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Oregon gave 27,849 electric vehicle rebates worth $78 million since 2018

Oregon has spent $78 million on its electric vehicle rebate program, delivering 27,849 rebates across three programs since late 2018 until it exhausted funding.

The Oregon Clean Vehicle rebate program provides data as of July 26.

Standard rebate: 23,758 costing $57.6 millionStandard and Charge ahead program: 2,631 costing $15.5 millionCharge Ahead program: 1,460 costing $4.9 million

The state has 45,937 battery-electric vehicles and 21,801 plug-in hybrid vehicles as of March 2023.

The Oregon Legislature created the EV rebate program in 2017 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45% below 1990 levels by 2035 and 75% below 1990 levels by 2050.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Public Affairs specialist Susan Mills told The Center Square that the program addresses the transportation sector’s 40% overall contribution to state GHG emissions.

“We are on track to meeting the 2035 goal,” Mills wrote in an email. “The Oregon Clean Vehicle Program is one of the key tools aiding the transition to electric vehicles by increasing the accessibility and affordability of new and used electric vehicles.”

The Legislature reserved the “Charge Ahead Rebate” for low-and-moderate-income households, and demand continues to outpace funding.

State data show that 19% of rebate users reported an annual income of $100-$150,000. About 15% declined to answer, and 13% reported earning between $150,000-$200,000. The demographics earning $50-$75,000 and $75,000-$100,000 each comprised 10% of rebate users.

Forty-two percent of rebate respondents reported a two-person household.

Nearly every month between 2021 and 2023, between 300 and 800 people applied for EV rebates. Nearly all rebate users bought a new car instead of leasing one.

Program funding is current through Feb. 28, 2023. The Oregon Clean Vehicle Rebate Program is suspended until next year, which Mills estimated the program funding will be refilled in March 2024.

To fund the OCVRP, DEQ receives 45% of the state's Vehicle Privilege Tax or at least $12 million per year. Oregon also received a one-time additional allotment of $15 million in 2022.

The last vehicles eligible for rebates must have been leased or purchased before May 1, 2023. Those seeking rebates have up to six months to apply, but because of the suspended program, those who apply within their six-month window will be waitlisted and paid first once the program opens again next year.

Federal data say Oregon has

3 million gas-fueled vehicles216,100 diesel-fueled vehicles50,200 biodiesel vehicles

Nationwide, about 17 states have electric vehicle rebate programs.


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