Thanks to hard work by you, Forth, and our allies, Oregon is one step closer to offering rebates of up to $2,500 for new all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles and an additional $2,500 for lower-income drivers to buy new or used electric cars. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) recently proposed draft rules for the program, and opened a public comment period through March 14 at 4 PM. DEQ will also host public hearings on the rules on February 26 in Portland, and February 28 in Medford.
Forth supports the proposed rules, which incorporate virtually all of the recommendations that we and other stakeholders made to DEQ. Most notably, DEQ is proposing to offer rebates for any vehicles purchased after January 1, 2018, and to offer the full rebates allowed by law. (Generally $2,500 for full electric or fuel cell vehicles, $1,500 for plug-in hybrid vehicles, and (beginning in 2019) $750 for neighborhood electric vehicles and motorcycles.)
We strongly encourage you to submit comments to DEQ in support of the proposed rules. You can do so using a simple online form. Please thank DEQ for (1) offering the full rebates allowed by law and (2) moving as quickly as possible to make all qualifying vehicles purchased after January 1, 2018 eligible for those rebates.
Forth is also working with DEQ to propose several improvements to the rebate program during Oregon’s short legislative session. In particular, we will seek to remove the requirements that a low- or moderate-income family scrap an older car and live in an area with poor air quality to qualify for the Charge Ahead rebate. We believe these changes will increase access to clean electric transportation for all Oregonians.
We will still have to defeat the lawsuit filed by Oregon/Idaho AAA so that DEQ can begin sending out rebates, but DEQ’s proposed rules represent another major step forward.