Recent State Actions

Listed below are new and recently updated state laws, incentives, and regulations related to alternative fuels and advanced vehicles.

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High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) and High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lane Exemption – updated 11/8/2017

Compressed natural gas (CNG), hydrogen, electric, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) meeting specified California and federal emissions standards and affixed with a California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Clean Air Vehicle sticker may use HOV lanes regardless of the number of occupants in the vehicle. White Clean Air Vehicle Stickers are available for qualified CNG, hydrogen, and electric vehicles. Green Clean Air Vehicle Stickers are available for qualified purchased or leased PHEVs. Stickers are valid through the following dates:

  • Stickers issued before January 1, 2019 expire January 1, 2019;
  • Stickers issued on or after January 1, 2019 for a vehicle that had been issued a sticker between January 1, 2017 and January 1, 2019, expire January 1, 2022; and
  • All other stickers issued on or after January 1, 2019 expire on January 1 of the fourth year after the sticker was issued.
These vehicles are also eligible for reduced rates or exemptions from toll charges imposed on HOT lanes. For more information and restrictions, including a list of qualifying vehicles, see the California Air Resources Board Carpool Lane Use Stickers website. (Reference Assembly Bill 544, 2017, and California Vehicle Code 5205.5 and 21655.9)

Vehicle Acquisition and Petroleum Reduction Requirements – updated 11/8/2017

The California Department of General Services (DGS) is responsible for maintaining specifications and standards for passenger cars and light-duty trucks that are purchased or leased for state office, agency, and department use. These specifications include minimum vehicle emissions standards and encourage the purchase or lease of fuel-efficient and alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs). Specifically, DGS must reduce or displace the fleet's consumption of petroleum products by 20% by January 1, 2020, as compared to the 2003 consumption level. Beginning in fiscal year 2024, DGS must also ensure that at least 50% of the light-duty vehicles purchased by the state are zero emission vehicles (ZEVs). Further, at least 15% of DGS' fleet of new vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 19,000 pounds or more must be ZEVs by 2025, and at least 30% by 2030.

On an annual basis, DGS must compile information including, but not limited to, the number of AFVs and hybrid electric vehicles acquired, the locations of the alternative fuel pumps available for those vehicles, and the total amount of alternative fuels used. Vehicles the state owns or leases that are capable of operating on alternative fuel must operate on that fuel unless the alternative fuel is not available. DGS is also required to:

  • Take steps to transfer vehicles between agencies and departments to ensure that the most fuel-efficient vehicles are used and to eliminate the least fuel-efficient vehicles from the state's motor vehicle fleet;
  • Submit annual progress reports to the California Department of Finance, related legislative committees, and the general public via the DGS website;
  • Encourage other agencies to operate AFVs on the alternative fuel for which they are designed, to the extent feasible;
  • Encourage the development of commercial fueling infrastructure at or near state vehicle fueling or parking sites;
  • Work with other agencies to incentivize and promote state employee use of AFVs through preferential or reduced-cost parking, access to electric vehicle charging, or other means, to the extent feasible; and
  • Establish a more stringent fuel economy standard than the 2007 standard.

(Reference Senate Bill 498, 2017; Assembly Bill 739, 2017; Executive Order S-14-09, 2009; and California Public Resources Code 25722.5-25722.11, and 25724)

Plug-In Hybrid and Zero Emission Light-Duty Vehicle Rebates – updated 11/8/2017

The Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) offers rebates for the purchase or lease of qualified vehicles. Qualified vehicles are light-duty zero emission vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) the California Air Resources Board (ARB) has approved or certified. Rebates are available on a first-come, first-served basis to individuals, business owners, and government entities in California that purchase or lease new eligible vehicles. Manufacturers must apply to ARB to have their vehicles included in the CVRP.

For vehicles purchased on or after March 29, 2016, eligibility for the rebate for individuals is based on gross annual income, as stated on the individual's federal tax return. Individuals with a gross annual income above the following thresholds are only eligible for rebates for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs):

  • $150,000 for single filers
  • $204,000 for head-of-household filers
  • $300,000 for joint filers
For individuals with low and moderate household incomes of less than or equal to 300% of the federal poverty level, rebates are increased by $2,000, for a total rebate amount of up to $7,000. Increased rebates are available for ARB-approved FCEVs, PHEVs, and battery electric vehicles.

