Natural Gas Laws and Incentives in Federal

The list below contains summaries of all Federal laws and incentives related to natural gas.

Incentives

Advanced Biofuel Feedstock Incentives

The Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP; Section 9010) provides financial assistance to landowners and operators that establish, produce, and deliver biomass feedstock crops for advanced biofuel production facilities. Qualified feedstock producers are eligible for a reimbursement of 50% of the cost of establishing a biomass feedstock crop, as well as annual payments for up to five years for herbaceous feedstocks and up to 15 years for woody feedstocks. In addition, BCAP provides qualified biomass feedstock crop producers matching payments for the collection, harvest, storage, and transportation of their crops to advanced biofuel production facilities for up to two years. The matching payments are $1 for each $1 per dry ton paid by a qualified advanced biofuel production facility, up to $20 per dry ton. This program’s funding is subject to congressional appropriations.

For more information, see the Biomass Crop Assistance Program website. (Reference Public Law 113-79 and 7 U.S. Code 8111)

Advanced Biofuel Technology Development Grants

The U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offer grants of up to $9.4 million for the development of advanced biofuel technologies. Eligible transportation fuels include biofuels and sustainable aviation fuel. Eligible applicants include universities, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. A cost share of at least 20% is required. Additional terms and conditions apply. For more information, see the Inflation Reduction Act Funding for Advanced Biofuels website.

(Reference Public Law 117-169)

Alternative Fuel Excise Tax Credit

NOTE: This incentive was originally set to expire on December 31, 2021, but has been extended through December 31, 2024, by Public Law 117-169.

A tax incentive is available for alternative fuel that is sold for use or used as a fuel to operate a motor vehicle. A tax credit in the amount of $0.50 per gallon is available for the following alternative fuels: natural gas, liquefied hydrogen, propane, P-Series fuel, liquid fuel derived from coal through the Fischer-Tropsch process, and compressed or liquefied gas derived from biomass. For propane and natural gas sold after December 31, 2015, the tax credit is based on the gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) or diesel gallon equivalent (DGE). For taxation purposes, one GGE is equal to 5.75 pounds (lbs.) of propane and 5.66 lbs. of compressed natural gas. One DGE is equal to 6.06 lbs. of liquefied natural gas.

For an entity to be eligible to claim the credit they must be liable for reporting and paying the federal excise tax on the sale or use of the fuel in a motor vehicle. Tax exempt entities such as state and local governments that dispense qualified fuel from an on-site fueling station for use in vehicles qualify for the incentive. Eligible entities must be registered with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The incentive must first be taken as a credit against the entity’s alternative fuel tax liability; any excess over this fuel tax liability may be claimed as a direct payment from the IRS. The tax credit is not allowed if an incentive for the same alternative fuel is also determined under the rules for the ethanol or biodiesel tax credits.

For more information about claiming the credit, see IRS Form 4136, which is available on the IRS Forms and Publications website.

(Reference 26 U.S. Code 6426 and Public Law 117-169)

Point of Contact
Excise Tax Branch
U.S. Internal Revenue Service Office of Chief Counsel
Phone: (202) 317-6855
http://www.irs.gov/

Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit

For alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) infrastructure placed in service prior to January 1, 2023, see the Pre-2023 Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit entry.

Installations Beginning January 1, 2023

The Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit is available for qualified AFV fueling property installed in qualified locations on or after January 1, 2023, and through December 31, 2032. Eligible property includes certain fueling equipment for natural gas, propane, hydrogen, electricity, E85, or biodiesel blends of at least 20% (B20+). Businesses are eligible for a tax credit of:

Tax exempt entities, including state and local governments, may be eligible to receive this credit in the same amount as businesses, via IRS elective pay provisions. For elective pay eligibility requirements, please see the IRS Elective Pay and Transferability website.

Consumers who purchase qualified alternative fueling equipment for installation at their principal residence in qualified locations on or after January 1, 2023, and through December 31, 2032, may receive a tax credit of up to 30% of the cost, up to $1,000.

To be eligible, all qualified fueling equipment also must be installed in a population census tract that is a low-income community or not an urban area. To help determine if an installation location is in a qualified census tract, see Argonne National Laboratory’s 30C Tax Credit Eligibility Locator tool and list of frequently asked questions.

Additional requirements may apply. For further details, see the IRS Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 website and IRS Form 8911, which is available on the IRS Forms and Publications website. Additional location eligibility information is available in the IRS Guidance on Satisfying the Geographical Requirements of the Section 30C Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit. For more information, including frequently asked questions and an eligibility locator map, see the Argonne National Laboratory Refueling Infrastructure Tax Credit website.

