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Please note: This summary is provided to help you understand the regulations. Consult the references provided for links to the full text of the regulations.

Alternative Fuels -- State Regulations for South Carolina

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 South Carolina.

Vehicle Acquisition

State agency vehicles (preference)

State agencies purchasing motor vehicles must give preference to hybrid, plug-in hybrid electric, biodiesel, hydrogen, fuel cell, or flexible fuel vehicles when the performance, quality, and anticipated lifecycle costs are comparable to other available motor vehicles. (Reference South Carolina Code of Laws 1-11-310)

Fuel Use

Biofuel Infrastructure Requirement

Fuel retailers that offer gasoline or diesel that is not blended with ethanol or biodiesel must ensure that their fuel is suitable for subsequent blending with biofuels. Retailers must also ensure that gasoline contains additives typically found in a product pre-blended with ethanol. Retailers, however, are not liable for fines, penalties, injuries, or damages resulting from subsequent blending of fuel sold at their locations. Furthermore, no individual or entity can deny a distributor and retailer from blending biofuels for sale in South Carolina, as long as the individual or entity is registered with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. (Reference South Carolina Code of Laws 39-41-235)

School buses

The South Carolina Department of Education must fuel state school bus fleets with biodiesel when feasible. (Reference South Carolina Code of Laws 59-67-585)

State agency vehicles

Whenever practical and economically feasible, all state agencies operating alternative fuel vehicles must use alternative fuels in those vehicles. Private businesses are encouraged to increase the use of alternative fuels in the state. (Reference Executive Order 2001-35)

State agency fueling facilities

All state-owned diesel fueling facilities must provide fuel containing at least 5% biodiesel (B5) at all diesel pumps. (Reference South Carolina Code of Laws 12-63-30)


Tax Credit (biofuels dispensing facility)

A taxpayer that purchases, constructs, or installs, and places into service a qualified commercial facility for distributing or dispensing of biofuels is eligible for an income tax credit of up to 25% of the purchase, construction, and installation costs. Eligible property includes pumps, storage tanks, and related equipment used exclusively for distribution, dispensing, and storing biofuels. A qualified facility must clearly label the equipment used to store or dispense the fuel as being associated with the biofuel. The credit must be taken in three equal annual installments beginning with the taxable year in which the facility is placed into service. Qualifying fuels include blends containing at least 70% ethanol (E70) dispensed at the retail level for use in motor vehicles, and pure ethanol or biodiesel fuel dispensed by a distributor or facility that blends these non-petroleum liquids with gasoline or diesel fuel for use in motor vehicles. (Reference�South Carolina Code of Laws�12-6-3610)

Tax Exemption (alternative fuels)

Alternative fuels and blended fuels are exempt from the state sales and use tax. These fuels are, however, subject to a state fuels user fee of $0.16 per gallon. Alternative fuels include liquefied petroleum gas (propane) and compressed natural gas. Blended fuels are defined as mixtures composed of gasoline or diesel fuel and another liquid, other than products such as carburetor detergent or oxidation inhibitor, that can be used as a fuel to operate a highway vehicle. (Reference�South Carolina Code of Laws�12-28-110, 12-28-310, and 12-36-2120(15))

Weight Limit Exemption (idle reduction)

Any motor vehicle or combination of vehicles equipped with idle reduction technology is allowed to exceed the maximum gross vehicle and axle weight limits by up to 400 pounds to compensate for the added weight of the idle reduction equipment. The vehicle operator must provide documentation that the vehicle is equipped with idle reduction equipment. (Reference South Carolina Code of Laws 56-5-4160)