Ohio Laws and Incentives
Listed below are the summaries of all current Ohio 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:
Medium- and Heavy-Duty Emissions Reduction Grants
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides matching grants of $50,000 to $2 million for the replacement or repower of medium- and heavy-duty, on- and off-road vehicles with new clean diesel or natural gas, propane, hybrid electric, or all-electric vehicles and equipment. This grant program is funded by Ohio's portion of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. Owners of eligible medium- and heavy-duty diesel fleets in priority counties must match at least 25% of funds, with larger matches required for some project categories. Additional terms and conditions apply. The 2018 application period has closed, and grant awards will be announced in October 2018. For more information, including the request for proposals and grant application guidelines, see the Ohio EPA website.
Alternative Fueling Infrastructure Incentive
The Ohio Development Services Agency administers the Alternative Fuel Transportation Program (Program), which provides financial assistance to businesses, non-profit organizations, school districts, and local governments for the purchase and installation of alternative fueling, blending, and distribution facilities or terminals. For more information, see the Program website. (Reference Ohio Revised Code 122.075 and 125.831)
Point of Contact
Energy Program Analyst
Ohio Development Services Agency, Office of Community Assistance
Phone: (614) 644-8864
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Conversion Grant Program
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency will administer a one-time, $5 million grant program to replace or convert Class 7 and Class 8 diesel or gasoline trucks to natural gas or propane trucks. Vehicles must be privately operated in Ohio at least 50% of the time. Maximum grant awards will be 50% of the fuel components of the new vehicle or 50% of the cost of the conversion parts, up to $25,000, whichever is less. Total grants to any recipient may not exceed $400,000. Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to complete applications, until funds have been allocated. Additional applications will be put on a waitlist. For more information, see the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Grants website. (Reference Ohio Revised Code 122.076)
Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant Program
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency administers a Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant Program for the purpose of reducing emissions from diesel engines in trucks, school and transit buses, marine fleets, and locomotives, as well as highway construction equipment. Eligible entities may use this funding for:
- Projects related to certified engine configurations, including new, rebuilt, or remanufactured engine configurations the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the California Air Resources Board has certified;
- The purchase or use of hybrid electric and alternative fuel vehicles that are allowed under U.S. Federal Highway Administration Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement program guidance; or
- Installation of verified technology including pollution control devices, retrofits, and development of truck stop electrification and auxiliary power units.
(Reference Ohio Revised Code 122.861)
Point of Contact
Chief, Office of Environmental Education; Administrator, Diesel Emission Reduction Grants
Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
Phone: (614) 644-3768
Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Emissions Inspection Exemption
Vehicles powered exclusively by electricity, propane, or natural gas are exempt from state motor vehicle emissions inspections after receiving a one-time verification inspection. For more information, see the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency's E-Check website. (Reference Ohio Administrative Code 3745.26)
Weight Restriction Increase for Natural Gas Vehicles
A vehicle fueled by natural gas may exceed the gross vehicle weight restrictions by 2,000 pounds, except on the interstate system or a highway, road, or bridge that is subject to maximum weight restrictions. (Reference Ohio Revised Code 5577.044)
Commercial Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Incentive Program - AEP Ohio
American Electric Power (AEP) Ohio offers financial incentives for the hardware, network services, and installation of EVSE for up to 300 Level 2 and 75 DC fast charging stations. Incentives in varying amounts are available to all non-residential customers that have a valid AEP Ohio account. EVSE must be installed at a workplace, government facility, multi-family complex, or other publicly available charging location served by AEO Ohio. Projects must involve a new installation from the approved EVSE list. Customers in income eligible census tracts may qualify for greater incentives. For more information, including the incentive amounts and application terms and conditions, see the AEP Equipment Charging Incentives website.
Laws and Regulations
Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Testing and Operation Requirements
The Ohio Office of the Governor created the DriveOhio Ohio AV Pilot Program to allow for the safe testing of AVs on state highways and other public roads. The purpose of the program is to connect municipalities interested in promoting AV testing with DriveOhio and companies seeking to test AVs. An AV is defined as a vehicle equipped with technology that is capable of performing all of the real-time operational and tactical functions required to operate a vehicle. To test AVs, each company must register with DriveOhio and provide required information, including a summary report outlining its approach for the safe testing of their autonomous system.
All AVs tested in Ohio must have a designated operator responsible for the safe operation of the vehicle while in use and complies with all traffic laws and regulations, among other requirements. The Governor may pause the testing of AVs in Ohio if there is evidence that the technology is not safe.
(Reference Executive Order 2018-04K, 2018)
Alternative Fuel Signage
The Ohio Turnpike Commission allows businesses to place their logos on directional signs within the right-of-way of state turnpikes. An alternative fuel retailer may include a marking or symbol within their logo indicating that it sells one or more types of alternative fuel. Alternative fuels are defined as E85, fuel blends containing at least 20% biodiesel (B20), natural gas, propane, hydrogen, or any fuel that the U.S. Department of Energy determines, by final rule, to be substantially not petroleum. For more information, see the Ohio Turnpike Commission website. (Reference Ohio Revised Code 125.831 and 5537.30)
Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Acquisition and Fuel Use Requirements
With the exception of law enforcement vehicles, all newly acquired state agency vehicles must be capable of using an alternative fuel and must use the relevant alternative fuel if it is reasonably priced and available. Alternative fuel is defined as E85, fuel blends containing at least 20% biodiesel (B20), natural gas, propane, hydrogen, electricity, or any other fuel that the U.S. Department of Energy has determined is substantially not petroleum. State agencies must also meet the annual average fuel economy requirement set by the Ohio Department of Administrative Services on all passenger automobiles purchased. Law enforcement and emergency rescue work vehicles are exempt from this requirement. The Office of the Ohio Treasurer established a biodiesel revolving fund in which funds appropriated by the Ohio General Assembly can be used to pay for the incremental cost of biodiesel used in state owned or leased diesel vehicles. (Reference Ohio Revised Code 123.01, 125.831-125.832, 125.834 and 125.836; and Executive Order 2007-02)
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Measurement
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Conversion
It is unlawful to tamper with vehicle emissions control systems unless the action is for the purpose of converting a motor vehicle to operate on an alternative fuel and is in compliance with the standards adopted under the Clean Air Act Amendments. (Reference Ohio Revised Code 3704.16-3704.162)