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Alternative Fuels -- State Regulations for Illinois

This page contains selected data from the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) at the U. S. Department of Energy. Additional details and the latest updates may be found at the AFDC summary page for Illinois.

Vehicle Acquisition

City vehicles (Chicago taxis)

Chicago taxi companies with 50 or more vehicles in their fleet must operate at least one alternative fuel taxi. Alternative fuel taxis include vehicles designed to operate on compressed natural gas, biodiesel (20% blend or higher), propane, hydrogen, or electricity. No more than 2% of the taxi fleet's licensed taxicabs are subject to this requirement. In addition, an alternative fuel vehicle can be licensed as a taxi for an additional year beyond the age limit of a conventional vehicle. For more information, see the City of Chicago Rules and Regulations for Taxicab Medallion License Holders Rule 5.01 (PDF).

State agency vehicles

All gasoline-powered vehicles purchased with state funds must be flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) or fuel-efficient hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). Fuel-efficient HEVs are defined as automobiles or light trucks that use a gasoline or diesel engine and an electric motor to provide power and that gain at least a 20% increase in combined U.S. Environmental Protection Agency city-highway fuel economy over the equivalent or most-similar conventionally-powered model. Furthermore, any vehicle purchased with state funds that is fueled with diesel fuel must be certified by the manufacturer to run on 5% biodiesel (B5) fuel. The Chief Procurement Officer may determine that certain vehicle procurements are exempt from these requirements based on intended use or other reasonable considerations such as health and safety of Illinois citizens. (Reference 30 Illinois Compiled Statutes 500/25-75)

State agency vehicles (targets)

To help achieve the statewide goal of reducing petroleum use by 20% by July 1, 2012, as compared to 2008 petroleum use, Illinois state agencies must work towards meeting the following goals:By July 1, 2015, at least 20% of new passenger vehicles purchased must be hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and 5% must be battery electric vehicles (EVs);By July 1, 2025, at least 60% of new passenger vehicles purchased must be HEVs and 15% must be EVs

Fuel Use

State agency vehicles (targets)

Agencies that operate medium- and heavy-duty vehicles must implement strategies to reduce fuel consumption through diesel emission control devices, HEV and EVs technologies, alternative fuel use, and fuel-efficient technologies. Agencies must also implement strategies to promote the use of biofuels in state vehicles; reduce the environmental impacts of employee travel; and encourage employees to adopt alternative travel methods, such as carpooling.

State and local agency vehicles

The following entities are required to use a biodiesel blend that contains at least 5% biodiesel (B5) when fueling at a bulk central fueling facility: any diesel powered vehicle owned or operated by the state, county or local government, school district, community college, public college or university, or mass transit agency. These entities are required to use B5 where available, unless the vehicle engine is designed or retrofitted to operate on a higher percentage of biodiesel or on ultra low sulfur diesel fuel. Biodiesel is defined as a renewable fuel conforming to ASTM standard D6751 and registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (Reference 625 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/12-705.1, 415 Illinois Compiled Statutes 120/10, and 815 Illinois Compiled Statutes 370/4)


Definition (biodiesel)

Biodiesel is defined as a fuel that is comprised of mono-alkyl esters of long-chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oils or animal fats and that conforms to ASTM standard D6751. All fuel consisting of at least 99% biodiesel (B99) that is sold or offered for sale should conform to ASTM standard D6751. (Reference 815 Illinois Compiled Statutes 370/4)

Display Requirement (fuel pumps)

Retailers must display ratings on fueling pumps that are consistent with the percentage by volume of the alternative fuel being dispensed. (Reference 815 Illinois Compiled Statutes 370/4.1)

Funding (Diesel retrofits, idle reduction)

The Illinois Clean Diesel Grant Program (Program) provides funding to local governments, school districts, school bus companies, colleges, universities, mass transit districts, businesses, truck owners/operators, and non-profit organizations for the installation of diesel oxidation catalysts, closed crankcase ventilation systems, particulate matter filters, and anti-idling equipment, including direct-fired heaters and auxiliary power units. In addition, funding may be available for diesel-electric hybrid vehicles. The Program is part of the Illinois Green Fleets Program, which targets school buses, shuttle buses, diesel vehicles operating in residential areas, and over-the-road trucks located and spending significant driving time in Illinois.

