Maryland Laws and Incentives
Listed below are the summaries of all current Maryland 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:
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate Program
Effective July 1, 2017, the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) will offer an EVSE rebate program to an individual, business, or state or local government entity for the costs of acquiring and installing qualified EVSE. Between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2020, rebates are up to the following amounts, for 40% of the costs of acquiring and installing qualified EVSE:
|Business or State or Local Government||$4,000|
|Retail Service Station Dealer||$5,000|
Applicants must demonstrate compliance with state, local, and/or federal law that applies to the installation or operation of qualified EVSE. Other requirements may apply. Total funding for each fiscal year will not exceed $1,200,000. For more information, see MEA's EVSE Rebate Program page.(Reference House Bill 406, 2017, and Maryland Statutes, Business Regulation Code 10-101, and State Government Code 9-2009)
Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Tax Credit
Effective July 1, 2017, qualified PEV purchasers may apply for a tax credit against the imposed excise tax. The tax credit is limited to one vehicle per individual and 10 vehicles per business entity. Vehicles must be registered in Maryland, unless the vehicle manufacturer conforms to applicable state or federal laws or regulations governing clean fuel vehicles or PEVs during the year in which the vehicle was purchased, or the vehicle was originally registered in another state. A qualified vehicle must meet the following criteria:
- Have a total purchase price not exceeding $60,000;
- Be propelled to a significant extent by an electric motor that draws electricity from a battery with a capacity of at least five kilowatt-hours (kWh);
- Have not been modified from original manufacturer specifications; and
- Be purchased on or after July 1, 2017.
Vehicles purchased new and titled for the first time between July 1, 2017, and July 1, 2020, are eligible for a credit up to $3,000, calculated as $100 per kWh of battery capacity.The credit is returned to the taxpayer in the form of a check from the state. For more information, including the request form, see the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration's Excise Tax Credit for Plug-In Electric Vehicles website.(Reference House Bill 406, 2017, and Maryland Statutes, Transportation Code 13-815)
Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane Exemption
Permitted PEVs may operate in Maryland HOV lanes regardless of the number of occupants. Qualified PEVs must have a maximum speed capability of at least 65 miles per hour. To operate in HOV lanes, PEV owners must obtain a permit, not to exceed $20, from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). Each year the MVA and the State Highway Administration must report PEV use in HOV lanes to the governor. This exemption expires September 30, 2019. For more information, see the HOV Permit Issuance for PEVs page. (Reference Maryland Statutes, Transportation Code 25-108 and 21-314)
Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Grants
The Maryland Energy Administration administers the Maryland Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Program (AFIP), which provides grants to develop public access alternative fueling and charging infrastructure. Only Maryland-based private businesses are eligible, and projects must take place in the state. Grant awards will range from $35,000 to $500,000 and applicant cost share must be at least 50%. Applications are currently not being accepted (verified April 2017). For more information, including application requirements, see the Maryland AFIP Program website.
Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Voucher Program
The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) administers the Maryland Freedom Fleet Voucher (FFV) Program, which provides vouchers for the purchase of new and converted AFVs registered in Maryland. Eligible vehicles include purchased or leased light-, medium-, and heavy-duty dedicated natural gas, propane, hybrid electric, plug-in electric, and hydraulic hybrid vehicles. Vehicles must be used by commercial, non-profit, or public entities. Voucher amounts are based on gross vehicle weight rating and are capped at 50% of the vehicle's incremental cost; the cap does not apply to plug-in electric vehicles. Funds are not guaranteed until voucher agreements are fully executed. Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis through May 4, 2018. For more information, including application requirements, see the Maryland FFV Program website.
Biofuels Production Incentive
Qualified ethanol and biodiesel producers are eligible for production incentives on a per gallon basis. To be eligible for the incentive, the producer must first apply for and receive certification from the Renewable Fuels Incentive Board (Board). Credits are offered to certified producers in Maryland for ethanol or biodiesel produced between December 31, 2007, and December 31, 2017.
Ethanol production credits are as follows: a) $0.20 per gallon of ethanol produced from small grains such as wheat, rye, triticale, oats, and hulled or hull-less barley; or b) $0.05 per gallon of ethanol produced from other agricultural products. The Board may not certify ethanol production credits for more than 15 million gallons per calendar year, of which at least 10 million gallons must be produced from small grains.
Biodiesel production credits are as follows: a) $0.20 per gallon of biodiesel produced from soybean oil (the soybean oil must be produced in a facility or through expanded capacity of a facility that began operating after December 31, 2004), or b) $0.05 per gallon for biodiesel produced from other feedstocks, including soybean oil produced in a facility that began operating on or before December 31, 2004. The Board may not certify biodiesel production credits for more than five million gallons per calendar year, of which at least two million gallons must be from soybean oil produced in a facility as described above.
(Reference Maryland Statutes, Agriculture Code 10-1501 through 10-1507)
Innovative Transportation Project Competitive Grant Program
The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) provides funds to deploy "game changing" or innovative transportation projects that increase the use of alternative fuel vehicles, such as workplace charging. Projects must be located in Maryland and have the potential to significantly advance the clean energy market through commercially available technologies. Projects can include clean energy conversion technologies, systems, or applications used in other states or regions of the world, but not commonly used in Maryland. Grant awards are available for up to 30% of the total project cost with individual awards ranging from $50,000 to $250,000. The program is not currently accepting applications (verified April 2017). For more information, including program application and award requirements, see the MEA Game Changer Competitive Grant Program website.
