Local Laws and Incentives

There are a variety of local laws and incentives that encourage or require individuals and/or public and private organizations to use alternative fuels, advanced vehicles, and strategies to decrease fuel use or increase fuel economy. Local city and county governments create such laws and incentives to ensure people use vehicles and transportation fuels safely and efficiently.

The featured laws and incentives below are a small sampling of existing laws and incentives that local governments have created. For specific laws and incentives in your area, contact your local government.

Vehicle Purchase and Infrastructure Development Incentives

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Grant Funding - North Central TX

The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) administers several funding programs that address air pollution from the transportation sector through incentives and technical assistance for cleaner vehicles and technologies across vehicle weight classes. For information about current funding opportunities, see the NCTCOG Air Quality Funding website.

Expedited Fleet Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Permitting – Houston, TX

The City of Houston Fleet Management Department offers an expedited, 24-hour permitting process for fleets installing EVSE. Permit inspection requests submitted prior to noon will be completed same day. All requests submitted after noon will be completed within 24 hours. For more information, see the Fleet Management Department Electric Vehicles website.

Heavy-Duty Truck and Alternative Fueling Station Incentives - Chicago, IL

The Chicago Department of Transportation's (CDOT) Drive Clean Chicago program provides vouchers and grants to fund the purchase and conversion of qualified fleet vehicles and fueling infrastructure. Vehicles must operate in the Chicago six-county area at least 75% of the time and fueling stations must be proposed in the six-county area. Vouchers of 80% of the incremental or conversion costs are available for qualified all-electric and hybrid Class 2 to Class 8 vehicle purchases. Vouchers are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and voucher amounts are capped based on the gross vehicle weight rating and vehicle type (e.g., zero emission vehicle, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, or hybrid electric vehicle). Rebates are also available for up to 30% of the capital cost to develop compressed natural gas fueling stations and DC fast charge electric vehicle supply equipment. Terms and conditions apply. For more information see the Drive Clean Chicago website.

Right-of-Way Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Guidelines - Montgomery County, MD

Montgomery County allows residents to install Level 1 or 2 EVSE in the public right-of-way if the property lacks on site installation options. Right-of-way and electrical permits are required, and the owner must pay for all installation costs, including but not limited to connecting the EVSE to their home electrical and trenching under sidewalk. For more information, see the Residential Electric Vehicles (EV) Charging Permitting Guidelines.

Parking Incentives

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) and Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) Parking - New Haven, CT

The City of New Haven provides free parking on all city streets for HEVs and AFVs registered in New Haven. HEV and AFV owners must obtain a non-transferable pass from the Department of Traffic and Parking to place on the vehicle's dashboard or hang from the rearview mirror. AFVs and HEVs are subject to all time and other posted parking restrictions. For more information, see the City of New Haven Code of Ordinances, Section 29-56.

Low Emission Vehicle Parking - San Jose, CA

The City of San Jose provides free parking at City parking meters, Parks and Recreation facilities, and participating garages for vehicles that display a valid Clean Air Permit. Permits are available to vehicles that are eligible for a California Air Resources Board Green or White State of California high occupancy vehicle lane stickers. Application for a Clean Air Permit includes a $30 administrative fee. For more information, see the San Jose Clean Air Program website.

Vehicle Acquisition Requirements

Clean Vehicle and Fleet Policy - Hermosa Beach, CA

In order to achieve its goal of carbon neutrality for municipal facilities and operations, the City of Hermosa Beach has established a clean vehicle and fleet policy that requires a transition to alternative fuel and zero and low emission vehicles, as well as improved fleet management and operations. The city must maximize the use of alternative fuel and low emission vehicles to supply city services, including both the city fleet and contractor vehicles, with the goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions for the city fleet and 100% use of alternative fuel by contracted city service vehicles. For more information, see the Clean Fleet Policy and Action Plan Administrative Memorandum.

Fleet Clean Vehicle Programs and Requirements - San Francisco, CA

The City of San Francisco (City) enforces several provisions and programs to reduce petroleum consumption and transportation emissions. Each city official with jurisdiction over passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 15% by the end of FY 2021. Reductions are based on baseline emissions set in FY 2014. City officials must also remove all vehicles aged 12 years and older from the fleet. In addition, all city fleet vehicle purchases must comply with the San Francisco Transit-First Policy and be an approved vehicle under the San Francisco Green Vehicle Purchase Criteria. Exceptions apply.

In addition, the San Francisco Department of the Environment, in consultation with other departments, must:

  • Facilitate and seek funds for the development of alternative fueling facilities, including electric vehicle supply equipment;
  • Participate in pilot and demonstration projects for clean vehicles and related technologies;
  • Coordinate grant applications to support clean vehicle and alternative fuel programs;
  • Implement programs to encourage residents and private fleet operators to purchase and operate clean vehicles and use alternative fuels; and
  • Assist the San Francisco Unified School District with developing bid specifications and identifying grants for energy efficient, alternative fuel, or best emissions control technology school buses.

For more information, see the City and County of San Francisco Environmental Code, Sections 400-410.