(Reference 26 U.S. Code 30C, 30D, 38, and 6417 and Public Law 117-169)

Point of Contact
U.S. Internal Revenue Service
Phone: (800) 829-1040
http://www.irs.gov/

Alternative Fuel Mixture Excise Tax Credit

NOTE: This incentive was originally set to expire on December 31, 2021, but has been extended through December 31, 2024, by Public Law 117-169.

An alternative fuel blender that is registered with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may be eligible for a tax incentive on the sale or use of the alternative fuel blend (mixture) for use as a fuel in the blender’s trade or business. The credit is in the amount of $0.50 per gallon of alternative fuel used to produce a mixture containing at least 0.1% gasoline, diesel, or kerosene. Qualified alternative fuels are liquefied hydrogen, P-Series fuel, liquid fuel derived from coal through the Fischer-Tropsch process, and liquid fuel derived from biomass. The incentive must be taken as a credit against the blender’s alternative fuel tax liability. The tax credit is not allowed if an incentive for the same alternative fuel is also determined under the rules for the ethanol or biodiesel tax credits.

For more information about claiming the credit, see IRS Form 720, which is available on the IRS Forms and Publications website.

(Reference 26 U.S. Code 6426 and Public Law 117-169)

Point of Contact
Excise Tax Branch
U.S. Internal Revenue Service Office of Chief Counsel
Phone: (202) 317-6855
http://www.irs.gov/

Alternative Fuel Tax Exemption

Alternative fuels used in a manner that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) deems as nontaxable are exempt from federal fuel taxes. Common nontaxable uses in a motor vehicle are: on a farm for farming purposes; in certain intercity and local buses; in a school bus; for exclusive use by a non-profit educational organization; and for exclusive use by a state, political subdivision of a state, or the District of Columbia. This exemption is not available to tax exempt entities that are not liable for excise taxes on transportation fuel. For more information, see IRS Publication 510. (Reference 26 U.S. Code 4041)

Point of Contact
Excise Tax Branch
U.S. Internal Revenue Service Office of Chief Counsel
Phone: (202) 317-6855
http://www.irs.gov/

Bus and Bus Facilities Grants

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) offers grants through the Buses and Bus Facilities Program to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses, vans, and related equipment, and to construct associated bus facilities, including low- or zero-emission vehicles or facilities. Additionally, funding may be requested for workforce development training or training at the National Transit Institute. Eligible applicants include state, local, and tribal governments that allocate funds to or operate fixed-route bus services, and eligible subrecipients include private nonprofit organizations engaged in public transportation. For more information, including funding availability and timelines, see the FTA Buses and Bus Facilities website.

(Reference 49 U.S. Code 5312 and 5339 and Public Law 117-58)

Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Grants

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program (CFI Program) offers funding to deploy publicly accessible electric vehicle charging and alternative fueling infrastructure in urban and rural communities and along Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFC). The CFI Program offers two types of funding opportunities: the Community Charging and Fueling Grants (Community Program) and the Alternative Fuel Corridor Grants (Corridor Program).

Infrastructure deployments funded by the Community Program must be located on public roads or publicly accessible locations, including public parking facilities, public buildings, public schools, or public parks. Low-income, underserved, rural, and high-density communities will be prioritized for Community Program funding. Corridor Program grants are available to infrastructure deployments along designated AFCs. Eligible applicants include metropolitan planning organizations; U.S. territories; special purpose districts and public authorities; and state, local, and tribal governments.

For more information, including eligibility requirements and funding availability, see the DOT FHWA CFI Program website.

(Reference Public Law 117-58 and 23 U.S. Code 151)

Clean Fuel Production Credit

Beginning January 1, 2025, the Treasury Department will offer tax credits for the production and sale of low-emission transportation fuels, including sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The tax credit amount is $0.20 per gallon for non-aviation fuel and $0.35 per gallon for SAF. For facilities that satisfy the prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements, the credit amount is $1.00 per gallon for non-aviation fuel and $1.75 per gallon for SAF. For any taxable year, the Clean Fuel Production Credit is equal to the applicable credit amount per gallon multiplied by the fuel’s carbon dioxide emissions factor. Emissions factors will be published annually by the Secretary of the Treasury. Beginning January 1, 2025, tax credits will be adjusted for inflation. Further guidance is forthcoming. For more information, including guidance updates, see the Internal Revenue Service Credits and Deductions under the Inflation Reduction Act website.