Labeling Requirement (gas-powered vehicles)

Vehicles powered by propane or compressed natural gas must visibly display identifying decals, as established by the National Fire Protection Association. (Reference 625 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/12-704.3)

Procurement Preference (biofuels)

In awarding contracts that require vehicle procurement, state agencies may give preference to an otherwise qualified bidder who will fulfill the contract through the use of vehicles powered by ethanol produced from Illinois corn or biodiesel produced from Illinois soybeans. (Reference 30 Illinois Compiled Statutes 500/45-60)

Promotion (biofuels target)

The state legislature supports the federal '25x25' initiative, under which 25% of the total energy the United States consumes in 2025 would be produced from domestic agriculture. (Reference Senate Joint Resolution 42, 2009)

Rebate (alternative fuel and electric vehicles)

The Illinois Alternate Fuels Rebate Program (Program) provides a rebate for 80% of the incremental cost of purchasing an AFV (up to $4,000), 80% of the cost of converting a conventional vehicle or a hybrid electric vehicle to an AFV using a federally certified conversion (up to $4,000), and for the incremental cost of purchasing alternative fuels. Eligible fuels for the program include E85, fuel blends containing at least 20% biodiesel (B20), natural gas, propane, electricity, and hydrogen. A vehicle may receive one rebate in its lifetime. Only AFVs or conversion systems purchased from an Illinois-based company or vendor are eligible, except if the vehicle is a heavy-duty specialty vehicle that is not sold in Illinois, but the conversion does have to take place in Illinois. Only hybrid electric vehicles fueled with alternative fuels are eligible. To be eligible for a fuel rebate, the entity or individual must purchase the majority of E85 or biodiesel fuel from Illinois retail stations or fuel suppliers. The E85 fuel rebate is up to $450 per year (depending on vehicle miles traveled) for up to three years for each flexible fuel vehicle that uses E85 at least half the time. The biodiesel fuel rebate (for B20 and higher blends) is for 80% of the incremental cost of the biodiesel fuel, as compared to conventional diesel. The Program is part of the Illinois Green Fleets Program and is open to all Illinois residents, businesses, government units (except federal government), and organizations located in Illinois. (Reference House Bill 6047, 2010, and 415 Illinois Compiled Statutes 120/30)nment), and organizations located in Illinois. (Reference�House Bill�6047, 2010, and 415�Illinois Compiled Statutes120/30)

Rebate (Green Fleets Program)

The Illinois Green Fleets Program recognizes and provides additional marketing opportunities for fleets in Illinois that have a significant number of AFVs and use clean, domestically produced fuels.

Tax (biodiesel blends)

Sales and use taxes apply to only 80% of the proceeds from the sale of fuels containing 10% ethanol (E10) made between July 1, 2003, and December 31, 2018. If these taxes are ever imposed at a rate of 1.25%, the tax on E10 will then apply to 100% of the proceeds of sales. State sales and use taxes do not apply to fuels containing between 70% and 90% ethanol (E70-E90) sold between July 1, 2003, and December 31, 2018. These taxes will apply to 100% of the proceeds from ethanol fuel blend sales made after December 31, 2018. (Reference Senate Bill 397, 2011, and 35 Illinois Compiled Statutes 120/2-10, 105/3-10, and 105/3-44)

Traffic Exemption (HOV lane, planned)

Phase Two of the Illinois Tollway Congestion-Relief Program includes a Dedicated Green Lanes Plan that will provide access to qualified hybrid electric vehicles.

Weight Limit Exemption (idle reduction)

A vehicle equipped with idle reduction technology may exceed the state's gross, axle, or bridge vehicle weight limits by up to 400 pounds to compensate for the additional weight of the idle reduction technology. The additional weight may not exceed the actual weight of the idle reduction unit. The vehicle operator must carry written certification showing the weight of the technology and must be able to demonstrate or certify that it is fully functional. (Reference Senate Bill 1644, 2011, and 625 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/15-112)