On Aug. 18, 2017, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed HB 2017 which, among many other transportation investments, establishes a program to provide rebates to Oregonians who purchase certain types of electric vehicles (including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) and other qualifying zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs). This program was designed by the Oregon Legislature to encourage higher adoption of ZEVs, reducing air pollution and advancing progress toward the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals.
In May 2018, the Zero Emission and Electric Vehicle Rebate rules were adopted by the Environmental Quality Commission (DEQ's policy commission) which established the program’s requirements.
Implementation of the program was delayed due to a lawsuit regarding the funding mechanism for the program. Funding is generated from a tax imposed on car dealers for “the privilege of engaging in the business of selling taxable motor vehicles at retail in this state.” On August 2, 2018, the Oregon Supreme Court determined the privilege tax could be utilized for the program. DEQ is now proceeding with implementation of the program.
DEQ has approximately $10.8 million to distribute per year in rebates. The program sunsets on Jan. 2, 2024.