(Reference Public Law 117-169 and 26 U.S. Code 45Z)

Clean School Bus

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean School Bus program provides funding to eligible applicants for the replacement of existing school buses with clean, alternative fuel school buses or zero-emission school buses. EPA may award up to 100% of the cost of the replacement bus, charging equipment, or fueling infrastructure. Alternative fuels include electricity, natural gas, hydrogen, or propane. Eligible applicants are school districts, state and local government programs, federally recognized Indian tribes, non-profit organizations, and eligible contractors. EPA will prioritize funding for high-need local education agencies; low income, rural and tribal schools; and, applications that cost share through public-private partnerships, grants from other entities, or school bonds. For more information, including funding availability, timeline, and application materials, see the EPA Clean School Bus website.

(Reference Public Law 117-58 and 42 U.S. Code 16091)

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program

The CMAQ Program provides funding to state departments of transportation (DOTs), local governments, and transit agencies for projects and programs that help meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act by reducing mobile source emissions and regional congestion on transportation networks. Eligible activities include transit improvements, travel demand management strategies, congestion relief efforts (such as high occupancy vehicle lanes), diesel retrofit projects, alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure, and medium- or heavy-duty zero emission vehicles and related charging equipment. Projects supported with CMAQ funds must demonstrate emissions reductions, be located in or benefit a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-designated nonattainment or maintenance area, and be a transportation project. For more information, see the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law CMAQ fact sheet and CMAQ Improvement Program website.

(Reference Public Law 117-58, Public Law 112-141, 23 U.S. Code 149, and 23 U.S. Code 151)

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging and Clean Transportation Grants

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) provides grants for transportation decarbonization research projects. Priority will be given to projects that include:

  • Cost-effective deployment of EV charging for those without access to home charging;
  • Innovative solutions to improve mobility options for underserved communities;
  • Community engagement to accelerate clean transportation options in underserved communities;
  • Research and development to reduce EV battery size and cost, increase EV battery range, and decrease EV battery emissions;
  • Electrification of off-road and non-road vehicles, including agricultural, construction, rail, marine, and aviation;
  • Materials technologies to improve EV efficiency and affordability;
  • Use of the alternative fuels in commercial off-road vehicle technologies, including natural gas, hydrogen, and renewable propane;
  • Planning and development of medium- and heavy-duty EV charging and hydrogen fueling corridors and advanced engine and fuel technologies to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Applicants must demonstrate how proposed projects will benefit underserved communities that lack access to clean transportation options.

(Reference Public Law 109-58 and 42 U.S. Code 16191)

Environmental Justice Community Technical Assistance Program

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Communities Local Energy Action Program (LEAP) Pilot facilitates sustained, community-wide economic and environmental benefits through DOE’s clean energy deployment work. This technical assistance opportunity is specifically open to low-income, energy-burdened communities that are also experiencing either direct environmental justice impacts, or direct economic impacts from a shift away from historical reliance on fossil fuels. DOE will provide technical assistance services to support up to 36 communities to develop their own community-driven clean energy transition approach. For more information, visit the DOE Communities LEAP website.

Low and Zero Emission Public Transportation Funding

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) offers grants through the Low or No Emission Grant (Low No) Program to local and state government entities for the purchase or lease of low- or zero-emission transit buses, in addition to the acquisition, construction, or lease of supporting facilities. Additionally, funding may be requested for workforce development training or training at the National Transit Institute. Eligible vehicles must be designated for public transportation use and significantly reduce energy consumption or harmful emissions compared to a comparable standard or low emission vehicle. Applicants with projects that include zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) are required to submit a ZEV fleet transition plan. The plan must include:

  • A long-term fleet management plan that includes a strategy for how Low No Program funds will be used for resources and acquisitions;
  • A discussion on the availability of current and future resources for ZEV transition and implementation;
  • An assessment of policy and legislation impacting relevant technologies;
  • An evaluation of existing and future facilities;
  • A description the applicant’s relationship with the utility or alternative fuel provider; and
  • An assessment on how ZEVs will impact the applicant’s workforce.

For more information, including details about the current round of funding, see the FTA Low No Program website.

(Reference 49 U.S. Code 5312 and 5339 and Public Law 117-58)

Low or Zero Emission Ferry Program

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) provides funding through the Electric or Low-Emitting Ferry Pilot Program for the purchase of electric or low-emitting ferries and the electrification of or other reduction of emissions from existing ferries. Low-emitting ferries must use an alternative fuel, such as methanol, natural gas, propane, hydrogen, and electricity. Awards must include a ferry service that serves the State with the largest number of Marine Highway System miles and a bi-state ferry service with an aging fleet. Funding is authorized through fiscal year 2026. For more information, see the FTA Electric or Low-Emitting Ferry Pilot Program website and fact sheet.