ARB determines annual funding amounts for the CVRP, which is expected to be effective through 2023. ARB must submit a report to the State Legislature on the environmental and economic impacts of the CVRP by December 31, 2018. For more information, including information on income verification, a list of eligible vehicles, and how to apply, see the CVRP website.

(Reference Assembly Bill 615, 2017, and California Health and Safety Code 44274 and 44258)

Freight Efficiency Action Plan – updated 11/8/2017

The California State Transportation Agency, the California Environmental Protection Agency, the Natural Resources Agency, and relevant state departments, including the California Air Resources Board, the California Department of Transportation, the California Energy Commission, and the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development, implemented the California Sustainable Freight Action Plan (Plan), which establishes targets to improve freight efficiency and transition to zero emission technologies. The Plan identifies state policies, programs, and investments to achieve the following targets:

  • Improve freight system efficiency by 25% by 2030; and
  • Deploy over 100,000 zero emission freight vehicles and associated equipment, maximizing the number of vehicles powered by renewable energy, by 2030.
The involved parties have also initiated corridor-level freight pilot projects to integrate advanced technologies, alternative fuels, freight and fuel infrastructure, and local economic development opportunities based on the Plan. For more information, see the Plan website. (Reference Executive Order B-32-15, 2015)

Voluntary Vehicle Retirement and Replacement Grants – added 11/8/2017

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) will administer the Clean Cars 4 All Program (Program) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and benefit low-income residents through the retirement and replacement of high-emission motor vehicles. The Program will be focused on funding projects for the voluntary early retirement and replacement from operation of passenger vehicles and light- and medium-duty trucks primarily in disadvantaged communities, when possible, as defined by the California Environmental Protection Agency. Low-income eligible applicants may receive compensation towards a replacement vehicle or mobility option of no less than $2,500. Compensation for other eligible applicants may not exceed the compensation received by low-income recipients. Eligible applicants that have received funding for voluntary vehicle retirement under the California Bureau of Automotive Repair's Consumer Assistance Program are eligible for vehicle replacement funding under the Program. ARB must establish the Program guidelines by January 1, 2019.

(Reference Assembly Bills 188 and 630, 2017, and California Health and Safety Code 44124.5-44125)

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Pilot Programs – added 11/8/2017

The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) will provide funding for pilot utility programs to install EVSE at a school facilities, other educational institutions, and state parks or beaches. Priority will be given to locations in disadvantaged communities, as defined by the California Environmental Protection Agency. Utilities may submit project proposals until July 20, 2018. (Reference Assembly Bills 1082 and 1083, 2017 and California Public Utilities Code 740.13-740.14)

Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) Parking Space Regulation – added 11/8/2017

An individual may not park a motor vehicle within any on- or off-street parking space specifically designated by a local authority for parking and charging PEVs unless the vehicle is a PEV fueled by electricity. Eligible PEVs must be in the process of charging to park in the space. A person found responsible for a violation is subject to traffic violation penalties. (Reference Assembly Bill 1452, 2017, and California Vehicle Code 22511)

Support for Zero Emission and Autonomous Vehicle Infrastructure – added 11/8/2017

Cities and counties that receive funding from the Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program are encouraged to use funds towards advanced transportation technologies and communication systems, including, but not limited to, zero emission vehicle fueling infrastructure and infrastructure-to-vehicle communications for autonomous vehicles. (Reference Senate Bill 1, 2017, and California Streets and Highways Code 2030)

Autonomous Vehicle Testing and Operation Requirements – added 11/8/2017

Autonomous vehicles may be operated on public roads for testing purposes, if there is a licensed vehicle operator seated in the driver's seat monitoring the safe operation of the autonomous vehicle and capable of taking immediate manual control of the vehicle in the event that the automated driving system fails. Autonomous vehicles may not be operated on public roads for purposes other than testing unless the vehicle manufacturer submits an application to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the application is approved, and the autonomous vehicle meets, at minimum, the following requirements:

  • It is equipped with an easily accessible way for the driver to engage or disengage the autonomous driving system;
  • It contains an indicator inside of the vehicle that notifies the driver when the autonomous driving system is engaged;
  • It has a means to alert the driver when the autonomous driving system has failed and either allows the driver to take manual control of the vehicle, or is capable of bringing itself to a complete stop;
  • It meets all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; and
  • It has a separate mechanism to capture and save the vehicle's sensor data at least 30 seconds before a collision involving the vehicle occurs.
An autonomous vehicle is defined as any vehicle that is equipped with a technology that has the capability to operate the vehicle without the direct control of the driver.

