Getting an electric vehicle just got easier!
Electric vehicles are only becoming more popular and affordable. Though we still need to find ways to drive less, EVs are a great alternative for cleaner mobility. Thanks to some new policies and state investments, many of them supported by OEC, there are more accessible options today for low carbon transportation.
Transportation is still responsible for nearly 40% of Oregon’s greenhouse gas pollution. That means, in order to reach our climate goals, we’re all going to have to both drive less and use less fossil fuels when we do drive. The good news is, this is becoming easier and more affordable every day.
If you buy or lease a new or used electric vehicle (EV) or plug-in hybrid car, Oregon will give you money back! Recent updates to Oregon’s two EV rebates, under the Clean Vehicle Rebate Program, have simplified the eligibility requirements and made more rebates available. The standard rebate is up to $2500 and is available to anyone purchasing or leasing an EV, or plug-in hybrid through a certified dealership. The Charge Ahead rebate is up to $5000 and is available to low-to-moderate income households. Recent funding for the program means that it is now one of the largest electric vehicle incentives in the country. Best of all, the rebates are combinable, so a qualifying household can receive both the “Standard” rebate and the “Charge Ahead” rebate, and get up to $7,500 in state rebates. There are also federal tax credits and sometimes utility rebates as well!
OEC advocated to get these changes through the legislature and to finalize their implementation. Not only do these rebates save you money when purchasing an EV, but operating an electric car saves you money too. Because electric cars don’t have internal combustion engines, there’s a lot less maintenance necessary and you never have to buy gas again. Electric cars also have no tailpipe emissions, sparing you and your community exposure to air toxics. Given the enormous impacts of air toxics on human health, that’s a big deal!
OEC worked to increase funding and broaden eligibility for the Charge Ahead rebate because making EVs more accessible to lower income households is critical to an equitable transition to a clean energy future. Lower income Oregonians have disproportionate transportation cost burdens and are more likely to live in areas with poor air quality. People of color also bear disproportionate harms from fossil fuel infrastructure and pollution. Therefore the savings and minimal emissions from an electric car make an even bigger impact on low-income communities. Making EVs more affordable for those most impacted by the history of fossil fuels, is an important step toward environmental justice.
The rebate program, which is funded by a tax on the sale of new cars, is increasingly popular. Since the Oregon Clean Vehicle Rebate Program launched in 2018, the state has paid out more than $41 million in rebates, or 14,421 standard rebates, 1,436 Charge Ahead Rebates, and 620 combined Standard and Charge Ahead Rebates. Driving an electric car is only becoming more convenient as electric charging infrastructure is installed all across the state. Soon, Oregon could see EV charging stations every 50 miles on major highways!
With the rebates making buying or leasing an EV more affordable and the installation of charging stations across Oregon making charging more accessible, driving an electric car has never been easier. If you need a new car, go electric!