Pennsylvania Laws and Incentives

Listed below are the summaries of all current Pennsylvania 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

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) and Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) Funding

The Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant (AFIG) Program provides financial assistance for qualified projects; information on alternative fuels, AFVs, and HEVs; and advanced vehicle technology research, development, and demonstration. Projects that result in product commercialization and the expansion of Pennsylvania companies are favored in the selection process.

The AFIG Program also offers rebates to assist eligible residents with the incremental cost of the purchase of new AFVs, including all-electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), natural gas vehicles (NGVs), and propane vehicles. The rebate amounts are $1,750 for qualified EVs and $1,000 for qualified PHEVs, NGVs, and propane vehicles. Rebates are available until 250 rebates are disbursed or June 30, 2017, whichever occurs first.

For more information, including forms and detailed requirements, see the AFIG Program and Alternative Fuel Vehicle Rebates websites. (Reference Title 73 Pennsylvania Statutes, Chapter 18E, Section 1647.3)

Point of Contact
David Althoff, Jr.
Program Manager
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pollution Prevention & Energy Assistance Office
Phone: (717) 783-0542

Alternative Fuel and Idle Reduction Grants

The Small Business Advantage Grant Program provides matching grants of 50%, up to $9,500, to enable a Pennsylvania small business to adopt or acquire energy-efficient or pollution prevention equipment or processes. Pennsylvania trucking companies and independent truckers may use the funding to purchase auxiliary power units. Projects may not begin until after applications are approved. Funding is contingent upon annual legislative appropriations and will be available starting in late 2017 (verified October 2016). For more information, refer to the Small Business Advantage Grant Program website.

Idle Reduction Weight Exemption

A vehicle equipped with qualified idle reduction technology may exceed the state's gross weight and axle weight limits by up to 400 pounds to compensate for the additional weight of the idle reduction technology. (Reference Title 35 Pennsylvania Statutes, Chapter 23B, Section 4604)

Utility/Private Incentives

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Rebate - PECO

PECO provides rebates of $50 to residential customers who purchase a new, qualified PEV. For more information, see the PECO Smart Driver Rebate website.

Laws and Regulations

Renewable Fuels Mandate

One year after in-state production has reached 350 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol and sustained this volume for three months, all gasoline sold in Pennsylvania must contain at least 10% cellulosic ethanol. All diesel fuel sold in Pennsylvania must contain at least 2% biodiesel (B2) one year after in-state production of biodiesel reaches 40 million gallons. The mandated biodiesel blend level will continue to increase according to the following schedule:

  • 5% biodiesel (B5) one year after in-state production of biodiesel reaches 100 million gallons;
  • 10% biodiesel (B10) one year after in-state production of biodiesel reaches 200 million gallons; and
  • 20% biodiesel (B20) one year after in-state production of biodiesel reaches 400 million gallons.
All biodiesel retailers in Pennsylvania must register with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture each year. Additional compliance and blending standards, in-state registration requirements, and certification and enforcement guidelines apply.

(Reference Title 73 Pennsylvania Statutes, Chapter 18H, Sections 1650.3 and 1650.4)

Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Standards

The Pennsylvania Clean Vehicles Program requires that all new passenger cars and light-duty trucks sold, leased, titled, or registered in the Commonwealth must meet California vehicle emissions and compliance requirements, as set forth in Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations, with the exception of the Zero Emission Vehicle sales requirements and the emissions control system warranty statement. For more information, refer to the Pennsylvania Clean Vehicles Program website. (Reference Title 25 Pennsylvania Code 126.401-126.451)

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 must meet current applicable U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or California Air Resources Board standards for aftermarket conversions. (Reference Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Policy on Clean Alternative Fuel Conversion Systems)

Idle Reduction Requirement

Diesel vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating over 10,000 pounds may not idle for more than five minutes in any continuous 60 minute period. Exemptions include: uncontrollable traffic conditions; prevention of safety or health emergencies; emergency or law enforcement purposes; verification that a vehicle is safe to operate; vehicle maintenance; power work-related operations; sampling, weighing, or loading; bus passenger comfort; vehicles actively engaged in solid waste or recyclable material collection; vehicles complying with manufacturer specifications; and vehicles meeting California Air Resources Board nitrogen oxide idling emission standards. (Reference Title 35 Pennsylvania Statutes, Chapter 23B, Section 4603)

Alternative Fuels Tax

Alternative fuels used to propel vehicles of any kind on public highways are taxed at a rate determined on a gasoline gallon equivalent basis. For more information, including applicable tax rates, see the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue website. Certain exemptions apply. (Reference Title 75 Pennsylvania Statutes, Chapter 90, Section 9004)

Low-Speed Vehicle Definition

A low-speed vehicle is defined as a four-wheel electric vehicle that has a maximum speed greater than 20 miles per hour (mph) but not more than 25 mph. All vehicles must comply with the safety standards established in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 571.500. Drivers must maintain a defined level of insurance coverage for all registered vehicles. (Reference Title 75 Pennsylvania Statutes, Chapter 1, Section 102 and Chapter 17, Section 1788)