Electricity Laws and Incentives in Virginia

The list below contains summaries of all Virginia laws and incentives related to electricity.

Laws and Regulations

Aftermarket Electric Vehicle (EV) Conversion Regulations

Any motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, that has been modified to replace the internal combustion engine with an electric propulsion system must be titled by and registered with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) as a converted EV. DMV converted EV registration requires certification by a Virginia safety inspector that the conversion to electric propulsion is complete and proof that the vehicle has passed a Virginia safety inspection. There is a $15 fee, in addition to any fee imposed for Virginia safety inspection. Converted EVs must be equipped with special equipment, including high voltage cables, a temperature monitoring system for traction batteries other than lead acid batteries, and labeling on three sides of the vehicle identifying it as “Converted Electric.” For more information, see the DMV Titling a Converted EV website. (Reference Virginia Code 46.2-602.3, 46.2-625, and 46.2-1001.1)

Alternative Fuel Provider License

Alternative fuel providers, bulk users, and retailers, or any person who fuels an alternative fuel vehicle from a private source that does not pay the alternative fuels tax must obtain an alternative fuel license from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). For more information, see the DMV Fuels Tax Licensing website. (Reference Virginia Code 58.1-2244)

Alternative Fuel School Bus and Fueling Infrastructure Loans

The Virginia Board of Education may use funding from the Literary Fund to provide loans to school boards that convert school buses to operate on alternative fuels or construct alternative fueling stations. (Reference Virginia Code 22.1-146)

Alternative Fuel Tax

Alternative fuels used to operate on-road vehicles are taxed at a rate of $0.262 per gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE). Alternative fuels are taxed at the same rate as gasoline and gasohol (5.1% of the statewide average wholesale price of a gallon of self-serve unleaded regular gasoline). Refer to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Fuels Tax Rates and Alternative Fuels Conversion website for fuel-specific GGE calculations.

(Reference Virginia Code 58.1-2217 and 58.1-2249)

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Grant Authorization

Local governments are authorized to establish a green bank to promote investment in clean energy technologies, including AFVs and related infrastructure.

(Reference Virginia Code 15.2-958.3:1)

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Tax Reduction Authorization

Local governments may reduce personal property taxes paid on AFVs and low-speed vehicles. AFVs include vehicles that operate using natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas or propane, hydrogen, or electricity. (Reference Virginia Code 58.1-3506)

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station New Construction and Building Renovation Requirement

Any executive branch agency or institution designing new building construction of more than 5,000 square feet, or a renovation that costs more than 50% of the value of the building, must include EV charging infrastructure. EV charging infrastructure must be sufficient to support charging for every centralized fleet vehicle based at that building. (Reference Virginia Code 2.2-1182 and 2.2-1183)

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Policies for Associations

Homeowners associations (HOAs) or condominium associations may not prohibit the installation of an EV charging station for personal use within the EV charging station owner’s designated parking space. HOAs may establish restrictions on the number, size, placement, manner of installation, and insurance requirements for the EV charging station if it is installed on the exterior of the property or in a common area. HOAs are not liable for the EV charging station.

A condominium association may prohibit the installation of an EV charging station if it is not technically feasible or practical due to safety risks, structural issues, or engineering conditions. Condominiums may establish requirements on the manner of installation, architectural design, insurance requirements, and community-related expenses for the EV charging station.

(Reference Virginia Code 55.1-1823.1, 55.1-1962.1, and 55.1-2139.1)

Electric Vehicle (EV) Fee

EV owners must pay an annual highway fee of $116.49 in addition to standard vehicle registration fees. Beginning July 1, 2022, EV drivers may choose to enroll in a mileage-based fee program in lieu of highway use fee.

(Reference Virginia Code 46.2-770 through 46.2-773)

Electric Vehicle (EV) Parking Space Regulation

Any vehicle that is not actively charging may not parking in a designated EV charging parking space. The penalty for violation is $25.

(Reference House Bill 450, 2022)

Electric Vehicle (EV) Rebate Authorization

The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy is authorized to administer a rebate program for the purchase of a new or used EV. Rebates may not exceed $2,500. An additional rebate of $2,000 must be available for residents whose annual household income does not exceed 300% of current poverty guidelines. Eligible used vehicles may not have a purchase price of more than $25,000.

