Ohio Laws and Incentives

Listed below are the summaries of all current Ohio laws, incentives, regulations, funding opportunities, and other initiatives related to alternative fuels and vehicles, advanced technologies, or air quality. You can go directly to summaries of:

State Incentives

Ohio’s National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Planning

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) NEVI Formula Program requires the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to submit an annual EV Infrastructure Deployment Plan (Plan) to the DOT and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (Joint Office), describing how the state intends to distribute NEVI funds. The submitted plans must be established according to NEVI guidance.

For more information about Ohio’s NEVI planning process, see the ODOT NEVI website. To review Ohio’s NEVI plan, see the Joint Office State Plans for EV Charging website.

Medium- and Heavy-Duty Emissions Reduction Grants

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) offers grants for the replacement or repower of eligible on- and off-road vehicles and equipment. Eligible on-road projects include Class 4-8 trucks, school, shuttle, and public transit buses. Eligible off-road projects include airport ground support equipment, ferries, forklifts, port cargo handling equipment, and freight-switcher locomotives. Eligible projects may also include alternative fuel infrastructure if the applicant conducts a site assessment. All vehicles and equipment must be certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the California Air Resources Board. Additional terms and conditions apply. This program is funded by Ohio’s portion of the Volkswagen (VW) Environmental Mitigation Trust. For more information, including application periods, see the Ohio EPA website.

Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant Program

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) provides Diesel Emissions Reduction Grants (DERG) for projects that reduce emissions by retiring and replacing diesel public transit buses. Eligible projects must achieve a minimum funding match of 20% from non-state and non-federal sources. Funding for this program is provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program. For more information, including application periods, see the Ohio EPA DERG website.

(Reference Ohio Revised Code 122.861)

Point of Contact
Carolyn Watkins
Chief, Office of Environmental Education; Administrator, Diesel Emission Reduction Grants
Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
Phone: (614) 644-3768

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Emissions Inspection Exemption

Vehicles powered exclusively by electricity, propane, or natural gas are exempt from state motor vehicle emissions inspections after a one-time verification inspection. For more information, see the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency E-Check website.

(Reference Ohio Administrative Code 3745-26-1 and 3745-26-12)

Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) and Electric Vehicle (EV) Weight Exemption

NGVs and EVs may exceed the gross vehicle weight restrictions by 2,000 pounds, except on the interstate system or a highway, road, or bridge that is subject to maximum weight restrictions.

(Reference Ohio Revised Code 5577.044 and House Bill 23, 2023)

Utility / Private Incentives

Propane Vehicle Rebate - OPGA

OPGA offers residents and fleets a $4,000 rebate for the purchase of a new propane vehicle or propane conversion and a $1,000 rebate for the purchase of a new propane lawn mower or mower conversion. Applicants may receive up to five rebates. Eligible vehicles must be purchased in 2023. Rebates are available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, including eligibility requirements and the rebate application, see the OPGA Autogas website.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Rebate – Firelands Electric Cooperative (FEC)

FEC offers rebates of $250 to FEC customers who install Level 2 EV charging station(s) at a home, office, or other building. For more information, including eligibility requirements, see the FEC Electric Vehicle Charger Rebates website.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Support

Ohio 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 sites. For more information, including a list of participating utilities and states, see the NEHC website.

Laws and Regulations

Public Utility Definition

An entity that provides electric vehicle charging service to the public is not considered a public utility.

(Reference Ohio Public Utilities Commission Docket 20-434-EL-COI)

Electric Drive Vehicle Registration Fee

Electric drive vehicles owners must pay an annual fee in addition to other registration fees. The fee is $200 for electric vehicles, $150 for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and $100 for hybrid electric vehicles.

(Reference Ohio Revised Code 4501.01 and 4503.10 and House Bill 23, 2023)

Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Regulations and Committee

The Ohio Office of the Governor established DriveOhio to test AVs on state highways and other public roads. The purpose of the program is to connect municipalities with industry, education, and community partners to advance smart mobility solutions. The Ohio Department of Transportation will appoint an executive director of DriveOhio to oversee activities and administration. The executive director may establish a DriveOhio Advisory Board to receive advice and recommendations. The executive director must submit an annual report to the governor.

All AVs tested in Ohio must have a designated operator responsible for the safe operation of the vehicle while in use and compliance with all traffic laws and regulations, among other requirements. The governor may pause the testing of AVs in Ohio if there is evidence that the technology is not safe.

An AV is defined as a vehicle equipped with technology that is capable of performing all of the real-time operational and tactical functions required to operate a vehicle. To test AVs, each company must register with DriveOhio and provide required information, including a summary report outlining its approach for the safe testing of its autonomous system.

(Reference Executive Order 2019-26D, 2019, and 2018-04K, 2018)

Alternative Fuel Signage

The Ohio Turnpike Commission allows businesses to place their logos on directional signs within the right-of-way of state turnpikes. An alternative fuel retailer may include a marking or symbol within their logo indicating that it sells one or more types of alternative fuel. Alternative fuels are defined as any fuel containing 85% or more ethanol (E85), fuel blends containing at least 20% biodiesel (B20), natural gas, propane, hydrogen, electricity, or any fuel that the U.S. Department of Energy has determined is substantially not petroleum. For more information, see the Ohio Turnpike Commission website.

(Reference Ohio Revised Code 125.831 and 5537.30)

Alternative Fuel Vehicle Acquisition and Fuel Use Requirements

With the exception of law enforcement vehicles, all newly acquired state agency vehicles must be capable of using an alternative fuel and must use the relevant alternative fuel if it is reasonably priced and available. Alternative fuel is defined as any fuel containing 85% or more ethanol (E85), fuel blends containing at least 20% biodiesel (B20), natural gas, propane, hydrogen, electricity, or any other fuel that the U.S. Department of Energy has determined is substantially not petroleum. State agencies must also meet the annual average fuel economy requirement set by the Ohio Department of Administrative Services on all passenger automobiles purchased. Law enforcement and emergency rescue work vehicles are exempt from this requirement. The Office of the Ohio Treasurer established a biodiesel revolving fund in which funds appropriated by the Ohio General Assembly can be used to pay for the incremental cost of biodiesel used in state owned or leased diesel vehicles.

(Reference Ohio Revised Code 125.831-125.836)

Natural Gas Measurement

Compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) used for transportation must be measured in gasoline gallon equivalents (GGE) or diesel gallon equivalents (DGE). One DGE of LNG is the equivalent of one gallon of motor fuel. One GGE of CNG is equal to 139.31 cubic feet or 6.38 pounds.

(Reference Ohio Revised Code 5735.011)

Alternative Fuel Vehicle Conversion

It is unlawful to tamper with vehicle emissions control systems unless the action is for the purpose of converting a motor vehicle to operate on an alternative fuel and is in compliance with the standards adopted under the Clean Air Act Amendments.

(Reference Ohio Revised Code 3704.16-3704.162)