Utah Laws and Incentives
Listed below are the summaries of all current Utah 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:
Qualified Heavy-Duty Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Tax Credit
Qualified taxpayers are eligible for a tax credit for the purchase of a qualified heavy-duty AFV. Qualifying fuels include natural gas, electricity, and hydrogen. Each qualified heavy-duty AFV is eligible for the following tax credit amounts:
At least 50% of the qualified vehicle's miles must be driven in the state. A single taxpayer may claim credits for up to 10 AFVs or $500,000 annually. If more than 30% of the total available tax credits in a single year have not been claimed by May 1, a taxpayer may apply for credits for an additional eight AFVs. Up to 25% of the tax credits are reserved for taxpayers with small fleets of less than 40 vehicles. This credit expires December 31, 2020. Additional conditions and restrictions may apply.
(Reference Utah Code 59-7-618, 59-10-1033, and 59-13-201)
Point of Contact
Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Air Quality
Phone: (801) 536-4136
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Conversion Grants for Businesses
The Utah Conversion to Alternate Fuel Grant Program provides grants to businesses that install conversion equipment on eligible vehicles that allow the vehicles to operate on alternative fuel or reduce a vehicle’s emissions of regulated pollutants. Businesses are required to pass these savings along to the individual who purchases the converted vehicle. Grants are available for 50% of the cost of conversion, up to $2,500. Eligible alternative fuels include propane, natural gas, and electricity. For more information, see the Utah Conversion to Alternative Fuel Grant Program website. (Reference Utah Code 19-1-401, 19-1-402, 19-1-403.3, and 19-1-405)
Point of Contact
Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Air Quality
Phone: (801) 536-4136
Alternative Fuel Tax Exemptions and Reductions
Propane, natural gas, electricity, and hydrogen, also known as clean fuel or special fuel, used to operate motor vehicles are exempt from state fuel taxes, but subject to a special fuel tax at the rate of three-nineteenths of the conventional motor fuel tax. A reduction in special fuel tax is permissible if the fuel is already taxed by the Navajo Nation. Retailers, wholesalers, and suppliers of special fuel are eligible for a refund of the special fuel tax if dyed diesel fuel is mixed with special fuel and the mixed special fuel is returned to the refinery. For more information, see the Utah State Tax Commission Fuel Taxes website. (Reference Utah Code 59-13-102, 59-13-201, 59-13-301, and 59-13-322)
Hydrogen Fuel Production Incentives
Businesses that convert natural gas to hydrogen fuel, or produce natural gas solely for use in the production of hydrogen fuel for zero emission vehicles (ZEVs), may be eligible for an oil and gas severance tax credit. Each eligible applicant may receive a tax credit equal to the amount of the severance tax owed, up to $5 million per year. Entities that produce hydrogen fuel for use in ZEVs or hydrogen fueled trucks may also qualify for grant funding or loans from the Community Impact Fund. (Reference Utah Code 35A-8-302 and 59-5-102)
Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) Weight Exemption
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 pounds. (Reference Utah Administrative Code R909-2-5)
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Decal and High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane Exemption
Vehicles operating on propane, natural gas, or electricity are permitted to use HOV lanes, regardless of the number of passengers. Qualified vehicles must display the special clean fuel decal issued by the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT); a limited number of decals are available. This exemption expires September 30, 2019. For more information about qualifying vehicles and decal availability, see the UDOT Clean Fuel Vehicle Decal and Permit website. (Reference Utah Code 41-1a-416, 41-1a-418, 41-6a-702, 59-13-102, and 72-6-121)
Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Credit and Charging Rate Reduction Pilot - Rocky Mountain Power
Rocky Mountain Power offers residential customers with PEVs $200 to enroll in a time-of-use (TOU) rate pilot. Participants may choose between two rate plans. The TOU rate will apply to all household energy use. For more information, see the Rocky Mountain Power PEV TOU Rate Pilot Program website.
