West Virginia Laws and Incentives
Listed below are the summaries of all current West 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:
Special Fuel Tax Exemption
Natural gas sold in bulk quantities of 500 gallons or more for use in municipal-owned vehicles may be exempt from the fuel excise tax. To receive the exemption, municipalities must submit an application to the State Tax Commissioner along with an affidavit, a copy of invoices, and the paid sales slips. (Reference West Virginia Code 11-14-3 and 11-14-5)
Alternative Fuel School Bus Incentive
Any county that uses compressed natural gas (CNG), propane, or electricity for the operation of any portion of its school bus fleet is eligible for a 10% reimbursement from the West Virginia Department of Education to help offset maintenance, operation, and other costs. A county is eligible for an additional 5% reimbursement for the portion of the school bus system that is manufactured within the state of West Virginia. Any county qualifying for this allowance must submit a plan that includes the future use of the CNG, propane, or electric school buses to the Department of Education.
Point of Contact
Director of School Transportation
West Virginia Department of Education, Finance and School Operations
Phone: (304) 558-2711
Idle Reduction Weight Exemption
Any motor vehicle equipped with qualified idle reduction technology may exceed the state gross and axle weight limits by up to 550 pounds, as provided under Title 23 U.S. Code, section 127(a)(12), to compensate for the added weight of the idle reduction technology. (Reference West Virginia Code 17C-13A-4)
Residential Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Rebate - Appalachian Power
Appalachian Power offers residential customers a rebate of up to $500 for the purchase and installation of an ENERGY STAR certified Level 2 EV charging station. For more information, see the Appalachian Power Charge Forward website.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Support
West 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 sites. For more information, including a list of participating utilities and states, see the NEHC website.
Laws and Regulations
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Fee
In addition to standard registration fees, owners of vehicles fueled with natural gas, hydrogen, or electricity must pay an annual fee of $200. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle owners must pay an annual fee of $100. (Reference West Virginia Code 17A-10-3C)
Alternative Fuel Production Subsidy Prohibition
Incentives or subsidies from political subdivisions for the production of alternative fuels are prohibited by law, with exceptions for certain coal-based liquid fuels. (Reference West Virginia Code 8-27A-3 and 11-13D-3D)
Alternative Fuels Tax
Alternative fuels are subject to an excise tax at a rate of $0.205 per gasoline gallon equivalent, with a variable component equal to at least 5% of the average wholesale price of the fuel. (Reference West Virginia Code 11-14C-2, 11-14C-5, 11-14C-6a, 11-15A-13a, and 11-15-18b)
Idle Reduction Requirement
A commercial motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more may not idle for more than 15 minutes in any 60-minute period. Exceptions apply, including those pertaining to emergency vehicles, auxiliary power unit use, and outside temperature. Additionally, exemptions apply to diesel vehicles with a label issued by the California Air Resources Board and diesel vehicles powered by clean diesel technology or biodiesel. (Reference West Virginia Code 17C-13A-1 through 17C-13A-3)
Alternative Fuel Use Promotion
The West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) does not have jurisdiction over the sale of alternative fuels by non-utilities. The PSC authorizes ratemaking allowances for public utilities to encourage the use of alternative fuels in new demonstration technologies, including alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs). AFVs included those using natural gas, methanol, or electricity as the primary fuel. (Reference West Virginia Code 24-2D-1 through 24-2D-3)
Alternative Fuel Use Requirement
West Virginia higher education governing boards must use alternative fuels to the maximum extent feasible. (Reference West Virginia Code 18B-5-9)
Low-Speed Vehicle Access to Roadways
Low-speed vehicles may only operate on private and public roads and streets where the speed limit is up to 25 miles per hour. All low-speed vehicles must comply with federal safety standards established in Title 49 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, section 571.500. Any person operating a low-speed vehicle must hold a valid driver's license. (Reference West Virginia Code 17A-3-2)
Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Deployment Plan
The West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT) must create an EV Infrastructure Deployment Plan (Plan) that describes how the state intends to use U.S. Department of Energy’s National Vehicle Infrastructure Program funds. The plan must consider future charging infrastructure needs of school systems, public transportation, local government entities, and other public and private users. The WVDOT must publish the Plan by July 1, 2022.
Autonomous Vehicles (AV) Operation Requirements
An AV may operate on public roads without a human driver if the automated driving system is engaged, and the AV is capable of operating in compliance with applicable traffic and motor safety laws. Exemptions may apply. Autonomous delivery vehicles may also operate at low speeds, up to 12 miles per hour (mph) on sidewalks and 20 mph on roadways, on roads with a posted speed limit.