The DMV proposed regulations for the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles that may be operated without a driver in the driver's seat on March 10, 2017. For more information, see the DMV's Deployment of Autonomous Vehicles for Public Operation website.

(Reference Senate Bill 145, 2017, and California Vehicle Code38750)

Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) Autonomous Vehicle Pilot Authorization – added 11/8/2017

LAVTA may conduct a pilot to test shared autonomous vehicles, without a driver in the driver's seat, that are not equipped with a steering wheel, brake pedal, or accelerator. The autonomous vehicles must operate at speeds of less than 35 miles per hour at all times, and can only be tested within the City of Dublin. Prior to the start of the pilot, LAVTA must submit a detailed description of the testing program to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). LAVTA may conduct this pilot until up to 180 days after the DMV enacts its regulations for the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles that may be operated without a driver in the driver's seat. (Reference Assembly Bill 1444, 2017, and California Vehicle Code 38756)

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Programs Report – added 11/8/2017

The California Air Resources Board (ARB), in partnership with its stakeholders, must complete a report that reviews each of ARB's ZEV-related programs by July 1, 2019. Specifically, the report must include an analysis of the greenhouse gas and air quality goals of each ZEV program, the progress of each program towards meeting its goals, and a cost-benefit analysis of each program. In this report, ARB must also propose recommendations for improvements to these programs and on how to encourage the cost-effective deployment of ZEVs in fleets across the state. (Reference Senate Bill 498, 2017, and California Health and Safety Code 43018.8)

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Signage Authorization on Highways – added 11/8/2017

EVSE facilities located at roadside businesses are eligible to be included on state highway exit information signs. Signage must be consistent with California's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. (Reference Assembly Bill 1633, 2017, and California Streets and Highway Code 101.7)

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate - South Coast and MSRC – added 1/22/2018

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee's (MSRC) Residential Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Incentive Pilot Program offers rebates of up to $250 towards the purchase of a qualified residential Level 2 EVSE. Additional rebates of up to $250 are available for low-income residents. Funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis to residents within the SCAQMD jurisdiction. Additional terms and conditions apply. For more information, including application guidelines, see the Residential EV Charging Incentive Pilot Program website.


Idle Reduction Requirement – updated 11/8/2017

A person that operates a diesel powered motor vehicle in certain counties and townships may not cause or allow the motor vehicle, when it is not in motion, to idle for more than a total of 10 minutes within any one-hour period. If the vehicle is waiting to weigh, load, or unload cargo or freight, it may idle for up to 30 minutes within any one-hour period. Specified areas include the counties of Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane, McHenry, Will, Madison, St. Clair, and Monroe, and the townships of Oswego (Kendall County) and Aux Sable and Goose Lake (Grundy County). Exceptions apply, including those pertaining to emergency vehicles, vehicle weight, traffic, auxiliary power unit use, remote starter systems, and outside temperature. (Reference Senate Bill 1429, 2017, and 625 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/11-1429)

Clean Diesel Retrofit and Idle Reduction Grants – updated 11/8/2017

The Illinois Clean Diesel Grant Program provides funding to local governments, school districts, school bus companies, colleges, universities, mass transit districts, businesses, and non-profit organizations to reduce diesel emissions. Funding is available statewide for school bus heaters, engine repowers of off-road equipment and marine vessels, and for natural gas and propane fleet vehicles in the Chicago area.

Alternative Fuels Tax and Reporting – added 11/8/2017

Beginning July 1, 2017, alternative fuel dealers must sell liquefied natural gas (LNG) and propane used as motor fuel in diesel gallon equivalents (DGEs). For taxation purposes, LNG and propane must be reported as DGEs and are taxed at a rate of $0.215 per DGE. One DGE is equal to 6.06 pounds (lbs.) of LNG and 6.41 lbs. of propane. Alternative fuel dealers must sell compressed natural gas (CNG) used as motor fuel in gasoline gallon equivalents (GGEs). CNG must be reported in GGEs and is taxed at a rate of $0.19 GGE. One GGE is equal to 5.66 lbs. of CNG. (Reference Senate Bill 2801, 2017)


