Oregon Legislature Approves Electric Vehicle Rebates of $2,500 or More

Three years of hard work by EV advocacy group Forth and their allies has paid off! The Oregon House and Senate have voted to approve a $5.3 billion transportation funding package that includes point of purchase rebates for electric vehicles in Oregon.

Governor Kate Brown, who has been a leader in advocating for transportation funding and a strong supporter of the rebate program, is expected to sign the legislation within the next few days.

Specifically, the bill generates $12 million each year for six years to fund rebates for the purchase or lease of a new electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid vehicle with a base MSRP of $50,000 or less. Rebates will be $2,500 for vehicles with a battery capacity of 10 kW or more and $1,500 for vehicles with a battery capacity of less than 10 kW. Starting in 2019, rebates are also authorized for electric motorcycles and neighborhood electric vehicles.

The legislation also creates a dedicated “Charge Ahead” fund that will offer additional rebates of up to $2,500 for low and moderate income drivers who scrap a car that is at least 20 years old and replace it with a new or used electric vehicle. These “Charge Ahead” rebates can be combined with the standard rebates to offer up to $5,000 towards the price of a new electric vehicle.

HB 2017 also includes additional registration and title fees of approximately $110 for electric vehicles, but we were successful in having these fees delayed until 2020 and phased in as electric vehicles become more prevalent. The overall package also includes over $100 million per year in additional statewide transit funding, significant commitments to pedestrian and cycling projects, and stronger support for congestion pricing.

Many thanks to all of you who have worked so hard to advocate for this important new incentive! We look forward to continuing to work with you as this program is implemented to ensure it effectively accelerates electric vehicle sales.

Please contact Jeanette Shaw, Forth’s Director of Government Relations, if you have any specific questions regarding the legislation.