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Electric & Hybrid Vehicles

Overview

Electric vehicle charging stationThis page provides information about electric and hybrid vehicles. 
 
Use the links below to go directly to any section:
Definitions
Electric Vehicle
A vehicle powered only by a form of electricity. 
 
Hybrid Vehicle
A vehicle powered by electricity and another source of motor power.
 
Hybrid Plug-In Vehicle
A vehicle powered by both gas and electric power.  They have battery capacity that can allow the vehicle to travel for limited distances on electric power alone.
 
Some electric and hybrid vehicles can be charged at charging stations or a home charging unit.  For more information, see the Electric Vehicle Charging at Home brochure provided by the Building Codes Division.

Vehicle Descriptions
Scooters and Similar Small Vehicles
Many scooters, electric assisted bicycles, and similar vehicles are not registered with DMV. Their use may be restricted or not allowed by state law or by cities and counties. See Pocket Bikes & Similar Vehicles and Motorized Scooter and Pocket Bike Guide. Electric assisted bicycles are defined in ORS 801.258. Motor assisted scooters are defined in ORS 801.348
 
Low-Speed Vehicles
Low-speed vehicles are 4-wheeled motor vehicles with a maximum speed of more than 20 miles per hour but not more than 25 miles per hour. Many are electric-powered. All must prove compliance with Federal standards and Oregon safety standards for low-speed vehicles. 
 
Medium-Speed Electric Vehicles
Medium-speed electric vehicles are electric motor vehicles with four wheels that are equipped with a roll cage or a crush-proof body design; can attain a maximum speed of 35 miles per hour on a paved, level surface; are fully enclosed and have at least one door for entry.  All medium-speed electric vehicles must prove compliance with the Oregon safety standards for medium-speed vehicles (OAR 737-010-0020).
 
ATV
Vehicles manufactured for only off-highway use cannot be modified to meet required Federal standards.  None of them are registered with DMV.  ATVs may be titled with DMV, but it is not required. You may operate ATVs in certain areas with a permit from Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. See ATVs for more information.
 
Motorcycle or Moped
Motorcycles and mopeds can have 2-3 wheels. A motorcycle may have an enclosed cab that makes it look like a "car", but it cannot have passenger vehicle registration. (However, operators of motorcycles with an enclosed cab do not have to wear a helmet or have a motorcycle endorsement.) Electric or hybrid motorcycles pay a slightly lesser registration fee. A moped may include a bicycle equipped with a power source, other than an electric assisted bicycle or a motor assisted scooter. See full descriptions of Motorcycles and Mopeds for more information and Pocket Bikes & Similar Vehicles.
 
Passenger
Vehicles registering as passenger vehicles must prove compliance with Federal passenger standards. They must comply with all other title and registration requirements. Three-wheeled vehicles of any motor power cannot meet passenger standards.   Not all vehicles with four wheels meet passenger standards.  Some four-wheeled electric or hybrid vehicles may qualify for Low Speed Vehicle registration, if they meet standards, or for ATV operating permits.
 
Other Types
Other types of electric or hybrid vehicles (moped, truck, motor home, etc.) are titled and registered if they meet the standards and requirements for the vehicle type. Fees vary by vehicle type. See Vehicle Types and Fees. 

Registration Requirements
Registration requirements for electric and hybrid vehicles are similar to other vehicles. For example:
Some differences are:
  • Some electric and hybrid vehicles have registration fees different than the same type of vehicle powered by another power source; and
  • All-electric vehicles are not subject to DEQ emissions testing.
  • Electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrids are not subject to Oregon's Low Emissions Vehicle requirement.
See Titling and Registering Your Vehicle and Fees for more information.

Title & Registration
Title and registration requirements vary depending on vehicle type.  Visit the web page for your vehicle type for more information regarding title & registration: 
License Plates
The license plates issued to electric or hybrid vehicles depends on the vehicle type. See Vehicle Types and License Plates for more information.

Related Information
Additional information that may be relevant includes: