Pennsylvania Laws and Incentives

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

State Incentives

Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicle Rebates

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) offers rebates for the replacement or repower of Class 4-7 local freight trucks and port drayage trucks and Class 4-8 school and shuttle buses. Eligible Model Years (MY) 1992 through 2009 Class 4-7 trucks and eligible MY 2009 and older buses are eligible for rebates for the replacement or repower with new diesel, electric, or alternative fuel. Vehicles or engines being replaced or repowered must be scrapped in accordance with program guidelines. DEP must approve all project applications and will process rebates on a first-come, first-served basis. Grant reimbursement amounts and additional terms and conditions will be provided in the forthcoming program guidelines (verified June 2018). This rebate program is funded by Pennsylvania's portion of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. For more information, see the Driving Pennsylvania Forward website.

Heavy-Duty Truck and Transit Bus Grants

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection offers competitive grants for the replacement or repower of Class 8 local freight trucks and transit buses. Model Years (MY) 1992 through 2009 local freight trucks and MY 2009 and older transit buses will be eligible for the replacement or repower with new diesel, electric, or alternative fuel. Vehicles or engines being replaced or repowered must be scrapped in accordance with program guidelines. Grant reimbursement amounts and additional terms and conditions will be provided in the forthcoming program guidelines (verified June 2018). This grant program is funded by Pennsylvania's portion of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. For more information, see the Driving Pennsylvania Forward website.

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment and Hydrogen Fuel Cell Infrastructure Grants

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection offers competitive grants for the acquisition, installation, operation, and maintenance of publicly available DC fast charging equipment and hydrogen fuel cell infrastructure. Grant reimbursements are awarded after project completion in the following amounts:

Project TypeMaximum ReimbursementMaximum per Award
DC Fast ChargingUp to 75% reimbursement$500,000
Hydrogen Fueling - at least 250 kg/dayUp to 33% reimbursement$500,000
Hydrogen Fueling - at least 100 kg/dayUp to 25% reimbursement$500,000

Eligible project locations are transportation corridors, destination locations, and locations that serve as community charging or fueling hubs. This program is funded by Pennsylvania's portion of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. For more information, including program guidelines, eligibility requirements, application deadlines, and instructions, see the Driving Pennsylvania Forward website.

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) offers rebates for the acquisition, installation, operation, and maintenance of Level 2 EVSE. Rebates are available provided for Level 2 chargers on publicly accessible government-owned or non-government-owned property, at workplaces, or at multi-unit dwellings that are not publicly accessible. Rebates are awarded in the following amounts, whichever is less:

Project TypeMaximum Reimbursement - Government Owned PropertyMaximum Reimbursement - Non-Government Owned Property
Public Access, Networked$5,000 per plug or up to 100% of total project costs$5,000 per plug or up to 80% of total project costs
Public Access, Non-Networked$5,000 per plug or up to 90% of total project costs$5,000 per plug or up to 70% of total project costs
No Public Access$4,000 per plug or up to 60% of total project costs$4,000 per plug or up to 60% of total project costs

DEP must approve all project applications and processes rebates on a first-come, first-served basis, until funds are exhausted. DEP will award a rebate voucher to successful applicants once project work is complete. Applicants will have 180 days to complete projects. This program is funded by Pennsylvania's portion of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. For more information, including program guidelines, eligibility requirements, and instructions, see the Driving Pennsylvania Forward website.

Alternative Fuel Corridor Infrastructure Funding

The Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant (AFIG) Program provides reimbursement grants for the installation of alternative fuel infrastructure along Pennsylvania interstate highway corridors. Grants are available for a reimbursement of 50%, up to $500,000, to install public electric, hydrogen, propane, and compressed natural gas fueling infrastructure along "Signage Ready" or "Signage Pending" highway corridors in Pennsylvania, as defined by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration. Eligible applicants include Pennsylvania municipal authorities, political subdivisions, non-profit entities, corporations, and limited liability companies or partnerships incorporated or registered in the Commonwealth. Applicants may submit more than one application if they are seeking funding to install fueling installations on separate highway segments. Applications will be accepted until 4:00 pm on December 15, 2017. For more information, including grant guidelines and application requirements, see the AFIG Program website.

Points of Contact
Josh Dziubek
Energy Program Specialist
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pollution Prevention & Energy Assistance Office
Phone: (717) 783-8411
jdziubek@pa.gov

Mark Hand
Southcentral Regional Office of Pollution Prevention and Energy Assistance Manager
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pollution Prevention & Energy Assistance Office
Phone: (717) 705-4797
mhand@pa.gov

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Funding

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

The AFIG Program also offers rebates to assist eligible residents with the incremental cost of the purchase or lease of new AFVs, including all-electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), natural gas vehicles (NGVs), and propane vehicles. Eligible vehicles must have a total purchase price not exceeding $60,000. Rebates are available in the following amounts:

Vehicle TypeRequirementRebate Amount
EV, PHEV, electric motorcycle, and low-speed EVBattery capacity greater than or equal to 85 kilowatt hours (kWh)$2,000
Battery capacity less than 85 kWh and equal to or greater than 30kWh$1,750
Battery capacity greater than or equal to 10kWh and less than 30kWh$1,000
FCEVOriginal equipment manufacturer (OEM) or certified retrofit$2,000
Natural gas and propaneOEM or certified retrofit$1,000
One-time preowned AFV75,000 miles or less$750

An additional rebate of $500 is available for all vehicles if an applicant meets the low-income requirement, as defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Rebates are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, including forms and detailed requirements and restrictions, see the AFIG Program and AFV Rebates websites. (Reference Title 73 Pennsylvania Statutes, Chapter 18E, Section 1647.3)

Points of Contact
Josh Dziubek
Energy Program Specialist
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pollution Prevention & Energy Assistance Office
Phone: (717) 783-8411
jdziubek@pa.gov

Walt Dinda
Energy Program Specialist
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pollution Prevention & Energy Assistance Office
Phone: (717) 783-8411
wdinda@pa.gov

Alternative Fuel and Idle Reduction Grants

The Small Business Advantage Grant Program provides matching grants of 50%, up to $9,500, to enable a Pennsylvania small business to adopt or acquire energy-efficient or pollution prevention equipment or processes. Pennsylvania trucking companies and independent truckers may use the funding to purchase U.S. Environmental Protection Agency SmartWay verified anti-idling technologies. Projects may not begin until after applications are approved. Applications have exceeded the program allotment for fiscal year 2017-2018. Applications will still be accepted and placed on a waitlist (verified November 2017). For more information, refer to the Small Business Advantage Grant Program website.

Idle Reduction and Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) Weight Exemption

A vehicle equipped with qualified idle reduction technology may exceed the state's gross and axle weight limits by up to 400 pounds (lbs.) to compensate for the additional weight of the idle reduction technology. A vehicle primarily powered by natural gas may exceed the state's gross vehicle weight limits by a weight equal to the difference between the weight of the vehicle with the natural gas tank and fueling system and the weight of a comparable vehicle with a diesel tank and fueling system. The NGV maximum gross weight may not exceed 82,000 lbs. (Reference Title 35 Pennsylvania Statutes, Chapter 23B, Section 4604, Title 75 Pennsylvania Statutes, Chapter 49, Section 4941)

Utility/Private Incentives

Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs) Discount - EZ-EV

EZ-EV, an Exelon program, offers discounts for the purchase or lease of select PEVs through participating dealers. For information on discount amounts, eligible makes and models, and availability, see the EZ-EV website.

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Rebate - PECO

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

Laws and Regulations

Public Utility Definition

A person, corporation, or entity that owns or operates electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) that is open to the public is not defined as a public utility. Each electric distribution company must address third-party owned and operated EVSE in its tariff. (Reference Title 52 Pennsylvania Code 69.3501 and 69.3502)

Renewable Fuels Mandate

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

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

(Reference Title 73 Pennsylvania Statutes, Chapter 18H, Sections 1650.3, 1650.4, and 1650.4.1)

Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Standards

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

Aftermarket Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Conversion Requirements

Conventional original equipment manufacturer passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks may be converted to operate on alternative fuels as a dedicated or bi-fuel AFV. Vehicles altered to operate on propane, natural gas, methane, ethanol, or electricity are classified as aftermarket AFV conversions. All vehicle conversions must meet current applicable U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or California Air Resources Board standards for aftermarket conversions. (Reference Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Policy on Clean Alternative Fuel Conversion Systems)

Idle Reduction Requirement

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

Alternative Fuels Tax

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

Low-Speed Vehicle Definition

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