Wisconsin Laws and Incentives
Listed below are the summaries of all current Wisconsin 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:
Heavy-Duty Transit Bus Grants
The Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) offers grants for the replacement of eligible public transit buses. Funding is available for the replacement and scrapping of model year 1992-2009 heavy-duty public transit buses with new replacement diesel or alternative fueled buses. The program is funded by Wisconsin’s portion of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. For more information, including how to apply, see the DOA VW Mitigation Program website.
Renewable Fuel Producer Excise Tax and Inspection Exemption
The first 1,000 gallons of renewable fuel that an individual produces each year are exempt from the motor vehicle fuel excise tax, the petroleum inspection fee, and any petroleum inspection requirements not required under federal law. These exemptions only apply if the fuel is used in the individual's personal vehicle and is not sold. An individual may also produce renewable fuel for personal use without a business tax registration certificate or a motor vehicle fuel tax license. For more information see the Wisconsin Department of Revenue Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax website. (Reference Wisconsin Statutes 78.01(2n) and 168.05(6))
Clean Diesel Grant Program
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) provides U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) funding for projects that reduce diesel emissions in Wisconsin. Funding for between 25% and 100% of eligible projects costs is available to businesses, nonprofits, and public entities that reduce diesel emissions by replacing engines, retrofitting exhaust controls, purchasing new vehicles, or installing idle reduction equipment. For more information, including funding amounts and application details, see the DNR Clean Diesel Grant Program website.
Alternative Fuel Tax Refund for Taxis
A person using alternative fuel to operate a taxi used to transport passengers may be reimbursed for the paid amount of the Wisconsin state fuel tax. Refund claims must be filed within one year of the fuel purchase date and must be for a minimum of 100 gallons of alternative fuel. (Reference Wisconsin Statutes 78.75(1m)(a)(1) and 78.75(1m)(b))
Idle Reduction Grant Program
The Wisconsin Department of Administration provides idle reduction grants to eligible common, contract, and private motor carriers headquartered in Wisconsin that transport freight. Applicants may receive grants of up to 50% of the cost of equipment and installation on heavy-duty truck tractors produced in Model Year 1999 or later. Other conditions may apply. The grant program provides $1 million for each budget cycle. For more information, including program status, see the Diesel Truck Idling Reduction Grant Program website. (Reference Wisconsin Statutes 16.956)
Point of Contact
Program Manager, Diesel Truck Idling Reduction Program
Wisconsin Department of Administration
Phone: (608) 261-2517
Alternative Fuel Tax Exemption
A county, city, village, town, or other political subdivision may not levy or collect any excise, license, privilege, or occupational tax on motor vehicle fuel, alternative fuels, or the purchase, sale, handling, or consumption of motor vehicle fuel or alternative fuels. (Reference Wisconsin Statutes 78.82)
Idle Reduction and Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) Weight Exemption
Any vehicle or combination of vehicles equipped with fully functional idle reduction technology may exceed the state's gross and axle weight limits by up to 550 pounds (lbs.) to compensate for the additional weight of the idle reduction technology. To qualify, the vehicle operator must be able to prove the weight of the idle reduction technology with written certification and demonstrate that the idle reduction technology is fully functional at all times.
NGVs may exceed the weight limits by an amount equal to the difference of the weight of the natural gas tank and fueling system and the weight of a comparable diesel tank and fueling system or by up to 2,000 lbs., whichever is less.
(Reference Wisconsin Statutes 348.15(3)(f) and 348.15(3)(h))
Biodiesel Fuel Use Incentive for Schools
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) may provide school districts financial aid to cover the incremental cost of purchasing biodiesel to operate school buses, as compared to the cost of petroleum diesel fuel. If in any fiscal year insufficient funds are available to provide school districts with the full amount of reimbursement for which a school district qualifies, DPI will prorate the available funds among the entitled school districts on a per pupil basis. For more information, see the Wisconsin Public Service Commission’s Office of Energy Innovation Funding website. (Reference Wisconsin Statutes 121.575)
Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging Rate Incentive - Madison Gas and Electric (MGE)
MGE offers a time-of-use (TOU) electricity rate for customers with a PEV. For more information, see the MGE Shift & Save website.
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Leasing Program – Madison Gas and Electric (MGE)
MGE residential customers can pay $20 per month for the installation and maintenance of a Level 2 EVSE. Participants must sign a five-year service agreement. For more information, see MGE’s Charge@Home website.
