Virginia Laws and Incentives

Listed below are the summaries of all current Virginia 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

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.

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

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.

Port Drayage Truck Replacement and Retrofit Incentive

The Virginia Port Authority, in partnership with Virginia Clean Cities, offers regional Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement funds to retire aging drayage trucks and replace them with modern clean diesel vehicles. This program provides 50% of the cost to purchase new clean diesel drayage trucks, up to $30,000. For more information, including eligible vehicles, see the Green Operator website.

Biodiesel Production Tax Credit

Qualified biodiesel and green diesel producers are eligible for a tax credit of $0.01 per gallon of biodiesel or renewable diesel fuels produced. This credit is available for producers who generate up to two million gallons of biodiesel or renewable diesel fuel per year. The annual credit may not exceed $5,000, and producers are only eligible for the credit for the first three years of production. The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy must certify qualified producers. For more information, see the Virginia Department of Taxation website.

(Reference Virginia Code 58.1-439.12:02)

Agriculture and Forestry Biofuel Production Grants

The Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund provides grants to promote and develop the agriculture and forestry industry in Virginia and create or expand value-added facilities, including qualified biofuel production facilities. Individual grants may not exceed $500,000 or 25% of qualified capital expenditures. Eligible applicants include local governments and other Virginia political subdivisions working with qualified businesses. Additional terms and conditions apply. For more information, see the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services website. (Reference Virginia Code 3.2-304)

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)

Green Jobs Tax Credit

Qualified employers are eligible for a $500 tax credit for each new green job created that offers a salary of at least $50,000, for up to 350 jobs per employer. The credit is allowed for the first five years that the job is continuously filled. For the purposes of this tax credit, a green job is defined as employment in industries relating to renewable or alternative energy, including hydrogen and fuel cell technology, landfill gas, and biofuels. For more information, see the Virginia Department of Taxation website.

(Reference Virginia Code 58.1-439.12:05)

Biofuel Feedstock Registration Exemption

Individuals that transport waste kitchen grease for conversion to biofuel are exempt from both the Virginia Department of Health registration and the associated annual application fee. This exemption applies to individuals transporting the waste kitchen grease for their own consumption in a container with a capacity of no more than 275 gallons, and to kitchen grease transportation to a biofuel production facility. Eligible facilities may not have a production capacity over 500 gallons per day of biofuel nor possess or control more than 1,320 gallons of kitchen grease, biofuel feedstock derived from kitchen grease, or biofuel at any one time. Other restrictions and requirements apply. For more information, see the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services website. (Reference Virginia Code 3.2-5508 through 3.2-5516)

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)

Idle Reduction and Alternative Fuel Vehicle Weight Exemption

Any motor vehicle equipped with an auxiliary power unit or other idle reduction technology may exceed the gross, single axle, tandem axle, or bridge formula weight limits by up to 550 pounds (lbs.) to compensate for the added weight of the idle reduction technology. Furthermore, any natural gas or electric vehicle may exceed the limits by up to 2,000 lbs. To be eligible for the weight exemption, certification of the weight of the auxiliary power unit or proof that the vehicle operates on natural gas, and a demonstration that the vehicle is fully functional must be available to law enforcement officials.

(Reference Virginia Code 46.2-1129.1 through 46.2-1129.2)

Alternative Fuel Tax Exemption

Alternative fuel is exempt from taxes if it is sold to a government entity for its exclusive use, a non-profit charitable organization for the purpose of providing charitable services for low-income medical patients, or produced by an agricultural operation and used exclusively for farm use or vehicles of that producer. (Reference Virginia Code 58.1-2250)

Utility/Private Incentives

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) 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.

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) 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.

Laws and Regulations

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) 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 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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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

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

By January 2021, the Task Force will develop a multi-state action plan to support electrification of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The Task Force will consider actions to accomplish the goals of the MOU, including limiting all new medium- and heavy-duty vehicles sales in the signatory states to ZEVs by 2050. The signatory states will also seek to accelerate the deployment of medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs to benefit disadvantaged communities and explore opportunities to coordinate and partner with key stakeholders.

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

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)

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)

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)

Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Definitions

Biodiesel is defined as a fuel composed of mono-alkyl esters of long-chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oils or animal fats that is designated B100 and meets the requirements of ASTM D6751. Renewable diesel is a fuel produced from non-fossil renewable resources, including agricultural or silvicultural plants; animal fats; residue and waste generated from the production, processing, and marketing of agricultural products, silvicultural products; and other renewable resources; that meets applicable ASTM standards. (Reference Virginia Code 58.1-439.12:02)

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 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)

Ethanol Production Equipment Tax Exemption Authorization

A county, city, or town may exempt, partially exempt, or set a lower tax rate for qualified equipment used by farmers or farm cooperatives to produce ethanol, provided that the ethanol feedstock consists primarily of farm products. (Reference Virginia Code 58.1-3505)

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)

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Deregulation

The Virginia State Corporation Commission may refrain from regulating and setting rates, charges, and fees for retail CNG service provided by corporations other than public service corporations. (Reference Virginia Code 56-232.2)

Low-Speed Vehicle Access to Roadways

A low-speed vehicle is defined as a four-wheeled electrically- or gas-powered vehicle capable of achieving a maximum speed of at least 20 miles per hour (mph) but not greater than 25 mph. The vehicle must comply with safety standards specified in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 571.500. Low-speed vehicles titled and registered with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) must display designated DMV license plates. Low-speed vehicles may not operate on roads with posted speed limits of more than 35 mph or on roads where the Virginia Department of Transportation or the local governing body has prohibited their use. (Reference Virginia Code 46.2-100, 46.2-908.2, 46.2-908.3, and 46.2-711)

Idle Reduction Requirement

Motor vehicles licensed for commercial or public service may not idle for more than three minutes in commercial or residential urban areas, unless the engine is providing auxiliary power for purposes other than heating or air conditioning. Tour buses and diesel vehicles are not permitted to idle for more than 10 minutes. (Reference Virginia Administrative Code 9-5-40-5670(C))

State Energy Plan

The Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) 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. The DMME 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 Efficiency Plan websites.

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

Alternative Fuel School Bus Regulations

The Virginia Board of Education may not unreasonably limit the authority of any local school division to purchase and use school buses powered by or converted to compressed natural gas or other alternative fuels.

The Virginia Board of Education may provide for the display of signs or other markings on school buses using alternative fuels to identify the vehicle as an alternative fuel vehicle and indicate the type of alternative fuel used.

(Reference Virginia Code 22.1-177 and 46.2-1089.1)

Fuel-Efficient Driving Training

Commonwealth-approved driver education programs must include fuel-efficient driving practices as a curriculum component. (Reference Virginia Code 22.1-205)