How to Access Incentives to Electrify Your Fleet in the United States
Electric trucks and vans are quiet, reliable, and clean. They make our cities quieter, cleaner, and healthier. That’s why US federal, state, and even city governments have created multiple incentive programs for businesses to make the switch. Many states offer tax credits for electric delivery vehicles, and the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes $5 billion to help states build extensive EV charging infrastructure. Whether you’re a business or state or local government agency, now is the perfect time to take advantage of incentives to build your electric fleet—and you can rest assured that the public charging infrastructure will be there to support it.
What do you need to consider when electrifying a fleet?
Before you electrify your fleet, you’ll need a plan to determine what kind of charging infrastructure you need.
First, start with site design. Every business will have different vehicles, site configurations, drivers, and needs. Ask the following questions:
- Are you charging your own fleet or a third-party fleet?
- Will the charging be private to your fleet or will you allow the site to be publicly accessible and make revenue off the sale of electrons?
- Do you have enough power on site or does the site require an upgrade?
- What is your optimal throughput?
- How do you envision your drivers charging?
These questions and others will form a brief to help you truly understand what your goals are.
Once you’ve determined your site design, look at charging hardware. With a good understanding of how you’ll use your vehicles, you should have an idea of the types of charging speed you’ll need. If your vehicles will be charging up for several hours, you won’t need ultrafast DC chargers. If they need to make frequent trips, like rideshare services, ultrafast charging may be necessary.
Lastly, look at ways to reduce capital expenditure. There are many funding programs through governments, utilities, air pollution control districts, and more to help you save on fleet electrification. Also focus on total cost of ownership. Consider site construction costs, maintenance, upkeep, etc.
What types of incentives are out there?
We’ll review several types of incentives in this article:
- Tax credits – Tax “write-offs” to reduce your business tax rate. Usually these credits allow you to write-off all or a portion of the purchase price for EVs or charging equipment.
- Rebates – Cashback rewards for purchasing vehicles and equipment.
- Grants – Lump sums of funding to be used exclusively for electrifying your fleet. Grants require grant proposals and applicants must meet strict reporting requirements.
What is an electric vehicle tax credit?
An EV tax credit is an incentive to encourage businesses and organizations to purchase or lease electric vehicles. Fleet owners typically lease their vehicles but can still take advantage of tax breaks.
Where can I find commercial electric vehicle incentives?
Fleet EV incentives are available through:
- US federal government
- Local government, like counties and cities
- Air pollution control districts (APCDs)
- Local utilities
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is a bill that provides nearly $370 billion for climate change initiatives to help reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030. It provides significant tax breaks for businesses who purchase new medium and heavy-duty electric vehicles and new chargers.
The Clean Commercial Vehicle Credit lets business claim up to 30% of the purchase price (up to $40,000) of a new medium or heavy-duty commercial EV that weighs more than 14,000 pounds, which is vehicles that fall into classes 4 and above.
Where can I find incentives for EV charging stations?
There are hundreds of incentives available for fleet owners in the US. Every state has multiple programs to help transition fleets to electric power, and some power companies also offer help. At first glance it can be confusing, but there are many resources to help you sort it out. If you need more help finding incentives in your area, reach out to one of our experts.
The Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) has made finding state laws and incentives for EVs and alternative-fuel vehicles simple. Just visit the site and click on your state to see a list of available incentives. The site is kept up to date and has all the latest news about rebates, tax breaks, and grants.
California is leading the charge with 168 programs, Washington comes in second with 67, and New York third with 56 (at the time of publication). But all states in the nation are offering something to help transition to electric commercial vehicles. Alabama is offering grants for charging stations and medium/heavy duty electric vehicles. Illinois is offering grants to cover up to 80% of the cost for the installing and maintaining direct current (DC) fast chargers, like Tritium’s PKM150. Colorado is offering similar grants that fund 80% of the cost of many EV charging stations, including up to $50,000 for a 100kW or higher charger.
Those are just a few of the grants and programs available for businesses looking to electrify their fleets. Dive into the AFDC site to find programs for your area and contact one of our experts if you have questions about DC fast chargers or charging infrastructure.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) SmartWay Heavy-Duty Truck Electrification Resources
The EPA has compiled an exhaustive list of resources for US businesses or organizations looking to electrify their fleets. The organization has included links to incentive programs along with total cost of ownership (TCO) calculators so you can determine how much you’ll save by going electric. Here are some highlights.
- The California Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP). This voucher program was initiated by California’s Air Resources Board in 2007 and provides up to $315,000 in funding per electric truck.
- Assessing Financial Barriers to the Adoption of Electric Trucks was written by Atlas Public Policy in 2020 and explores the total cost of ownership (TCO) of electric trucks. The site also has a calculator tool for fleet managers to help them make decisions about switching to EVs.
The EPAs site has a wealth of information about transitioning your fleet to EVs.
Inflation Reduction Act Alternative Fueling Credit
The Alternative Fueling Credit is a general business tax credit for any company or organization that installs DC fast charging stations. It will offset up to 30% of the total costs of purchase and installation of charging equipment, up to $100,000 per charger. The credit cannot be used to offset expenses related to permitting and inspection. The tax credit can be used anywhere in the US and can be applied after receiving other EV grants or rebates but can only to the charger costs not covered by those grants or rebates. Resellers may claim this credit even if they’re selling charging equipment to a tax-exempt organization (nonprofit), government organization, or foreign entity (state or local government/tribes), but they must disclose in writing the amount of the credit. Tritium chargers, including the RTM and PKM150, qualify for the Alternative Fueling Credit.
Are there any other incentives for electrifying fleets?
Some US power companies offer incentives for businesses electrifying their fleets. California’s Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) offers a $9,000 rebate for transit buses and trucks that weigh over 33,000 pounds. They also offer $4,000 rebates for local delivery trucks. The company also offers up to a $42,000 rebate for 150kW and above chargers. The company will also help with site design and permitting, construction and activation, and maintenance and upgrades. There are some requirements, including:
- You must be a PG&E customer
- You must own or lease the property where chargers will be installed
- You must acquire at least two EVs
View PG&E’s EV Fleet Program page for more information.
Many other electric companies offer services to help you transition your fleet to electric. Check with your local power company to see what programs are available.
How do I find the right the right EV incentives for my business?
Finding the right incentives to transition your fleet to electric can be a complicated process. And if you don’t find all the available incentives in your area, you’ll miss out on significant savings. To make sure you take advantage of all the incentives and programs you can, contact one of our experts. We can help you find those incentives, plan your charging site, and choose the proper chargers for your needs.