Residential Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate - Alliant Energy
Alliant Energy offers a rebate up to $500 to residential customers who purchase and install Level 2 EVSE. For more information, including program status, see the Alliant Energy Electric Vehicle Chargers website.
Workplace and Public Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate - Alliant Energy
Alliant Energy offers a rebate to commercial and industrial customers who purchase and install Level 2 EVSE for use by their employees or the public. The rebate is $500 for the purchase of a single connector EVSE, $1,000 for a dual connector EVSE, and $1,500 for a networked dual connector EVSE. Rebates are available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, including eligibility requirements and how to apply, see the Alliant Energy rebates website.
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate – Barron Electric Cooperative (BEC)
BEC offers residential customers rebates for the full cost of a Level 2 EVSE. For more information, see the BEC Residential Programs website.
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate – Chippewa Valley Electric Cooperative (CVEC)
CVEC offers customers a $200 rebate to purchase and install a new EVSE. All rebate documentation must be submitted within three months of the EVSE purchase. The rebate is available until December 31, 2019 and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, including eligibility requirements and how to apply, see the CVEC Rebates website.
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate – Clark Electric Cooperative (CEC)
CEC offers customers a $400 rebate to purchase and install a new EVSE. Required documentation must be submitted to CEC within three months of the EVSE purchase date. The EVSE rebate is available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, see the CEC Rebates and Incentives website.
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate – East Central Energy (ECE)
ECE offers residential customers a $1,000 rebate to install a Level 2 EVSE on a time-of-use or off-peak storage electricity rate. For more information, see the ECE Residential Rebates website.
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate – Price Electric Cooperative
Price Electric Cooperative offers residential customers a $500 rebate to customers who purchase and install an EVSE. The EVSE rebate is available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, including application details, see the Price Electric Cooperative Rebates website.
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate – Riverland Energy Cooperative (REC)
REC offers residential customers a $400 rebate to purchase and install an EVSE. The EVSE rebate is available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, including application details, see the REC Rebates website.
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate – Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services (PPCS)
PPCS offers residential customers a $400 rebate to purchase and install an EVSE. The EVSE rebate is available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, see the PPCS Programs & Rebates website.
Laws and Regulations
Climate Change Task Force
The Governor will convene a Climate Change Task Force (Task Force) to advise the Governor in developing a mitigation strategy and incorporating recommendations, including transportation, into existing plans. The Task Force will submit a preliminary report of its findings and recommendations to the Governor by August 31, 2020. For more information, see the Wisconsin Task Force website. (Reference Executive Order 52, 2020)
Alternative Fuel Vehicle and Alternative Fuel Use Policy
The Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) encourages state employees operating state-owned or leased motor vehicles to use hybrid electric vehicles or vehicles that operate on gasohol (a motor fuel containing at least 10% alcohol) or alternative fuels whenever feasible and cost effective. DOA must place a list of gasohol and alternative fueling station locations in each state-owned or state-leased motor vehicle for driver reference. DOA also encourages Wisconsin residents and state employees who use personal motor vehicles on state business to use gasohol and alternative fuels. (Reference Wisconsin Statutes 16.045)
Alternative Fuels Tax
A state excise tax is imposed on the use of alternative fuels. Alternative fuels include propane and natural gas. The current tax rates are as follows: $0.226 per gallon of propane; $0.247 per gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) of compressed natural gas; and $0.197 per GGE of liquefied natural gas. No tax is imposed on alternative fuels used by the U.S. government or its agencies (when presented with a valid exemption certificate) or on vehicles used for urban mass transportation of passengers. For more information, see the Wisconsin Department of Revenue Alternate Fuel Tax website. (Reference Wisconsin Statutes 78.40)
Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Fees
In addition to standard registration fees, all-electric vehicle owners must pay an annual fee of $100. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle owners must pay an annual fee of $75. (Reference Wisconsin Statutes 341.25(1)(L))
Alternative Fuel License
Any person acting as an alternative fuels dealer must hold a valid alternative fuel license and certificate from the Wisconsin Department of Administration. No person may use alternative fuels in the state unless the person holds a valid alternative fuel license or an authorized supplier has delivered the alternative fuel. For more information, see the Wisconsin Department of Revenue License, Permit and Registration Services website. (Reference Wisconsin Statutes 78.47)
