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

All-Electric Vehicle (EV) Transportation Service Provider Rebate - Columbus, OH

The City of Columbus Smart Columbus Transportation Service Provider Battery Electric Vehicle Rebate Program offers $3,000 rebates to transportation service providers, including taxi, car sharing, and ride sharing services, for the purchase of an EV to replace an existing vehicle. 30 rebates will be awarded to applicants that successfully demonstrate they will maximize EV miles driven, trips taken and number of passengers per trip. Consideration will also be awarded to taxi service providers that demonstrate that they will use the vehicle to educate riders on the benefits of EVs. These rebates build on a previous program that provided rebates for taxi services only. For more information, see the Smart Columbus website.

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 Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Permitting - Los Angeles, CA

The Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) offers instant, online residential EVSE permitting approval. Expedited EVSE inspection and meter installation occurs within 24 hours of notification of the EVSE installation. Residents may use the EVSE immediately after inspection. For more information, see the LADBS Express Permit 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.

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

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Acquisition Requirements - Albuquerque, NM

All motor vehicles purchased by the City of Albuquerque must be dedicated flexible fuel or dual-fuel AFVs. Alternative fuels are defined as fuels other than conventional gasoline and diesel and may include ethanol, biodiesel, natural gas, electricity, propane, or other alternative fuels approved by the city's Chief Administrative Officer. For more information, see the City of Albuquerque Executive Instruction No. 26.

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.

Fleet Reduction Policy - Seattle, WA

Seattle set a goal of reducing the number of vehicles in the city fleet by 10% by 2020. Emergency and public safety vehicles are exempt from this policy. Each city department must submit a vehicle reduction plan to the Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) by February 1, 2019. FAS must halt passenger vehicle replacements except for vehicles that have a market-ready electric vehicle option. All fleet addition requests must be accompanied by an offsetting fleet reduction from the requesting department. For more information, see the City of Seattle's Executive Order 2018-05.

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

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

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging Stations in Public Right of Way - Seattle, WA

As part of the Drive Clean Seattle initiative, the Seattle Electric Vehicle Charging in the Public Right of Way (EVCROW) Pilot Program allows public and private PEV charging infrastructure providers to install charging stations on non-residential streets in the city. PEV infrastructure providers must apply for permits and show a demonstrated ability to meet siting, construction, and installation requirements. The pilot program is scheduled to end on December 31, 2019. For more information, see the Seattle Department of Transportation's EVCROW Pilot Program Requirements.

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 - Los Angeles, CA

Newly constructed buildings in Los Angeles must provide the necessary hardware for PEV charging. One- and two-family dwellings and townhouses must be equipped with at least one PEV charging outlet, which is a 208/240 volt, 40 ampere, grounded alternating current outlet, or panel capacity and conduit for such outlet installation for each dwelling unit. Other residential buildings that have a common parking area must be equipped with PEV charging outlets in at least 5% of the total parking spaces or panel capacity and conduit for these upgrades in the future. The parking area of new high-rise residential and non-residential buildings must include PEV charging outlets in at least 5% of the total parking spaces. For more information, see the 2014 Los Angeles Amendment Green Building Code, Section

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.