(Reference Virginia Code 45.2-1725 and 67-1900 through 67-1907)

Electric Vehicle (EV) Rebate Program Working Group

The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Taxation, and the Department of Motor Vehicles will convene a working group to evaluate the feasibility of an EV rebate program. The working group will:

  • Review methods for structuring and administering an EV rebate program;
  • Review funding options;
  • Evaluate vehicle sales data in states that offer EV rebates,
  • Identify metrics for evaluating an EV rebate program for incentives under $4,500, and;
  • Recommend incentives for low-income individuals.
The working group published a report with program recommendations to the Virginia General Assembly on November 1, 2020. The EV rebate program must be operational by December 30, 2021.

(Reference House Bill 717, 2020)

Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Deployment Support

California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington (signatory states) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to support the deployment of medium- and heavy-duty (MHD) ZEVs through involvement in a Multi-State ZEV Task Force (Task Force).

In July 2022, the Task Force published a multi-state action plan to support electrification of MHD vehicles. The action plan includes strategies and recommendations to accomplish the goals of the MOU, including limiting all new MHD vehicle sales in the signatory states to ZEVs by 2050, accelerating the deployment of MHD ZEVs, and ensuring MHD ZEV deployment also benefits disadvantaged communities.

For more information, see the Medium- and Heavy-Duty ZEVs: Action Plan Development Process website.

Mid-Atlantic Region Electric Vehicle (EV) Support

Virginia joined Maryland, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia (Participating States) in creating the Mid-Atlantic Electrification Partnership (MAEP) to support the deployment of EVs and EV charging stations throughout the region. Participating States commit to creating a regional network of EV charging stations that will make it possible to seamlessly operate light-, medium-, and heavy-duty EVs across transportation corridors and in low-income communities. For more information, see the MAEP website.

Public Entity Retail Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Authorization

Any state government entity, as well as any locality, park authority, public institution of higher education, or school boards, may operate retail fee-based EV charging infrastructure on its property. A locality may restrict use to employees of the locality and authorized visitors and may install signage that details these restrictions. Retail fee-based EV charging provided by state agencies must be offered at rates similar to those in competitive areas. EV charging infrastructure access must be restricted to employees, students, and authorized visitors only during school hours, and must be accompanied by appropriate signage.

(Reference 22.1-131, 56-1.2, 56-1.2:1, 56-232.2:1, and 2.2-614.5 and House Bill 443, 2022)

Public Utility Definition

An entity that is not a public utility, public service corporation, or public service company that provides retail electric vehicle (EV) charging services is not defined as a public utility and may sell electricity if the electricity is used solely for transportation purchases and the entity procured the electricity from an authorized public utility. The Virginia State Corporation Commission may not set the rates, charges, or fees for retail EV charging services provided by non-utilities.

(Reference House Bill 443, 2022 and Virginia Code 56-1.2:1 and 56-232.2:1)

State Energy Plan

Virginia Energy is responsible for creating the Virginia Energy Plan (Plan) to assess the commonwealth’s primary energy sources and recommends actions to meet state energy goals. The Plan must include policies to promote alternative fuel use, transportation electrification, efficient driving techniques, and reducing vehicle miles traveled. The Plan must assess statewide electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and consider the impact of statewide policies, EV market projections, and statewide EV registration data to support the state’s 2045 net-zero carbon target in the transportation sector. Virginia Energy must submit the Plan to the governor, the State Corporation Commission, and the General Assembly by October 1 of each year following the election of a new governor. For more information, see the 2018 Virginia Energy Plan and the Virginia Energy Energy Efficiency website.

(Reference Virginia Code 67-200 through 67-203)

Transportation Electrification Study

The State Corporation Commission (Commission) must propose policies to govern public, investor-owned electric utility programs and accelerate widespread transportation electrification in Virginia. The Commission must evaluate:

  • Utility and public investments that complement private efforts to deploy electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, focusing on low-income, minority, and rural communities;
  • Smart growth policies that can advance transportation electrification; and,
  • Utility actions that can facilitate EV charging station deployment and transportation electrification.
The report must address how transportation electrification will impact ratepayers, grid management, renewable energy development, and vehicle charging costs. The Commission must publish the report by May 1, 2022.