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate - Rocky Mountain Power
Rocky Mountain Power provides rebates to non-residential and multi-family customers toward the purchase of Level 2 and direct current (DC) fast EVSE. Customers installing Level 2 EVSE may receive a rebate of 75% of equipment cost, up to $2,500 for single port stations and $3,500 for multi-port stations. Customers installing DC fast charging EVSE may receive a rebate of 75% of equipment and installation cost, up to $30,000 for single port stations and $42,000 for multi-port stations. To receive a rebate, customers installing Level 2 EVSE must submit an application within 90 days of the station installation; customers installing DC fast charging EVSE must submit an application for utility approval before purchasing and installing equipment.
Customers may also complete an application for a custom grant project; applications must be submitted by April 1, 2019. Rebates and grant funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, see the Rocky Mountain Power Utah Electric Vehicle Incentives website.
Laws and Regulations
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Registration Fees
Battery electric vehicle (EV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), and hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) owners are required to pay an additional registration fee as follows:
|2019||2020||2021 & Beyond|
Owners of a vehicles powered by a fuel other than motor fuel, diesel fuel, electricity, natural gas, or propane are required to pay an additional registration fee equal to the EV fees outlined in the table above. A six-month registration option with fees at prorated amounts is also available.
(Reference Utah Code 41-1a-1206)
Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Road Usage Charge Program
Beginning January 1, 2020, the owner or lessee of an AFV may apply for enrollment in the mileage-based revenue collection program. If approved by the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), the owner or lessee of an AFV may participate in the program in lieu of paying AFV registration fees. To participate, the owner or lessee of an AFV must report mileage driven, pay the road usage fee for each payment period, and comply with all provisions and requirements.
UDOT will administer the program and establish terms and conditions for participation, including payment periods and standards for mileage recording and payment processing. UDOT will make recommendations to and consult with the Transportation Commission regarding road usage mileage rates for each type of AFV. Additional conditions apply.
(Reference Senate Bill 72, 2019)
Regional Electric Vehicle (REV) West Plan
Utah joined Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wyoming (Signatory States) in signing the REV West memorandum of understanding (MOU) to create an Intermountain West Electric Vehicle (EV) Corridor that will make it possible to seamlessly drive an EV across the Signatory States' major transportation corridors. Signatory States are committed to:
- Create best practices and procedures that will enhance EV adoption by: promoting EV consumer acceptance and awareness by addressing range anxiety, coordinating on EV charging station locations, and leveraging economies of scale;
- Create minimum standards for EV charging stations, including standards for administration, interoperability, operations, and management;
- Identify and develop opportunities to incorporate EV charging stations into planning and development processes such as building codes, metering policies, and renewable energy generation projects;
- Encourage EV manufacturers to stock and market a wide variety of EVs within the Signatory States; and
- Identify, respond to, and collaborate on funding opportunities to support the development of the Plan.
Natural Gas and Hydrogen Tax
Compressed natural gas (CNG) and hydrogen are taxed at a rate of $0.165 per gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE). Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is taxed at a rate of $0.165 per diesel gallon equivalent (DGE). One GGE is equal to 5.660 pounds (lbs.) of CNG or 2.198 lbs. of hydrogen. One DGE is equal to 6.06 lbs. of LNG. Beginning January 1, 2020, the tax rate for natural gas and hydrogen will be annually adjusted by the State Tax Commission (Commission) not to exceed $0.225 per GGE or DGE. The Commission will publish the adjusted fuel tax no later than 60 days prior to the effective date. (Reference Senate Bill 72, 2019, and Utah Code 59-13-102 and 59-13-301)
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Vehicle Aftermarket Conversion Requirements
Vehicles converted to operate on CNG must be inspected and certified in accordance with relevant safety standards by a CSA America-certified CNG Fuel System Inspector. The vehicle must also be tested to ensure that it meets emissions standards in the applicable county, or the county with the most lenient emissions standards if the vehicle is registered in a county without its own emissions standards. A person who performs a conversion must certify to the vehicle owner that the conversion does not tamper with, circumvent, or otherwise affect the vehicle's on-board diagnostic system, if applicable. A CSA America-certified CNG Fuel System Inspector must also inspect the vehicle every three years, or every 36,000 miles, and after a collision occurring at a speed greater than five miles per hour.
