Thanks to three years of hard work by Forth and our partners, an electric vehicle purchase rebate for Oregon was signed into law in August 2017. The rebate includes up to $2,500 off a new all-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle, as well as an additional $2,500 for low- to moderate-income drivers to buy a new or used electric vehicle.
These rebates are critically important to driving electric vehicle sales and adoption. For example, Norway’s incentives helped increase electric car sales from less than 2% of new car sales to over 50% in just six years. By contrast, Georgia was a leading electric car market until it eliminated its rebate, at which point sales declined by over 80%. (For more on the power of rebates, join us in Seattle this Thursday for a presentation by UC Davis researchers or read their study of incentives.) This victory comes not a moment too soon because Oregon was the only state committed to the ZEV mandate not to offer an in-state purchase rebate.
The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has announced that it is now accepting Phase I applications for all vehicles purchased after January 1, 2018, which must be completed within six months of purchase (fill it out here). Buyers should be eligible for the rebate; completion of the Phase I application is not a guarantee because DEQ is currently working to clarify the rebate program rules and eligibility requirements. The draft rules will likely be published by the end of January and open for public comment. DEQ estimates that it will formally adopt the rules in late Spring. Once the rules are established, buyers will also be required to fill out a Phase II application. A lawsuit filed by Oregon/Idaho AAA will delay funding until Summer 2018, or perhaps longer, and would eliminate rebate funding if it were successful.
To learn more about the rebate and to sign up for updates from DEQ, click here. We are actively working with DEQ to move this program forward. Please contact us if you have any questions.