(Reference House Bill 2282, 2021)

Utility Company Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Requirement

Utilities must establish electric distribution grid transformation projects that facilitate the integration of electrical facilities and infrastructure necessary to support EV charging stations. Utilities will petition the State Corporation Commission for program approval and will receive a final order within six months of the petition filing.

(Reference Virginia Code 56-576 and 56-585.1)

Utility Electrification Investment Recovery Requirement

Beginning July 1, 2021, costs incurred by investor-owned electric utilities associated with investments in transportation electrification may only be recovered through the utility’s rates for electricity generation and distribution. (Reference House Bill 2282, 2021)

Vehicle Acquisition Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Assessment Requirement

By October 1, 2022, the Virginia Department of General Services (DGS) must identify a publicly available TCO calculator to assess and compare the total lifetime cost of purchasing, owning or leasing, and operating light-duty internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and EVs. The calculator must consider vehicle make, model, age, annual mileage, lifespan, depreciation, and capital, maintenance, repair, and infrastructure costs. The TCO calculator must be updated on an annual basis to reflect current prices and vehicle models. Beginning January 1, 2023, DGS and all other state agencies must purchase or lease EVs instead of ICE vehicles if the calculator indicates EVs have a lower TCO. Beginning January 1, 2026, and triennially thereafter, DGS must report estimated cost savings and emissions reductions as a result of purchasing EVs instead of ICE vehicles. Emergency and law-enforcement vehicles are exempt from this requirement.

(Reference Senate Bill 575, 2022)

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Infrastructure New Building Requirement for Localities

Any locality designing new building construction of more than 5,000 square feet, or a renovation that costs more than 50% of the value of the building, must include sufficient ZEV charging and fueling infrastructure. The building must be capable of supporting projected ZEV charging and fueling demand over the first 10 years following building occupancy. Alternatively, the building must earn a ZEV or electric vehicle charging credit from the Virginia Energy Conservation and Environmental Standards (VEES), the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating standard, or the Green Building Initiative's Green Globes building standard. (Reference Virginia Code 15.2-1804.1)

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Sales Requirement and Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) Standards

The Virginia Air Pollution Control Board has adopted the California motor vehicle emissions and compliance requirements specified in Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations. Beginning January 1, 2024, these regulations apply to all passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty vehicles. Manufacturers must meet the greenhouse gas emissions standard and the ZEV production and sales requirements.

(Reference Virginia Code 10.1-1307.04)

State Incentives

Alternative Fuel and Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) Emissions Testing Exemption

Vehicles powered exclusively by natural gas, propane, hydrogen, a combination of compressed natural gas and hydrogen, or electricity are exempt from the Virginia emissions inspection program. Qualified HEVs with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy ratings of at least 50 miles per gallon (city) are also exempt from the emissions inspection program unless remote sensing devices indicate the HEV may not meet current emissions standards. For more information, including a list of HEVs that qualify, see the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Emissions Inspections website. (Reference Virginia Code 46.2-1177 through 46.2-1178 and 46.2-749.3)

Government Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Incentive

The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Transportation, offers up to $10,000 to state agencies and local governments for the incremental cost of new or converted AFVs. To be eligible, vehicles must comply with Buy America provisions or qualify for a waiver from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, and must be garaged in areas of air quality nonattainment, as recognized by the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) program. For more information, see the Virginia CMAQ Incentive Program website.

High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane Exemption

Alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) displaying the Virginia Clean Special Fuel license plate may use Virginia HOV lanes on specified areas of I-64, I-264, the Dulles Toll Road, and in the City of Alexandria, regardless of the number of occupants. For HOV lanes serving the I-66 corridor, only registered vehicles displaying Clean Special Fuel license plates issued before July 1, 2011, are exempt from HOV lane requirements. Only dedicated AFVs are eligible; see the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles website for a complete list of qualifying vehicles. The annual fee for Clean Special Fuel license plates is $25 in addition to the prescribed fee for commonwealth license plates. This exemption expires September 30, 2025. For more information, see the Virginia Department of Transportation HOV Lanes website. (Reference Virginia Code 33.2-501 and 46.2-749.3)

Transit Emissions Reduction Grants

The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation’s (DRPT) Making Efficient + Responsible Investments in Transit (MERIT) program provides funding for capital improvement projects, including the purchase or lease of new electric, hybrid electric, or propane vehicles. Funding amounts vary based on the project type.