Support for Autonomous Vehicle Testing and Operation – added 11/8/2017

The Secretary of Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) will establish a working group to assess the safe development of autonomous vehicles (AV). The AV Working Group should convene and consult with experts on motor vehicle safety and vehicle automation, and work with the Legislature on any proposed AV. MassDOT, with input from the AV Working Group, should issue guidance to allow for the safe testing of automated technologies on designated state highways and on other public roadways. For more information, see the AV Working Group website. (Reference Executive Order 572)

State Energy Policy – added 11/28/2017

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) will lead and coordinate efforts between state agencies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to build resilience and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Specifically, EEA will coordinate with Massachusetts Department of Transportation and regional state transportation agencies to develop policies to reduce GHG emissions from the transportation sector. By 2018, EEA will publish, and update every five years thereafter, a comprehensive energy plan to include transportation strategies for meeting emission limits. (Reference Executive Order 569, 2016)

Transportation Emissions Reduction Reporting – added 11/28/2017

Massachusetts must meet annually declining greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions limits for mobile sources, as specified in the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act. By July 1, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) must quantify and report aggregate MassDOT transportation GHG emissions annually. Among other measures to achieve reductions, MassDOT must increase plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) within the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and MassDOT fleet and promote PEV use by motorists. (Reference Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection 310 CMR 60.05 and Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 21N, Section 3)

New Jersey

High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane Exemption and Discount – updated 12/5/2017

New Jersey Turnpike Authority (Authority) allows qualified hybrid electric and plug-in electric vehicles to travel in the HOV lanes located between Interchange 11 and Interchange 14 on the New Jersey Turnpike. The Authority offers a 10% discount on off-peak New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway toll rates through NJ EZ-Pass for drivers of vehicles that have a fuel economy of 45 miles per gallon or higher and meet the California Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle standard. For more information and discount requirements, see the Authority Toll Rates website. (Reference 49 New Jersey Register 3236(b) and New Jersey Administrative Code 19:9-1.24)

Clean Truck Port Requirements – updated 12/12/2017

Only trucks equipped with engines that meet or exceed Model Year (MY) 2007 engine federal emissions standards are allowed to access the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PAYNJ) marine terminals. Beginning January 1, 2018, port drayage trucks with MY 1993 and older engines are not authorized to access the PAYNJ marine terminals. Drayage trucks operating on liquefied or compressed natural gas, electricity, or hybrid electric technology are exempt from these requirements. For purposes of this rule, drayage trucks are defined as on-road vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 33,001 pounds or greater and intended to load, unload, or transport cargo from PANYNJ terminals. Additional rules apply. For more information, see the PANYNJ website.

New York

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebates - EV Connect – added 12/7/2017

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, in partnership with EV Connect, offers rebates for municipalities, businesses, workplaces, retail locations, universities, schools, hospitals, and public parking facilities to purchase and install General Electric EVSE. Rebate amounts are up to $8,000 per EVSE unit. EV Connect will also provide EVSE management services. EVSE must be installed within the state of New York. For more information, including application instructions, see the EV Connect New York State of Opportunity website.

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) and Fueling Infrastructure Rebates for Municipalities – added 12/7/2017

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (NYSDEC) Municipal ZEV Rebate Program offers rebates to cities, towns, villages, counties, and New York City boroughs for the purchase or lease of eligible ZEVs and the installation of eligible ZEV refueling infrastructure. To qualify, ZEVs must be purchased or leased at a dealership within the state, and leases must be at least 36 months in length. ZEV fueling infrastructure must be installed primarily for public refueling. Rebate amounts are as follows:

Maximum Rebate Amount
ZEV Purchase or Lease$5,000 per vehicle (50 miles or greater electric range); $2,500 per vehicle (10 to 50 mile electric range)
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE)$250,000 per facility
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Infrastructure$250,000 per facility

A single municipality may receive up to 50% of the total available funds towards ZEVs and EVSE, and up to 75% of the total available funds for hydrogen fuel cell infrastructure. Rebates are available on a first-come, first-served basis through May 31, 2018, or until funds are exhausted, whichever occurs first. Additional rules and conditions apply. For more information, including eligible projects and application instructions, see the NYSDEC's Funding for Municipalities website.

