This is an update to my [previous post](https://www.reddit.com/r/electricvehicles/comments/l0cyd0/virginians_bills_in_progress_to_become_a_zev_state/) on EV-related bills in the Virginia General Assembly’s 2021 legislative session. I’ll save my personal commentary for a… comment.

TL;DR: The major EV-related bills passed, with some modifications, introducing an EV purchase rebate, effective January 1, 2022; enabling Virginia to join the CARB states in requiring ZEV sales; relaxing weight limits for large electric trucks; starting the switch to electric school buses; and setting up future improvements to charging infrastructure.

# EV Rebate

$2500 rebate new or used, plus additional $2000 for low income (3x poverty line) buyers. Effective January 1, 2022. $25,000 price cap for used vehicles. [Appropriation to the rebate fund](https://budget.lis.virginia.gov/amendment/2021/2/hb1800/introduced/fa/125/1h/) is $5 million. [Full text](https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?212+ful+HB1979ER)

# CARB LEV/ZEV standards

Enables the State Air Pollution Control Board to set Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) / Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) standards, to be first enacted for the 2025 model year. According to [Federal law](https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/7507) the only option other than the Federal standard is to align with California’s CARB standard, as other states have done recently, which will mean requiring increasing percentages of LEV/ZEVs offered for sale in the state. [Full text](https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?212+ful+CHAP0263)

# Increased weight limits for EVs

Allows electric and natural gas vehicles an additional 2,000 pounds for highway weight limits, as long as the additional weight is in the power unit (motors + batteries) and gross weight is under 82,000 pounds. [Full text](https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?212+ful+CHAP0133)

# Grants for electric school buses

Establishes a grant program to replace diesel school buses with electric. Calls for awards to be geographically distributed, with priority to areas with “high asthma rates, lowest measured air quality, and level of air emission from existing school buses.” Unfunded in the state budget, so it will be dependent on Federal and other funding sources. [Full text](https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?212+ful+CHAP0418)

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# Study of EV charging infrastructure

Require studies, reporting, and recommendations on EV charging infrastructure to be incorporated in to the Commonwealth Energy Plan, “with particular attention to the needs of historically economically disadvantaged communities… and any state or local impediments to deployment.” [Full text](https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?212+ful+CHAP0326)

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3 thoughts on “Virginia legislative update: rebates and CARB standards!”
  1. My brief thoughts on these:

    Rebates: The inclusion of used cars and additional rebates for low-income buyers make this the most progressive and equitable version of an EV rebate program I’m aware of. The funding cap feels low to me at 1,111-2,000 cars total.

    CARB standards: Given the trouble I had finding EVs at dealerships a few months ago, I’m glad to see this. Expect to see “Virginia bans gas cars” headlines when the regulations are finalized.

    Increased weight limits: This is pretty clearly targeting the extra weight of batteries for large trucks. Hopefully it opens up adoption a bit.

    School buses: Again, it’s about time. It would have been nice to get some state funding. They are targeting/enabling a specific [utility](https://www.dominionenergy.com/our-stories/electric-school-buses) program.

    EV charging infrastructure: Hopefully the studies will lead to specific programs to expand deployment in the next couple of years.

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