(Reference Public Law 117-58 and 23 U.S. Code 147)

National Alternative Fuels Corridors

The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) designates a national network of electric vehicle (EV) charging and hydrogen, propane, and natural gas fueling infrastructure along national highway system corridors. To designate these Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFC), FHWA solicits nominations from state and local officials and works with other federal officials and industry stakeholders.

FHWA must establish an AFC grant program to award grants to eligible entities, by November 15, 2022. During the designation and redesignation process, in consultation with the U.S. Department of Energy, FHWA will issue a report identifying charging and fueling infrastructure, best practices and guidance for predictable infrastructure deployment, analyzing standardization needs for fuel providers and purchasers, and reestablishing the goal of achieving strategic deployment of fueling infrastructure in the designated corridors.

For the 2023 Request for Nominations (RFN), state and local officials must submit nominations to FHWA by June 21, 2023. State and local agencies may nominate additional corridors, extend currently designated corridors, nominate another fuel along an already designated corridor, and update the status of previously designated corridors.

The Round 7 RFN and AFC designation is tied to funding eligibility under the NEVI Formula Program and the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program. The FHWA encourages nominations that focus on EV charging infrastructure along Interstate corridors, but nominations may also be submitted elsewhere on the National Highway System. Corridor projects along Round 7 AFCs are not eligible for the 2023 Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program, which closes June 13, 2023. When considering Round 7 nominations, FHWA strongly encourages segments of Interstates that do not currently have an EV designation, particularly longer Interstate segments that provide important through connectivity to adjoining States.

FHWA is also requesting input on proposed Freight EV Corridors designation, outlined in the Round 7 RFN.

FHWA must update and redesignate corridors periodically thereafter. For more information, including FHWA areas of interest for corridor designations and infrastructure development, see the FHWA AFC website.

Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) and Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Weight Exemption

NGVs and PEVs may exceed the federal maximum gross vehicle weight limit for comparable conventional fuel vehicles by up to 2,000 pounds (lbs.). The NGV or PEV must not exceed a maximum gross vehicle weight of 82,000 lbs.

(Reference 23 U.S. Code 127(s) and Public Law 116-6)

Pre-2023 Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit

Fueling equipment for natural gas, propane, liquefied hydrogen, electricity, E85, or diesel fuel blends containing a minimum of 20% biodiesel installed through December 31, 2022, is eligible for a tax credit of 30% of the cost, not to exceed $30,000. Permitting and inspection fees are not included in covered expenses. Fueling station owners who install qualified equipment at multiple sites are allowed to use the credit towards each location. Unused credits that qualify as general business tax credits, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), may be carried backward one year and carried forward 20 years.

For more information about claiming the credit, see IRS Form 8911, which is available on the IRS Forms and Publications website.

For information on the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit for installations beginning January 1, 2023, see the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit.

Public School Energy Program

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Renew America’s Schools program provides funding for local educational agencies to complete energy improvements upgrades. Eligible activities include the installation of alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) fueling or charging infrastructure on school grounds and the purchase or lease of AFVs. Eligible AFVs include school buses and school fleet vehicles. Eligible project partners include governmental entities, for-profit entities, and non-governmental organizations. For more information, see the DOE Renew America’s Schools website.

(Reference Public Law 117-58 and 42 U.S. Code 18831)

Public Transportation Research, Demonstration, and Deployment Funding

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration administers the Public Transportation Innovation Program. Financial assistance is available to local, state, and federal government entities; public transportation providers; private and non-profit organizations; and higher education institutions for research, demonstration, and deployment projects involving low or zero emission public transportation vehicles. Eligible vehicles must be designated for public transportation use and significantly reduce energy consumption or harmful emissions compared to a comparable standard or low emission vehicle.

For more information, see the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Public Transportation Innovation fact sheet.

(Reference 49 U.S. Code 5312 and 5339, Public Law 114-94, Public Law 113-159, and Public Law 117-58)

Resilient Surface Transportation Grants

The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) established the Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-Saving Transportation (PROTECT) Discretionary Grant Program to provide funding for projects that improve the resilience of the surface transportation system through support of planning activities, resilience improvements, community resilience and evacuation routes, and at-risk costal infrastructure. Eligible projects include those that demonstrate greenhouse gas reductions in the transportation sector through the transition to clean vehicles and fuels, including electrification.

For more information, including funding availability and timelines, see the FHWA PROTECT Program website.

(Reference Public Law 117-58 and 23 U.S. Code 176)

State Energy Program (SEP) Funding

The SEP provides grants to states to assist in designing, developing, and implementing renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, including programs to help reduce carbon emissions in the transportation sector by 2050 and accelerate the use of alternative transportation fuels for, and the electrification of, state government vehicles, fleet vehicles, taxis and ridesharing services, mass transit, school buses, ferries, and privately owned passenger and medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. Each state’s energy office receives SEP funding and manages all SEP-funded projects. States may also receive project funding from technology programs in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) for SEP Special Projects. EERE distributes the funding through an annual competitive solicitation to state energy offices. SEP is authorized through fiscal year 2026.

For more information, see the SEP website.

(Reference Public Law 117-58 and 42 U.S. Code 6322 through 6325)

Laws and Regulations

Aftermarket Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Conversions

Conventional original equipment manufacturer vehicles altered to operate on propane, natural gas, methane gas, ethanol, or electricity are classified as aftermarket AFV conversions. All vehicle conversions, except those that are completed for a vehicle to run on electricity, must meet current applicable U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. For more information about vehicle conversion certification requirements, see the Alternative Fuels Data Center's Vehicle Conversions website and EPA's Certification and Compliance for Vehicles and Engines website. (Reference 40 CFR 85 and Enforcement Policy on Vehicle and Engine Tampering and Aftermarket Defeat Devices)

Point of Contact
Regulatory Compliance
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Phone: (734) 214-4343
https://www.epa.gov/vehicles-and-engines

Alternative Fuel Definition

The following fuels are defined as alternative fuels by the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 1992: pure methanol, ethanol, and other alcohols; blends of 85% or more of alcohol with gasoline; natural gas and liquid fuels domestically produced from natural gas; propane; coal-derived liquid fuels; hydrogen; electricity; pure biodiesel (B100); fuels, other than alcohol, derived from biological materials; and P-Series fuels. In addition, the U.S. Department of Energy may designate other fuels as alternative fuels, provided that the fuel is substantially non-petroleum, yields substantial energy security benefits, and offers substantial environmental benefits. For more information, see the EPAct website. (Reference 42 U.S. Code 13211)

Point of Contact
U.S. Department of Energy
Phone: (202) 586-5000
http://www.energy.gov

Alternative Fuel Definition - Internal Revenue Code

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) defines alternative fuels as propane, natural gas, liquefied hydrogen, liquid fuel derived from coal through the Fischer-Tropsch process, liquid hydrocarbons derived from biomass, and P-Series fuels. Biodiesel, ethanol, and renewable diesel are not considered alternative fuels by the IRS. While the term "hydrocarbons" includes liquids that contain oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon and as such "liquid hydrocarbons derived from biomass" includes ethanol, biodiesel, and renewable diesel, the IRS specifically excluded these fuels from the definition. (Reference 26 U.S. Code 6426)

Point of Contact
U.S. Internal Revenue Service
Phone: (800) 829-1040
http://www.irs.gov/

Alternative Fuel Excise Tax

Propane and compressed natural gas (CNG) are subject to a federal excise tax of $0.183 per gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE). The liquefied natural gas (LNG) tax rate is $0.243 per diesel gallon equivalent (DGE). For taxation purposes, one GGE is equal to 5.75 pounds (lbs.) of propane and 5.66 lbs. of CNG. One DGE is equal to 6.06 lbs. of LNG. (Reference Public Law 114-41 and 26 U.S. Code 4041 and 4081)

Point of Contact
Excise Tax Branch
U.S. Internal Revenue Service Office of Chief Counsel
Phone: (202) 317-6855
http://www.irs.gov/

Alternative Fuel Labeling Requirements

Retailers offering alternative fuel for sale must ensure dispensers are labeled with information to help consumers make informed decisions about fueling a vehicle, including the name of the fuel and the minimum percentage of the main component of the fuel. Labels may also list the percentage of other fuel components. This requirement applies to, but is not limited to, the following fuel types: methanol, denatured ethanol, and/or other alcohols; mixtures containing 85% or more by volume of methanol and/or other alcohols; mixtures containing more than 10% but less than 83% by volume of ethanol; natural gas; propane; hydrogen; coal derived liquid biofuel; and electricity.

Fuel dispensers distributing biodiesel blends containing more than 5% biodiesel by volume must include the percentage of biodiesel included. For ethanol blends containing no greater than 50% ethanol by volume, retailers must post the exact percentage of ethanol concentration, rounded to the nearest multiple of 10. For ethanol blends containing more than 50% but no greater than 83% ethanol by volume, retailers must (1) post the exact percentage of ethanol concentration, (2) post the percentage rounded to the nearest multiple of 10, or (3) post notice that the fuel contains 51% to 83% ethanol.

Electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) manufacturers must determine and disclose (via a delivery ticket or permanent label or marking) kilowatt capacity, voltage, whether the voltage is alternating current or direct current, amperage, and whether the system is conductive or inductive.

(Reference 81 Federal Register 2054 and 16 CFR 306 and 309)

Point of Contact
Federal Trade Commission
Phone: (202) 326-2222
http://www.ftc.gov/

Emerging Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Study

The U.S. Department of Transportation must conduct an AFV study, focusing specifically on hydrogen, natural gas, or propane, that identifies:

  • Five-year AFV ownership forecasts;
  • AFV infrastructure siting locations, including a map, to support the forecasts;
  • Includes an evaluation and map that identifies concentrations of emerging AFVs to meet fueling infrastructure needs;
  • Barriers to deploying AFV infrastructure at the identified locations; and,
  • Additional maps and tools to allow states to compare and evaluate different AFV adoption and use scenarios.

The report must be made publicly available and submitted to Congress by November 15, 2022.

(Reference Public Law 117-58)

High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane Exemption

States are allowed to exempt certified alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) and electric vehicles (EVs) from HOV lane requirements within the state. Eligible AFVs are defined as vehicles operating solely on methanol, denatured ethanol, or other alcohols; a mixture containing at least 85% methanol, denatured ethanol, or other alcohols; natural gas, propane, hydrogen, or coal derived liquid fuels; or fuels derived from biological materials. EVs are defined as vehicles that are recharged from an external source of electricity and have a battery capacity of at least 4 kilowatt-hours. States are also allowed to establish programs allowing low-emission and energy-efficient vehicles to pay a toll to access HOV lanes.

Vehicles must be certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and appropriately labeled for use in HOV lanes. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is responsible for planning and implementing HOV programs, including the low-emission and energy-efficient vehicle criteria EPA established. States that choose to adopt these requirements will be responsible for enforcement and vehicle labeling. The HOV exemption for AFVs and EVs expires September 30, 2025 and low-emission and energy-efficient vehicle toll-access to HOV lanes expired September 30, 2019.

(Reference Public Law 114-94 and 23 U.S. Code 166)

Truck Leasing Task Force

The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Truck Leasing Task Force (TLTF) examines the terms, conditions, and equitability of common truck leasing arrangements, particularly as they impact owner-operators and trucking businesses. TLTF will provide written consensus concerning several aspects of truck leasing agreements, including specific agreements available to drayage drivers at ports relating to the Clean Truck Program or similar programs that aim to decrease emissions from port operations. TLTF will terminate 30 days after submitting findings and recommendations to Congress. For more information, see the FMCSA TLTF website.

(Reference Public Law 117-58)

Vehicle Acquisition and Fuel Use Requirements for Federal Fleets

Under the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 1992, 75% of new light-duty vehicles acquired by covered federal fleets must be alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs). As amended in January 2008, Section 301 of EPAct 1992 expands the definition of AFVs to include hybrid electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles, and advanced lean burn vehicles. Fleets that use fuel blends containing at least 20% biodiesel (B20) may earn credits toward their annual requirements. Federal fleets are also required to use alternative fuels in dual-fuel vehicles unless the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) approves waivers for agency vehicles; grounds for a waiver include lack of alternative fuel availability and unreasonable cost (per EPAct 2005, section 701).

Additional requirements for federal fleets were included in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, such as fleet management plans and petroleum reduction from 2005 levels (Section 142), low greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting vehicle acquisition requirements (Section 141), and renewable fuel infrastructure installation requirements (Section 246). For more information, see the Federal Fleet Management website.

To track progress toward meeting AFV acquisition and fuel use requirements, federal fleets must report on their percent alternative fuel increase compared to the fiscal year 2005 baseline, alternative fuel use as a percentage of total fuel consumption, AFV acquisitions as a percentage of vehicle acquisitions, and fleet-wide miles per gasoline gallon equivalent of petroleum fuels.

