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:

State Incentives

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 11-4-2 and 11-14-5)

Alternative Fuel School Bus Incentive

Any county that uses compressed natural gas (CNG) or propane 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 incurred from using those CNG or propane school buses. Any county qualifying for this allowance must submit a plan that includes the future use of the CNG or propane fueled school buses to the Department of Education. (Reference West Virginia Code 18-9A-7)

Point of Contact
David Baber
Manager 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)

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)

Provision for Establishment of Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Acquisition Requirements

The West Virginia Department of Administration (Department) may require that up to 75% of a state agency's fleet consist of AFVs. To meet these requirements, agencies may purchase or lease AFVs or convert existing vehicles to operate using alternative fuels. The Department may waive this requirement if an agency's vehicles are operating in an area where the agency cannot reasonably establish a central alternative fueling station or the lifetime cost of the vehicle or fueling infrastructure is significantly higher as compared to conventional vehicles or fuels. This requirement does not apply to law enforcement, emergency, public transit authority, state rail authority, non-road vehicles, or school buses. (Reference West Virginia Code 5A-2A-1 and 5A-2A-2)

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)