New bill provides rebates of up to US$2,500 for new EVs sold in Oregon under US$50,000
Having already gotten behind charging infrastructure, and been a long-time member of the West Coast Electric Highway network, Oregon has now approved consumer rebates for EVs.
The Oregon House and Senate have voted to approve a US$5.3 billion transportation funding package that includes point-of-purchase rebates for EV buyers.
The bill generates $12 million each year for six years to fund rebates for the purchase or lease of new electric vehicles or plug-in hybrid vehicles with a base price of $50,000 or less. That leaves out the pricier end of the spectrum, but encourages the likes of the Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf and of course the Model 3.
Consumers can claim up to US$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. Owners must own or lease the vehicle for two or more years.
The total available funds suggest the rebates would be capped at 4,800 EVs per year; as Auto Blog reports however, the citizens of Oregon bought 1,969 battery EVs and 1,506 plug-in hybrids in 2016, suggesting there is plenty of room for expansion.
This will come into effect in early October, followed by similar incentives for electric motorcycles and neighbourhood electric vehicles in 2019, according to advocacy group Forth.
Governor Kate Brown, who has been a strong supporter of the programme, is expected to sign the legislation into law within the next few days.
House Bill 2017, as it is known also provides for a “Charge Ahead” fund, offering additional rebates of up to US$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 can be combined with the other incentives provide up to $5,000 towards the price of a new electric vehicle.
In the short term HB17 provides incentives, while in the longer term will seek to recoup some of the lost taxes through registration fees. From 2020 it calls for additional EV registration and title fees of approximately US$110.
Curiously for a state with a low-carbon focus, it will also tax adult bicycles (those with wheels of 26 inches or over) that cost over US$200 will also be levied with a US$15 excise tax, although this will contribute towards larger bicycle and pedestrian transportation projects.