Executive Order 13834, issued in May 2018, requires the Secretary of Energy (Secretary), in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, the Administrator of General Services, and the heads of other agencies as appropriate, to review the existing federal vehicle fleet requirements. In April 2019, the Secretary provided a report to the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget detailing opportunities to optimize federal fleet performance, reduce associated costs, and streamline reporting and compliance requirements. Specifically, the report recommends that federal agencies identify and implement strategies to:

  • Right-size the fleet
  • Reduce vehicle miles traveled
  • Implement more fuel efficient vehicles
  • Align the implementation of AFVs and associated fueling infrastructure
Executive Order 14008, issued in January 2021, requires the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, the Administrator of General Services, and the Director of the Office and Management and Budget, in coordination with the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary, and the heads of other relevant agencies, to assist the National Climate Advisor in developing a comprehensive plan to facilitate clean and zero-emission vehicles for federal, state, local, and tribal government fleets, including vehicles of the U.S. Postal Service. The plan must be submitted to the National Climate Task Force by April 27, 2021.

(Reference 42 U.S. Code 13212 and Executive Order 13834 and Executive Order 14008)

Point of Contact
Federal Energy Management Program
U.S. Department of Energy
https://www.energy.gov/eere/femp/federal-energy-management-program-contacts

Vehicle Acquisition and Fuel Use Requirements for Private and Local Government Fleets

Under the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 1992, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) was directed to determine whether private and local government fleets should be mandated to acquire alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs). In January 2004, DOE published a final rule announcing its decision not to implement an AFV acquisition mandate for private and local government fleets. In response to a March 2006 ruling by a U.S. District Court, DOE issued a subsequent final rulemaking on the new Replacement Fuel Goal in March 2007, which extended the EPAct 1992 goal to 2030. The goal is to achieve a domestic production capacity for replacement fuels sufficient to replace 30% of the U.S. motor fuel consumption. In March 2008, DOE issued its determination not to implement a fleet compliance mandate for private and local government fleets, concluding that such a mandate is not necessary to achieve the Replacement Fuel Goal. For more information on the Private and Local Government Fleet Rule compliance, visit the EPAct Private and Local Government Fleet Determination website. (Reference 42 U.S. Code 13257)

Vehicle Acquisition and Fuel Use Requirements for State and Alternative Fuel Provider Fleets

Under the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 1992, as amended, certain state government and alternative fuel provider fleets are required to acquire alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) as a portion of their annual light-duty vehicle acquisitions. Compliance is required by fleets that operate, lease, or control 50 or more light-duty vehicles within the United States. Of those 50 vehicles, at least 20 must be used primarily within a single Metropolitan Statistical Area/Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area, and those same 20 vehicles must also be capable of being centrally fueled for the fleet to be subject to the regulatory requirements.

Under Standard Compliance, the AFVs that covered fleets acquire help them achieve compliance, with each AFV acquired earning the fleet one AFV-acquisition credit. Covered fleets may earn additional credits for AFVs earned in excess of their requirements, and these credits may be banked for future use toward compliance or traded with other fleets. Additionally, fleets that use fuel blends containing at least 20% biodiesel (B20) in medium- and heavy-duty vehicles may earn credits toward their annual AFV-acquisition requirements. A fleet may also earn credits that may be used toward compliance or banked once the fleet achieves compliance for investments in alternative fuel infrastructure, mobile non-road equipment, and emerging technologies associated with certain electric drive vehicle technologies.

Fleets may also opt into Alternative Compliance, which allows fleets the option to choose a petroleum reduction path in lieu of acquiring AFVs under Standard Compliance. Interested fleets must obtain from DOE a waiver from Standard Compliance by submitting a plan that demonstrates a path by which they will achieve a certain level of petroleum reduction specific to their fleet composition.

For more information, visit the EPAct State and Alternative Fuel Provider Fleets website.

(Reference 42 U.S. Code 13251 and 13263a, and 10 CFR 490)

Point of Contact
EPAct Transportation Regulatory Activities
U.S. Department of Energy
regulatory.info@nrel.gov
https://epact.energy.gov/contact-us

Vehicle Incremental Cost Allocation

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) must allocate the incremental cost of purchasing alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) across the entire fleet of vehicles distributed by GSA. This mandate also applies to other federal agencies that procure vehicles for federal fleets. For more information, see the GSA's AFV website. (Reference 42 U.S. Code 13212 (c))

Point of Contact
Fleet Alternative Fuel Vehicle Team
U.S. General Services Administration
Phone: (703) 605-5630
gsafleetafvteam@gsa.gov
http://www.gsa.gov

Programs

Clean Cities Coalition Network

The mission of Clean Cities Coalition Network is to foster the economic, environmental, and energy security of the United States by working locally to advance affordable, domestic transportation fuels and technologies. Nearly 100 volunteer coalitions carry out this mission by developing public/private partnerships to promote alternative and renewable fuels, idle-reduction measures, fuel economy, improvements, and emerging transportation technologies. The Clean Cities Coalition Network provides information about financial opportunities, coordinates technical assistance projects, updates and maintains databases and websites, and publishes technical and informational materials. For more information, see the Clean Cities Coalition Network website.