The Utah Division of Air Quality may develop programs to facilitate coordination between government agencies and the private sector regarding emissions and anti-tampering compliance testing, vehicle safety, and potential improvements in the air quality of the state.
(Reference Utah Code 19-1-406)
Natural Gas Rate and Cost Recovery Authorization
The Utah Public Service Commission (Commission) may allow a gas corporation to set a natural gas vehicle fuel rate that is less than full cost of service if it is reasonable and in the interest of the public. If the Commission approves such a request, the remaining costs may be spread to other customers of the gas corporation.
The Commission may also allow a gas corporation to recover expenditures directly related to the construction, operation, and maintenance of natural gas fueling stations and related facilities through an incremental surcharge to all of its rate classes. The Commission may allow this only if it finds that the expenditures are reasonable, do not exceed $5 million in any calendar year, are in the interest of the public, and will result in an annual incremental increase in revenue greater than 50% of the corporation's annual revenue requirement for the stations and facilities.
The Commission may also allow a gas corporation to establish a natural gas incentive or program to support the use of natural gas, including renewable natural gas, if it is reasonable and in the interest of the public. If the Commission approves such a request, the remaining costs may be spread to other customers of the gas corporation.
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Inspection and Permit
The Utah State Tax Commission (Commission) may require vehicles operating on clean fuels to be inspected for safe operation. In addition, clean fuel vehicles that have a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds or have more than three axels are required to obtain a special fuel user permit from the Commission. Clean fuels are defined as propane, natural gas, electricity, and hydrogen. (Reference Utah Code 59-13-102, 59-13-303, and 59-13-304)
Support for Clean Fuel School Buses
The Utah Legislature supports dedicating the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust funds allocated to Utah to replace diesel school buses that are Model Year 2006 and older with clean fuel school buses. (Reference House Concurrent Resolution 5, 2017)
Support for Consideration of Vehicle Environmental Impacts
The Utah Legislature encourages the citizens of Utah to consider the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency vehicle smog rating and other environmental impacts when purchasing a vehicle. The Utah Legislature suggests that auto dealers make vehicle smog ratings known to customers and that customers purchase vehicles with a smog rating of eight or higher. (Reference House Concurrent Resolution 18, 2017)
Support for Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Operation
All local agencies, political subdivisions, or other entities must facilitate the proper operation of AVs in Utah. AVs are motor vehicles equipped with automated driving systems technology that allows vehicle automation to perform the entire driving task on a sustained basis.
AVs must follow all applicable federal and state traffic and motor vehicle safety, insurance, accident reporting, titling, and registration laws and regulations. Other conditions may apply.
