rebate before EVSE installation. For more information and rebate request forms, see the ChargeUP! Sarasota website.
Excise Tax Exemption for Biodiesel Produced by Schools
Biodiesel fuel manufactured by a public or private secondary school is exempt from the diesel fuel excise tax and the associated registration requirements. To qualify for the exemption, total annual production of biodiesel must be less than 1,000 gallons and may only be used by the school, its employees, or its students. (Reference Florida Statutes 206.874)
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficient Technology Grant Matching Program
The Renewable Energy and Energy-Efficient Technologies (REET) Grant Matching Program provides matching grants of $50,000 to $400,000 for demonstration, commercialization, research, and development projects relating to renewable energy technologies, bioenergy, and innovative technologies that significantly increase energy efficiency for vehicles. Higher education institutions and non-profits may request grant funds for indirect costs, up to 10% of grant funds requested, and may use indirect costs as matching contribution, capped at 10% of grant funds less the percentage of indirect costs claimed for grant funds. Awards are subject to state funding availability. For more information, see the REET Grant Matching Program website. (Reference Florida Statutes 377.804 and Florida Administrative Code 5O-1.003)
Idle Reduction and Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) Weight Exemption
Any motor vehicle equipped with idle reduction technology may exceed the gross vehicle or internal bridge weight by the amount equal to the certified weight of the idle reduction technology, up to 550 pounds. To be eligible, the operator must present written verification of the weight of the idle reduction technology and demonstrate that it is fully functional at all times. Any NGV may exceed the limits by up to 2,000 pounds. (Reference Florida Statutes 316.545)
High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane Exemption
A driver may operate a qualified Inherently Low Emission Vehicle (ILEV) or a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) in an HOV lane at any time, regardless of the number of passengers, provided that the vehicle is certified and labeled in accordance with federal regulations. All eligible ILEVs and HEVs must comply with the minimum fuel economy standards set forth in Title 23 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, section 166(f)(3)(B). The vehicle must display a Florida Division of Motor Vehicles issued decal, which must be renewed annually. Special fees may apply. Vehicles with decals may also use any HOV lane designated as a HOV toll lane without paying the toll. An HEV is defined as a motor vehicle that draws propulsion energy from on-board sources of stored energy comprised of both an internal combustion engine using combustible fuel and a rechargeable energy storage system and meets or exceeds the qualifying California standards for a Low Emission Vehicle. Three-wheeled vehicles are considered ILEVs for the purposes of HOV lane exemption. This exemption expires September 30, 2019. For more information, see the HOV Decal website. (Reference Florida Statutes 316.0741)
Ethanol Production Credit
County governments are eligible to apply waste reduction credits towards their recycling goal, up to one-half of the goal, by using yard clippings, clean wood waste, or paper waste as feedstock for the production of clean-burning fuels such as ethanol. (Reference Florida Statutes 403.706)
Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) Rebate - JEA
Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA) offers rebates for new PEVs purchased or leased on or after September 18, 2014. PEVs with a battery less than 15 kilowatt-hours (kWh) in capacity receive $500, and PEVs with larger battery capacity are eligible for $1,000. A copy of a valid Florida vehicle registration, proof of sale, and a recent JEA Electric bill are required. For more information, see JEA's Electric Vehicle Incentives page.
Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Rebate - OUC
Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) provides rebates of $200 to residential customers who purchase or lease an eligible new or preowned PEV. Applicants must apply within six months of the purchase or lease of the PEV. For more information, see the OUC Electric Vehicles at Home page.
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate - OUC
Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) offers rebates of $200 per EVSE to commercial and multi-family building customers for the purchase of EVSE. For more information, see the OUC Charging Stations page.
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate - Gulf Power
Gulf Power offers rebates of $750 to residential customers for the purchase of EVSE. Applicants must supply proof of purchase or lease of new or preowned plug-in electric vehicle (PEV). Customers must apply for the rebate within six months of the purchase or lease of an eligible PEV. Rebates are available to the first 1,000 participants or December 31, 2018, whichever comes first. For more information, see the Gulf Power Electric Vehicles page.