Idle Reduction Weight Exemption
Any motor vehicle equipped with a qualified auxiliary power unit (APU) or idle reduction technology may exceed the state gross, axle, tandem, or bridge weight limits by up to 550 pounds to account for the weight of the technology. The additional weight may not exceed the actual weight of the idle reduction unit. The vehicle operator must be able to provide written certification of the weight of the APU or idle reduction technology, and demonstrate that the technology is fully functional. (Reference Maryland Statutes, Transportation Code 24-109)
Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging Rate - BGE
Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) offers a time-of-use (TOU) rate for BGE residential customers who purchase or lease a PEV. The TOU rate, Schedule EV, applies to the energy used for the entire residence during a billing period. Participation requires a meter capable of measuring TOU data. For more information, see Schedule EV.
Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging Rate Incentive - Pepco
Pepco offers a time-of-use rate to all qualified Pepco residential customers in Maryland who own or lease a PEV. For more information, see Pepco's Plug-In Electric Vehicle Charging website.
Laws and Regulations
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Regulation Exemption
Owners and operators of EVSE are not subject to state regulation as electricity suppliers or public service companies. For the purpose of this regulation, owners and operators of EVSE are considered retail electric customers. (Reference Maryland Statutes, State Government Code 10-101(a)) and Public Utility Code 1-101(j))
Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Information Disclosure
The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration is allowed to provide the address of a registered PEV owner and information about the vehicle to electric companies for their use. (Reference Maryland Statutes, General Provisions 4-320)
Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) State Fleet Goal
State agencies must increase the number of ZEV acquisitions in light-duty fleets to at least 25% of annual fleet purchases by 2025. To the extent feasible, ZEV acquisitions should increase by 3% each year from fiscal year (FY) 2016 through FY 2020, so that by FY 2020 at least 15% of annual light-duty fleet purchases are ZEVs. The state fleet must annually report ZEV purchases to the governor, the Maryland Energy Administration, and the Maryland Department of the Environment. (Reference Executive Order 01.01.2015.02, 2015)
Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) Infrastructure Promotion
The Maryland Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council (Council) promotes the use of PEVs in the state. Specific responsibilities of the Council include the following:
- Develop an action plan to facilitate successful integration of PEVs into the Maryland transportation network;
- Assist in developing and coordinating statewide standards for streamlined permitting and installation of electric vehicle supply equipment;
- Recommend a statewide charging infrastructure plan and incentives to support investment in PEVs;
- Develop targeted policies to support fleet purchases of PEVs; and
- Encourage local and regional efforts to promote the use of PEVs.
Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Deployment Support
Maryland joined California, Connecticut, 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.
Alternative Fuel Use Requirement
At least 50% of state vehicles using petroleum diesel fuel must use a minimum blend of 5% biodiesel (B5) or other biofuel approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a fuel or fuel additive. This requirement does not apply to any state vehicles for which the use of biodiesel or other biofuel will void the manufacturer's warranty for that vehicle. Additionally, bi-fuel and flexible fuel vehicles capable of operating on either alternative fuel or conventional fuel must use alternative fuel when it is available. (Reference Maryland Statutes, State Finance and Procurement Code 14-408, and Policies and Procedures for Vehicle Fleet Management)
Idle Reduction Requirement
A motor vehicle engine may not operate for more than five consecutive minutes when the vehicle is not in motion, with the following exceptions: 1) when traffic conditions or mechanical difficulties do not allow the vehicle to operate; 2) when it is necessary to operate heating, cooling or auxiliary equipment installed on the vehicle; 3) to bring vehicle to manufacturer's recommended operating temperature; or 4) if idling is necessary to accomplish the intended use of the vehicle. (Reference Maryland Statutes, Transportation Code 22-402)
Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Standards
Maryland has adopted the California motor vehicle emission standards in Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations. The Maryland Department of Environment may adopt regulations to exempt certain vehicles from the program, including motor vehicles sold for registration outside of Maryland and motor vehicles that would be exempt from the LEV program established under California law. (Reference Maryland Statutes, Environment Code 2-1101 through 2-1108)
Aftermarket Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Conversion Requirements
Conventional original equipment manufacturer vehicles altered to operate on propane, natural gas, methane, ethanol, or electricity are classified as aftermarket AFV conversions. All vehicle conversions for vehicles certified only to California Air Resources Board (CARB) standards must meet current applicable CARB standards for aftermarket conversions. However, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified conversion kits may be used on EPA 50-state certified vehicles and vehicles with dual-certification that are 14,000 pounds or less. (Reference Code of Maryland Regulations 26.11.34)
Low-Speed Vehicle Access to Roadways
A low-speed vehicle is defined as a four-wheeled electric vehicle that has a maximum speed capability of 20 miles per hour (mph) to 25 mph. A low-speed vehicle must be registered with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration and comply with federal safety standards contained in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 571.500. The State Highway Administration or any local authority may prohibit the use of low-speed vehicles on any controlled access highway in its jurisdiction. Low-speed vehicles are only permitted on highways with a speed limit of up to 30 mph, but may, except in certain situations, cross highways for which the maximum speed limit exceeds 45 mph. (Reference Maryland Statutes, Transportation Code 11-130.1, 21-313, 21-1125, and 22-101)
Limited Speed Vehicle Access to Roadways
A limited speed vehicle is defined as a vehicle that is capable of achieving a maximum speed of at least 25 miles per hour (mph) but no more than 55 mph. Limited speed vehicles may only operate on highways on which the maximum speed of the vehicle exceeds the posted speed limit by at least 5 mph. Limited speed vehicles may not be sold without the required limited speed emblems. Additionally, limited speed vehicle purchasers must be informed in writing, of the limitations of vehicle use on highways. (Reference Maryland Statutes, Transportation Code 15-313, 21-804, and 21-805.1)