PORTLAND, OR. – Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality today announced the suspension of Oregon’s popular rebate for electric vehicles, the Oregon Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (OCVRP), effective May 1, 2023.
This is a huge step backward for Oregon’s climate change efforts and will delay the critical and equitable transition to electric vehicles in the state.
The transportation system is responsible for over 40% of all carbon emissions in Oregon. That is why, just a few weeks ago, Oregon’s Environmental Quality Commission adopted rules banning the sale of gasoline cars by 2035. Nationally, the average price of an EV has risen by 16% in 2022, due to market demand and supply chain shortages.
Oregon’s rebate program, with rebates of up to $7,500 for income-qualified drivers, has helped counter those increases. The program has assisted nearly 25,000 Oregonians in the transition to clean electric vehicles since its inception in 2018 and helped bridge a substantial affordability gap in EV adoption. Now, just as EVs are starting to become more accessible, largely due to the efforts of the OCVRP, Oregon is about to pull the plug on this important program.
Oregon is a national leader for taking decisive measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and being on the front line when it comes to climate policies. The OCVRP is a great example of this leadership and is essential for all Oregonians to experience cleaner air and a more equitable future. This program has helped place Oregon in the top five states for EV sales. But even with this critical investment, we are still behind in meeting our climate goals.
It is vital the Oregon Legislature pass HB 2613, which would appropriate $30 million to the EV Rebate program, thus continuing it into the 2023 - 2025 Biennium.
“Oregon’s electric car rebate is a key tool for fighting climate change, protecting families from unpredictable fuel costs and building energy independence. It has helped Oregon build the second-strongest electric car market in the country. This is a terrible time to make it more confusing and more expensive for Oregonians to choose a clean electric car.” – Jeff Allen, Executive Director, Forth
“Providing access to EV ownership is an important component to meeting our state’s climate goals. These rebates help provide greater access to EV ownership, and I am hopeful that we will bring more funds in through the passage of HB 2613 this session. We need to continue to encourage future rebate access and EV ownership for all Oregonians, as owning an EV can be cost-effective due to low maintenance and not being subject to the rising costs of fuel.” – Senator Janeen Sollman (D-Hillsboro), Chair of the Senate Energy & Environment Committee
"The EV wave is underway, and smart investments can keep Oregon at the front of it - accelerating benefits and cost savings to Oregon families, small businesses and communities. As this market transitions, strong incentives work and they leverage federal funds at the same time.” – Tim Miller, Director, Oregon Business for Climate
"In order to reach its aggressive climate goals, it is imperative that Oregonians have a pathway to purchase an electric vehicle. Without Oregon's rebate program, many working families will not be able to afford to make this purchase. It's disappointing that the state is choosing to suspend its rebate program at a terrible time for consumers" – Marshall McGrady, Political Director, IBEW Local 48
“Electric vehicles have zero tailpipe pollution, which makes a difference for every breath my kids – and every child – takes. It impacts us all, but individuals and families who live and work near busy roadways experience the worst health impacts. We all deserve clean, healthy air and we must continue to take action for the future of our climate. Now is not the time to let the Oregon Clean Vehicle Rebate Program lapse.” – Jana Gastellum, Executive Director, Oregon Environmental Council
“As a single person who makes about $50k per year, the cost of an EV without rebates and tax credits would have been cost prohibitive when I purchased my 2020 Chevy Bolt. The Oregon rebate program is a 'make or break' thing for EVs for folks like me.” – Stephanie King, Oregon Rideshare Driver