Green Fleet Policy - Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis is implementing a Green Fleet Policy to minimize the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and economic costs associated with current and future fleet vehicles. The overall objectives of the policy include:

  • Measure and report fleet-wide GHG emissions;
  • Optimize fleet size through the elimination or reassignment of under-used vehicles;
  • Reduce tailpipe emissions through advanced emissions controls;
  • Purchase, when necessary, new vehicles that provide the best available net reduction in vehicle fleet emissions, taking life-cycle economic and environmental impacts into consideration; and
  • Encourage and educate city staff on eco-driving best practices and promote carpooling across departments.

A Green Fleet Team will oversee the implementation of the Green Fleet Policy and will include representatives from the Fleet Services Division, Environmental Services, Sustainability Initiative, and a selected rotation of departments. The Green Fleet Team will present annual reports of findings and progress to the City of Minneapolis Environmental Coordinating Team and to Results Minneapolis.

Promotion Initiatives

Electric Vehicle (EV) Sharing Service – Los Angeles, CA

The City of Los Angeles (City) is partnering with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and BlueLA Carsharing to deliver a fleet of 100 EVs with 200 charging stations to central Los Angeles. BlueLA’s carsharing service is part of the City’s mobility strategy and is available to anyone over 18 years old with a valid driver’s license. Members have access to a 24-hours per day, 7 days per week network of shared EVs. For more information, see the BlueLA website.

Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) Promotion - Orlando, FL

Orlando government, rental car agencies, hotels, and tourist attractions have partnered to promote PEVs through Drive Electric Orlando. This program provides visitors the opportunity to rent PEVs at a discount and receive a tutorial on how to operate the vehicle as well as where and how to find charging stations in the Orlando area. Participating drivers also receive other benefits, including preferred parking at select theme parks. The goal of Drive Electric Orlando is to encourage broader adoption of PEVs by providing visitors with an extended test drive during their stay through a rental promotion. For more information, see the Drive Electric Orlando website.

Idle Reduction Requirements

Idle Reduction Requirement - Denver, CO

The city and county of Denver prohibit the idling of any vehicle for more than five minutes in any one-hour period. Failure to comply may result in fines. This prohibition does not apply when ambient outside air temperatures have been less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit for the previous 24 hours or when the current ambient outside air temperature is less than 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Emergency vehicles, vehicles engaged in traffic operations, vehicles being serviced, vehicles that must idle to operate auxiliary equipment, and vehicles that are idling due to traffic congestion are also exempt. For more information, see the Denver Revised Municipal Code, Title II, Section 4-43.

Idle Reduction Requirement - Philadelphia, PA

The City of Philadelphia prohibits the idling of any heavy-duty diesel motor vehicle for more than two minutes. Failure to comply may result in fines. Exceptions apply when the ambient temperature is 32 degrees Fahrenheit or below or when the ambient temperature is equal to or greater than 75 degrees Fahrenheit and the heavy-duty vehicle is a bus equipped with air conditioning and non-operable windows. For more information, see the City of Philadelphia Air Management Regulation IX.

Infrastructure Requirements

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Requirements for Associations – Boston, MA

The City of Boston (City) prohibits homeowners’ associations, community associations, and condominium associations from preventing the installation of EVSE. The EVSE must be installed by a licensed contractor or electrician at the owner’s expense and comply with all legislative requirements. Associations may require owners to submit applications before installing EVSE. For more information, see the Recharge Boston: Electric Vehicle Resources website.

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Parking Space Requirements - Kansas City, MO

The City of Kansas City requires that PEV parking spaces be reserved for parking and charging PEVs only. PEV parking spaces may not impede pedestrian, bicycle, or wheelchair movement or create safety hazards, and must have signage identifying any applicable use, fee, or safety information and indicating that the space is reserved for charging purposes only. PEV parking spaces in off-street parking facilities may be counted toward the off-street parking space requirements outlined in City of Kansas City Zoning & Development Code, Section 88-420-04. For more information, see the Zoning & Development Code, Section 88-305-10 or contact the Kansas City Planning & Development Department (816-513-1468).

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Ready Building Requirements - Atlanta, GA

Newly constructed residential buildings and public parking facilities in Atlanta must be equipped with the electrical infrastructure necessary to accommodate electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). At least 20% of the spaces in all new commercial and multifamily parking structures must be PEV-ready. New single-family homes must also have EVSE-ready infrastructure. For more information, see the Atlanta City Council Code of Ordinances, Section 17-0-1654.

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Ready Building Requirements – City of Oakland, CA

Builders are required to equip all new multi-family and nonresidential buildings with the electrical infrastructure necessary to accommodate electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). Buildings are required to have at least one 208/240 volt, 40 ampere panel capacity, conduit, wiring, receptable, and overprotection devices located near parking spaces. These requirements aim to accelerate the installation of EVSE and meet charging demand. Multi-family buildings with less than 3 units are exempt from this requirement. For more information, see the City of Oakland’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Requirements for New Multi-Family and Nonresidential Buildings guide and City of Oakland Municipal Code Chapter 15.04, Part 11.

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Ready Parking Facility Requirements - New York City, NY

The New York City Department of City Planning requires that all newly constructed and upgraded parking garages and open lots include the necessary electrical infrastructure for electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) in at least 20% of each facility's parking spaces. For more information, see the New York City General Administrative Provisions for Construction Codes, Section 28-101.4.3, as well as the New York City Building Code, Sections 406.2.11 and 406.7.11.