Volkswagen (VW) Settlement Allocation
The Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) may use funds awarded to Wisconsin through the VW Environmental Mitigation Trust to replace vehicles in the state fleet. The DOA will also establish a grant program for alternative fuels, electric vehicle supply equipment, and the replacement of school buses. For more information, see the DOA VW Mitigation Program website. (Reference Wisconsin Statutes 16.047(1) - (4s))
Renewable Fuel Sales Volume Goals
The Wisconsin Legislature sets goals for minimum annual renewable fuel sales volumes based on annual renewable fuel volumes required under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard. On an annual basis, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), in cooperation with the Department of Commerce, the Department of Revenue, and the Office of Innovation, must determine whether the annual goals for the previous year were met. If the goals were not met, DATCP must issue a report assessing the causes. If DATCP determines that the goals are likely to be met, it must establish requirements that may include: reporting, recordkeeping, or testing requirements; annual requirements for renewable fuel sales; quarterly or monthly requirements for renewable fuel sales if necessary to maintain fuel availability and smooth fluctuation in demand; a system for trading credits; procedures to temporarily suspend a sales requirement; and fees for administration and enforcement. (Reference Wisconsin Statutes 100.60)
Support for Autonomous Vehicles (AVs)
The Wisconsin Office of the Governor established the Governor's Steering Committee on Autonomous and Connected Vehicle Testing and Deployment (Committee) to support the testing and deployment of AVs, identify corridors for AV testing and operation, and make recommendations for changes needed to existing state laws that impede the deployment of AVs. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation delivered a report to the governor detailing the findings of the Committee. (Reference Executive Order 245, 2017)
Sustainable Biofuels Production Practices
The Wisconsin Bioenergy Council (Council) must identify voluntary best management practices for sustainable biomass and biofuels production. The Council must report its findings, at least biennially, to agencies and private parties that assist biofuel feedstocks and biofuels producers. (Reference Wisconsin Statutes 93.47)
Biodiesel is defined as a fuel comprised of mono-alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oils or animal fats, either in pure form or mixed in any combination with petroleum-based diesel fuel. The definition of biodiesel is expanded for purposes of existing provisions that encourage alternative fuels use in state-owned vehicles. (Reference Wisconsin Statutes 16.045(1)(c))
Biodiesel Labeling Requirement
Biodiesel fuel retailers may not advertise or offer for sale fuel labeled as pure biodiesel unless the fuel contains no other type of petroleum product, is registered as biodiesel fuel with the federal government, and meets all applicable ASTM specifications. Retailers also may not sell fuel labeled as a biodiesel blend unless the fuel contains at least 2% pure biodiesel fuel, the blend percentage is identified, and the fuel meets all applicable ASTM standards. (Reference Wisconsin Statutes 168.14(2)-168.14(3))
Ethanol Dispensing Requirements
Fuel retailers may use the same fueling nozzle and hose to dispense gasoline containing 0% ethanol, ethanol blends containing 10-15% ethanol, and blends containing no more than 10% ethanol (E10) if either:
- The retail station displays information about and provides at least one fueling nozzle and hose that dispenses only E10 and a label is displayed that states use is for passenger vehicles only; or,
- A label is displayed stating a minimum of 4 gallons of fuel must be purchased
Propane Supplier Requirements
A retail supplier may only distribute propane if the supplier holds a license from the Wisconsin Department of Commerce. Suppliers must renew the license every two years. In addition, propane retail suppliers must also provide and maintain liability insurance. Penalties for noncompliance may apply. (Reference Wisconsin Statutes 101.16)
Low-Speed Vehicle Access to Roadways
A low-speed vehicle is defined as a self-propelled motor vehicle that conforms to the definition and requirements in the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety standards under Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 571.500. A golf cart is not considered a low-speed vehicle. The governing body of any municipality may, by ordinance, allow a low-speed vehicle to operate on any roadway within the municipality that has a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less, regardless of whether the municipality has jurisdiction over the roadway. (Reference Wisconsin Statutes 349.26 and 340.01(27h))
Liquid Alternative Fuel Sale Requirement
An individual may only sell liquid alternative fuels if the seller provides the purchaser a delivery ticket with the name and address of the seller, the name and address of the purchaser, a description of the fuel delivered, and a meter reading showing the volume of liquid fuel delivered. The definition of alternative fuels includes those suitable for motor vehicles. (Reference Wisconsin Statutes 98.225(1) and (2))