Laws and Regulations
Natural Gas and Propane Retailer License
Natural gas and propane retailers must obtain a license from the Florida Department of Revenue. Through December 31, 2018, a retailer that does not hold a valid license is subject to a penalty of $200 per month of operation without a license. Beginning January 1, 2019, the penalty will be 25% of the tax assessed on total purchases. Exemptions may apply. (Reference Florida Statutes 206.9952)
Natural Gas and Propane Tax
Effective January 1, 2019, propane, compressed natural gas (CNG), and liquefied natural gas (LNG) will be subject to an excise tax at a rate of $0.04 per gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE), plus a $0.01 ninth-cent fuel tax, a $0.01 local option fuel tax, and an additional variable component to be determined by the Florida Department of Revenue (Department) each calendar year for the following 12-month period. To determine this tax, the Department will require each propane and natural gas retailer to file monthly electronic reports beginning February 2019. For taxation purposes, one GGE is equal to 5.66 pounds (lbs.) or 126.67 standard cubic feet of CNG; 6.06 lbs. of LNG; and 1.35 gallons of propane. Exemptions may apply. (Reference Florida Statutes 206.9955, 206.9965, and 206.996)
Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging Regulation Exemption
PEV charging made available to the public by a non-utility is not considered a retail sale of electricity and, therefore, the rates, terms, and conditions of EV charging services are not subject to regulation. (Reference Florida Statutes 366.94)
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rules
A person may not stop, stand, or park a vehicle that is not capable of using EVSE in a parking space designated for plug-in electric vehicles. To allow for consistency for consumers and the industry, the Florida Bureau of Standards must adopt additional rules to provide definitions, methods of sale, labeling requirements, and price-posting requirements for EVSE. (Reference Florida Statutes 366.94)
Authorization for Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Incentives
Local governments may use income from the infrastructure surtax to provide loans, grants, or rebates to residential or commercial property owners to install electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) as well as propane and natural gas fueling infrastructure, if a local government ordinance authorizing this use is approved by referendum. (Reference Florida Statutes 206.9951 and 212.055)
Electric Vehicle (EV) Insurance Regulation
Insurance companies may not impose surcharges on EVs based on factors such as new technology, passenger payload, weight-to-horsepower ratio, and the types of material used to manufacture the vehicle, unless the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation receives actuarial data that determines the surcharges are justified. (Reference Florida Statutes 627.06535)
Natural Gas and Propane Reports
The Florida Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (Office) must complete a report that analyzes the taxation and use of natural gas and propane as alternative fuels in the state. The report must evaluate growth trends in the use of these fuels in Florida and survey how other states tax and incentivize consumers to use natural gas and propane. Additionally, the report must survey Florida fuel consumers and suppliers. The Office must submit its report to the governor and legislature by December 1, 2017.
The Office must also analyze the economic benefits resulting from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' propane and natural gas vehicle rebates. The Office submitted a final report to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in November, 2015.
(Reference Florida Statutes 206.997)
Alternative Fuel Economic Development
To stimulate local economic development, landowners may apply to amend the local government comprehensive plan to expand existing uses of rural agricultural industrial centers to include facilities that prepare biomass materials that can be used for the production of fuel, renewable energy, bioenergy, or alternative fuel. In addition, permitting agencies may expedite applications and local comprehensive plan amendments submitted for projects resulting in the production of biofuels or construction of a biofuel processing facility. (Reference Florida Statutes 163.3177 and 403.973)
Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Acquisition and Alternative Fuel Use Requirements
When procuring new vehicles under a state purchasing plan, all Florida state agency, state university, community college, and local government fleets must select the vehicles with the greatest fuel efficiency available for a given use class, when fuel economy data is available. Exceptions may be made for emergency responder vehicles if these entities provide documentation. In addition, all state agencies must use ethanol and biodiesel blended fuels when available. State agencies administering central fueling operations for state-owned vehicles must purchase ethanol and biodiesel fuels to use in their vehicle fleet as much as possible. (Reference Florida Statutes 286.29)
Biodiesel Producer Fuel Tax
Municipalities, counties, or school districts producing biodiesel must file a return documenting their biodiesel production activities and pay $0.03 of the $0.04 tax required under Florida Statutes 206.87(1)(a), (b), and (c) each month to the Florida Department of Revenue. (Reference Florida Statutes 206.874)
The Florida Department of Management Services (DMS), in coordination with the Florida Department of Transportation (DOT), must conduct an analysis of fuel additives and biofuels DOT uses through its central fueling facilities. The DMS must also encourage other state government entities to analyze transportation fuel usage, including the types and percentages of fuels consumed, and report this information to the DMS. (Reference Florida Statutes 287.16)
Provision for Renewable Fuels Investment
To create jobs and improve the state's general infrastructure, the Florida State Board of Administration may invest up to 1.5% of the net assets of the system trust fund in technology and growth investments of businesses operating in Florida, including businesses related to biofuels, renewable energy, and other related applications. (Reference Florida Statutes 215.47)
Low-Speed Vehicle Access to Roadways
A low-speed vehicle, including a neighborhood electric vehicle, is defined as any four-wheeled vehicle capable of achieving a top speed between 20 and 25 miles per hour. Low-speed vehicle operators must comply with the safety standards in Title 49 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, section 571.500, and Florida Statutes 316.2122, and license the vehicle as required under state guidelines. Seasonal delivery personnel may only use low-speed vehicles during certain yearly timeframes. (Reference Florida Statutes 316.2122, 316.2126, 320.01, and 320.0847)