Provision for Establishment of Alternative Fuel Use Mandate
The Utah Air Quality Board may require fleets that own 10 or more vehicles capable of being fueled at a central location to use clean fuels if such a mandate is necessary to meet national air quality standards. Clean fuels are defined as propane, compressed natural gas, and electricity. This program expires July 1, 2019. Additional restrictions apply. (Reference Utah Code 19-2-105.3 and 63I-1-219)
Low-Speed Vehicle Access to Roadways
Low-speed vehicles are only allowed access to roadways with speeds limits of up to 35 miles per hour (mph), must comply with all federal and state motor vehicle regulations, and are required to display a slow-moving vehicle identification emblem on the rear of the vehicle. Low-speed vehicles are defined as four-wheel electric vehicles that are not golf carts or off-road vehicles, operate at speeds up to 25 mph, and may carry up to four passengers. Low-speed vehicles are subject to vehicle taxation requirements, including those related to special fuels and are exempt from emission inspections. (Reference Utah Code 41-6a-102, 41-6a-1508, 59-13-102, and 59-13-201)
Public Utility Definition
An entity that provides electric vehicle battery charging services is not defined as a public utility, unless the entity conducts another activity in the state that subjects it to the regulation and jurisdiction of the Utah Public Service Commission. (Reference Utah Code 54-2-1)
Alternative Fuel Use and Vehicle Acquisition Requirement
At least 50% of new or replacement light-duty state agency vehicles must meet Bin 2 emissions standards established in Title 40 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, or be propelled to a significant extent by electricity, natural gas, propane, hydrogen, or biodiesel. (Reference Utah Code 63A-9-401 and 63A-9-403)
Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Infrastructure Bond Authorization
Interlocal entities, such as counties, local districts, and military installations, are authorized to issue bonds for PEV charging infrastructure. PEV charging infrastructure is defined as any permanent equipment on commercial or industrial property that charges or stores energy for delivery to PEVs. (Reference Utah Code 11-13-103, 11-13-218, and 11-42-102)
State Fleet Idle Reduction Requirement
State of Utah fleet vehicles must turn off their engines when stopped for more than 30 consecutive seconds. Exemptions apply. State agencies must develop a compliance policy for their vehicle fleet. For more information, see the Automotive Idling Reduction Policy and the Utah Department of Administrative Services Policies website.
Idle Reduction Requirement
Idling of any unattended vehicle is prohibited in Utah. Effective July 1, 2019, violators are subject to a penalty of up to $750 and/or up to 90 days imprisonment. Drivers on state roads are also encouraged to avoid excessive idling, which, as a general rule, is defined as more than 10 to 15 seconds for passenger vehicles. Specifically, drivers are encouraged to turn off engines when loading or unloading, delivering, and picking up or dropping off passengers. Drivers of gasoline powered passenger vehicles are encouraged to limit engine warm-up time to 30 seconds and drivers of diesel powered passenger vehicles, buses, and trucks are encouraged to limit engine warm-up to the time the vehicle manufacturer recommends, which is generally less than five minutes. Businesses, schools, airport authorities, and governmental entities are encouraged to post signs to discourage customer idling. (Reference Utah Code 41-6a-202, 41-6a-1401, 76-3-204, and 76-3-301)
School Bus Idle Reduction Regulations
School bus drivers must turn off bus engines as soon as possible at loading and unloading areas and only restart the engine when it is time to depart. Exceptions include extreme weather conditions and idling in traffic. At bus depots, drivers are required to limit engine warm-up to the time recommended by the engine manufacturer. All school bus drivers in the state receive a minimum of 30 minutes of idling reduction instruction during their annual service training. In addition, school districts must revise bus schedules to maximize efficiency and assign the cleanest buses to the longest routes. For more information, see the Utah State Board of Education Pupil Transportation website. (Reference Utah Code 41-6a-1308 and Utah Administrative Code 277-601-1 through 277-601-3)
Local Vehicle Idling Regulations
A local highway authority may not enact an ordinance that prohibits or restricts an owner or operator of a vehicle from idling the vehicle's engine, unless the ordinance is primarily educational, specifies that a person must be issued at least three warnings before a fine is imposed, has the same fine structure as a parking violation, provides for the safety of law enforcement personnel enforcing the ordinance, and specifies that the ordinance may be enforced on public property or private property that is open to the general public. Exceptions apply. (Reference Utah Code 41-6a-208)
Clean Air Fund
Individuals filing a Utah state income tax return may designate a contribution to the Clean Air Fund. The Utah Department of Air Quality will distribute funds annually for programs to educate the public on the importance of air quality, such as the use of alternative fuel vehicles. (Reference Utah Code 59-10-1304 and 59-10-1319)