Significant achievements in the clean transportation industry for 2019 were announced at this year’s annual Energy Independence Summit in Washington DC. Included in these announcements were continued growth of clean transportation funding, an extension of tax incentives for several alternative fuels and infrastructure, and expansion of CMAQ funding for clean vehicles.
Clean Transportation Funding
In 2019, Clean Cities expanded its overall funding with the addition of $4.5 million to the program, totaling to a record $42.3 million for Clean Cities and related DOE Vehicle Technologies Office initiatives. With over 25 years of work building clean, affordable transportation progress, this was a huge win for the nearly 100 Clean Cities Coalitions that are advancing affordable, domestic transportation fuels, energy-efficient mobility systems, and other fuel-saving technologies and practices.
Ken Brown, Executive Director of Transportation Energy Partners, celebrated this win last year. “I’m pleased at the outpour of support from Clean Cities coalitions and fleets and business leaders in the Clean Transportation industry.” Brown maintains that the successes in 2019 are a “big victory for Clean Cities and for communities across the country that are looking for cleaner fuels and cleaner vehicles.”
Funding was also given to many advanced vehicle technologies research projects, listed below are some examples of Clean Cities 2019 Advanced Vehicle Technologies Projects that are in progress.
- Supporting Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment along Rural Corridors in the Intermountain West – Utah Clean Cities
- Electrifying Terminal Trucks in Unincentivized Markets – Kansas City Regional Clean Cities
- Heavy-Duty Electric Vehicle Demonstrations for Freight and Mobility Solutions – Clean Fuels Ohio
- Mid-Atlantic Electric School Bus Experience Project – Virginia Clean Cities
Extension of Tax Incentives
In 2019, tax incentive extensions were granted for natural gas, alternative fuel infrastructure, fuel cell vehicles, and one of the most talked about near the end of the 2019-year, biodiesel.
US President Donald Trump signed legislation that included a retroactive reinstatement and extension of the $1 per gallon Biodiesel Tax Credit from Jan. 1, 2018, through Dec. 31, 2022.
The Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit that originally expired on December 31, 2016, was retroactively extended through December 31, 2020, extending the tax credit that covered 30% of the cost (not exceeding $30,000) for installation of fueling equipment for natural gas, propane, liquefied hydrogen, electricity, E85, or diesel fuel blends containing a minimum of 20% biodiesel.
The Alternative Fuels Excise Tax Credit that originally expired on December 31, 2017, but was retroactively extended through December 31, 2020, extends the $0.50 fuel credit/payment for the use of natural gas, propane, liquefied hydrogen, and a few other alt fuels as a transportation fuel.
The US spending bill that included the retroactive extension of tax credits for home EV charger installation, electric motorcycles, and fuel-cell vehicles was also extended to 2020, which allows qualified taxpayers to qualify for a 30% rebate (with a $1,000 limit) on installation costs for EV chargers, a 10% credit (up to $2,500) on 2- or 3-wheeled electric vehicles such as electric motorcycles, and a $4,000 credit for the purchase of a new fuel-cell vehicle.
CMAQ Funding for Clean Vehicles
The Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program (CMAQ) provides funding for clean vehicle projects across the country. Over the past few years the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has cut funding for alternative fuel projects. However, 2019 brought new developments to the long saga of securing CMAQ funding for alternative fuel projects.
The FHWA must approve of all clean vehicle projects submitted before April 17, 2018, if assembled in the US.
The FHWA must also review and respond to the Buy America waiver requests within 60 days of submission.
These developments may speed up the Buy America-related delays surrounding CMAQ funds.
2020 Federal Priorities
Transportation Energy Partners also discussed future goals for the clean transportation industry in 2020. The priorities discussed have been listed below:
- Extend Tax Incentives for Alternative Fuels, Vehicles, and Infrastructure
- Increase Federal Funding for Clean Cities and DERA
- Preserve the Renewable Fuels Standard
- Encourage FHWA to Approve Buy America Waivers for Alternative Fuel Vehicle Projects
- Include Alternative Fuels in Any New Infrastructure Initiatives
- Authorize Clean Cities Program
To learn more about the Transportation Energy Partners’ work to advance the clean transportation industry, as well as the annual Energy Independence Summit, go here: http://transportationenergypartners.org/
written by: Madelyn Collins, Digital Media Coordinator for ETCleanFuels