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging Tariff – added 12/7/2017

Each investor-owned utility selling electricity must file a tariff with the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) by April 1, 2018 to allow a customer to purchase electricity solely for the purpose of charging a PEV. The utility must make the tariff available to customers within 60 days of PSC approval. At any time, the utility may make revisions to the tariff based on changing costs or conditions. Each utility providing a PEV charging tariff must report periodically to the PSC on the number of customers who have participated in the tariff, the total amount of electricity sold under the tariff, and any other data required by the PSC. (Reference Assembly Bill 288, 2017, and New York State Public Service Law Section 66-O)

Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Testing and Operation Authorization – added 12/7/2017

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may approve demonstrations of AVs on public roads for the purpose of evaluating the potential impacts of AV technology on safety, traffic control, traffic enforcement, emergency services, and other areas the DMV identifies. To be considered, a proposed AV demonstration must meet, at minimum, the following requirements:

  • The demonstration takes place under the direct supervision of the New York State police;
  • A licensed vehicle operator is seated inside the AV while it is being operated on public highways; and
  • The AV meets all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and New York State Motor Vehicle Inspection Standards.

An AV is defined as any vehicle that is equipped with a technology that has the capability to operate the vehicle without the direct control of the driver.

By June 1, 2018, the DMV, in partnership with the State police, must submit a report to the governor and other relevant government officials including information about each of the demonstrations that have been authorized. For more information, including how to apply for a testing and demonstration permit, see the Autonomous Vehicle Technology website. (Reference Assembly Bill 3005, 2017)


Plug-In Electric Vehicle Rebate - Burlington Electric Department (BED) – updated 1/3/2018

BED customers are eligible for a $1,200 rebate on the purchase or lease of a new qualifying all-electric vehicle on or after May 30, 2017. Qualifying plug-in hybrid electric vehicles purchased or leased on or after June 8, 2017, are eligible for a $600 rebate. Vehicles must have a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of less than $50,000 and be registered in Burlington, VT. Rebates are available through December 31, 2018. For more information, including how to apply, see the BED Electric Vehicle Rebate website.

Plug-In Electric Vehicle Credit - Vermont Electric Co-op (VEC) – updated 1/3/2018

VEC offers a $250 bill credit to members who purchase a new or used plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and a $500 bill credit to members who purchase a new or used all-electric vehicle (EV). Members who lease a PHEV are eligible for an annual bill credit of $50 for each year of the lease. For members who lease an EV, an annual bill credit of $100 is available for each year of the lease. Credits are available through December 31, 2018. For more information, including how to apply, see the VEC Energy Transformation Program website.


Idle Reduction and Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) Weight Exemption – updated 12/7/2017

Any vehicle or combination of vehicles equipped with fully functional idle reduction technology may exceed the state's gross and axle weight limits by up to 550 pounds to compensate for the additional weight of the idle reduction technology. To qualify, the vehicle operator must be able to prove the weight of the idle reduction technology with written certification and demonstrate that the idle reduction technology is fully functional at all times.

NGVs may exceed the weight limits by an amount equal to the difference of the weight of the natural gas tank and fueling system and the weight of a comparable diesel tank and fueling system or by up to 2,000 pounds, whichever is less.

(Reference Senate Bill 198, 2017, and Wisconsin Statutes 348.15(3)(f))

Plug-In Electric Vehicle and Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) Fees – added 12/7/2017

In addition to standard registration fees, all-electric vehicle owners must pay an annual fee of $100, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and HEV owners must pay an annual fee of $75. Vehicles with a battery capacity of less than four kilowatt-hours are exempt from the fee. (Reference Assembly Bill 64, 2017, and Wisconsin Statutes 341.25(1)(L))

Volkswagen Settlement Allocation – added 12/7/2017

The Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) may use funds awarded to Wisconsin through the Volkswagen Clean Air Act Civil Settlement (Settlement) to replace vehicles in the state fleet. The DOA will also establish a grant program for the replacement of public transit vehicles, with preference for projects that assist commuters. Funds must be administered in accordance with the Settlement guidelines. (Reference Assembly Bill 64, 2017, and Wisconsin Statutes 16.047)

Support for Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) – added 12/7/2017

The Wisconsin Office of the Governor established the Governor's Steering Committee on Autonomous and Connected Vehicle Testing and Deployment (Committee) to support the testing and deployment of AVs, identify corridors for AV testing and operation, and make recommendations for changes needed to existing state laws that impede the deployment of AVs. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will deliver a report to the governor detailing the findings of the Committee by June 30, 2018. (Reference Executive Order 245, 2017)