In addition, as part of the MERIT program, the Clean Transportation Voucher Program (Program) offers grants of up to 100% of the incremental cost for transit agencies to replace model year 2009 or older Class 7 and Class 8 diesel transit buses with all-electric buses and up to 100% of the purchase cost of associated charging infrastructure. Awards are capped at $300,000 per electric bus, including charging infrastructure, and $15,000 per propane bus. The Program is funded by Virginia’s portion of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust.

For more information, including program guidance and the application, see the DRPT MERIT website and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Volkswagen Settlement Agreements website.

Point of Contact
Angela Conroy
Air Quality Planner, Volkswagen Settlement Agreements
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
Phone: (804) 698-4130
angela.conroy@deq.virginia.gov
https://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Air/VWMitigation.aspx

Virginia's National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Planning

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) NEVI Formula Program requires the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to submit an EV Infrastructure Deployment Plan (Plan) to the DOT and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Office by August 1, 2022, describing how the state intends to distribute NEVI funds. Plans must be established according to NEVI guidance.

For more information about Virginia’s NEVI planning process, see the VDOT Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment Plan website. For more information about Virginia’s NEVI plan, see the Joint Office’s State Plans for EV Charging website.

Utility/Private Incentives

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Bill Credit – Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC)

REC offers a monthly $7 bill credit to residential customers that enroll in a time-of-use charging pilot program. To be eligible, participants must schedule their EV to charge during off-peak hours. Enrollment is limited to 200 participants and is on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, see the REC EV Pilot Program website.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Rebate – Danville Utilities

Danville Utilities offers residential customers a $200 rebate for the purchase and installation of a Level 2 EV charging station. Eligible applicants must also be enrolled in a time-of-use rate. For more information, including additional eligibility requirements, see the Danville Utilities EV Chargers website.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Rebates - Dominion Energy

Dominion Energy offers rebates to multi-family, workplace, and transit customers for the purchase and make-ready costs of Level 2 and direct current fast charging (DCFC) stations. The total number of rebates and funding available are as follows:

Customer EV Charging Station Technology Number of Rebates Available Total Funding Available
Multi-Family Level 2 25 $4,000 for dual-port charging stations; $11,000 for make-ready
Workplace Level 2 400 $2,700 for dual-port charging stations; $11,000 for make-ready
Transit DCFC 30 $53,000 for dual-port charging stations; $73,000 for make-ready
All Commercial Customers DCFC 60 $35,000 for dual-port charging stations; $73,000 for make-ready

Rebates are awarded on a first-come, first served basis. For more information, see the Dominion Energy Powering Smart Transportation website.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Residential Rebate – Dominion Energy

Dominion Energy offers residential customers a rebate of $125 for the purchase of a new Level 2 EV charging station. To be eligible, customers must enroll in Dominion Energy’s demand response program and register their EV charging station on or after March 1, 2021. Customers will also receive an annual payment of $40 on the anniversary of their enrollment in the demand response program. For more information, including additional eligibility requirements, see the Dominion Energy EV Charger Rewards website.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Support

Virginia utilities joined the National Electric Highway Coalition (NEHC), committing to create a network of direct current fast charging (DCFC) stations connecting major highway systems from the Atlantic Coast to the Pacific of the United States. NEHC utility members agree to ensure efficient and effective fast charging deployment plans that enable long distance EV travel, avoiding duplication among coalition utilities, and complement existing corridor DCFC charging sites. For more information, including a list of participating utilities and states, see the NEHC website.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Time-of-Use (TOU) Rate – Appalachian Power Company

Appalachian Power Company offers a TOU rate to residential customers that own an EV. Eligible customers must have a meter that is capable of separately identifying EV usage. For more information, including billing rates and additional service conditions, see the Appalachian Power Company Virginia Rates & Tariffs website. This service is experimental and only available until September 12, 2023.

More Laws and Incentives

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