Point of Contact
U.S. Department of Energy
Phone: (202) 586-5000
http://www.energy.gov

Clean Construction and Agriculture

Clean Construction is a voluntary program that promotes the reduction of diesel exhaust emissions from construction equipment and vehicles by encouraging proper operations and maintenance, use of emissions-reducing technologies, and use of cleaner fuels.

Clean Agriculture is a voluntary program that promotes the reduction of diesel exhaust emissions from agricultural equipment and vehicles by encouraging proper operations and maintenance by farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses, use of emissions-reducing technologies, and use of cleaner fuels.

Clean Construction and Clean Agriculture are part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) Program, which offers funding for clean diesel construction and agricultural equipment projects.

For more information, see the Reducing Diesel Emissions from Construction and Agriculture website.

Point of Contact
DERA Helpline
Diesel Emissions Reduction Act
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Phone: (877) 623-2322
dera@epa.gov
https://www.epa.gov/dera

Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) Program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency established the DERA Program to reduce pollution emitted from diesel engines through the implementation of varied control strategies and the involvement of national, state, local, and tribal partners. DERA includes programs for existing diesel fleets, regulations for clean diesel engines and fuels, and regional collaborations and partnerships. For information on available grants and funding opportunities, see the DERA Funding website.

Point of Contact
DERA Helpline
Diesel Emissions Reduction Act
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Phone: (877) 623-2322
dera@epa.gov
https://www.epa.gov/dera

National Highway Performance Program (NHPP)

The NHPP provides support to improve the condition and performance of the National Highway System (NHS), construct of new facilities on the NHS. NHPP-eligible activities include the installation of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) and natural gas refueling stations along the NHS as part of the construction of fringe and corridor parking lots (e.g., park-and-ride lots), as well as truck parking rest areas. Restrictions on public fees for use of EVSE and natural gas stations on the federal Interstate System apply. (Reference Public Law 114-94, 23 U.S. Code 137, and 23 U.S. Code 111)

Ports Initiative

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Ports Initiative is an incentive-based program designed to reduce emissions by encouraging port authorities and terminal operators to retrofit and replace older diesel engines with new technologies and use cleaner fuels. EPA's Ports Initiative offers funding to port authorities and public entities to help them overcome barriers that impede the adoption of cleaner diesel technologies and strategies. For more information, see the Ports Initiative website.

Point of Contact
Jennifer Keller
National Clean Diesel Campaign
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Phone: (202) 343-9541
keller.jennifer@epa.gov
http://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/

SmartWay Transport Partnership

The SmartWay Transport Partnership is a market-based public-private collaboration between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the domestic freight industry. This partnership is designed to reduce greenhouse gases and air pollution by accelerating the adoption of advanced technologies and operational practices which increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions from goods movement. EPA provides partners with performance benchmarking tools, fleet management best practices, technology verification, public recognition and awards, and use of the SmartWay Transport Partner logo to demonstrate their leadership to customers, shareholders and other stakeholders. The SmartWay Transport Partnership is working with partners to test and verify advanced technologies and operational practices that save fuel and reduce emissions. Grants are available to states, non-profits, and academic institutions to demonstrate innovative idle reduction technologies for the trucking industry. For more information, see the SmartWay Transport Partnership website.

Point of Contact
SmartWay Transport Partnership
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Phone: (734) 214-4767
smartway_transport@epa.gov
http://www.epa.gov/smartway

Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBG)

The STBG program promotes flexibility in state and local transportation decisions and provides flexible funding to best address state and local transportation needs. States may use apportioned funds for electric vehicle supply equipment and natural gas refueling stations during the construction of truck parking, as well as fringe and corridor parking facilities (e.g., park and ride facilities). Fringe and corridor parking facilities must meet specific requirements. (Reference Public Law 114-94, 23 U.S. Code 133, and 23 U.S. Code 137)

Voluntary Airport Low Emission (VALE) Program

The goal of the VALE Program is to reduce ground level emissions at commercial service airports located in designated ozone and carbon monoxide air quality nonattainment and maintenance areas. The VALE Program provides funding through the Airport Improvement Program and the Passenger Facility Charges program for the purchase of low emission vehicles, development of fueling and recharging stations, implementing gate electrification, and other airport air quality improvements. For more information, see the VALE Program website. (Reference 49 U.S. Code 47139)

More Laws and Incentives

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