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Oregon’s Clean Car Standards

To help Oregon’s continuing effort to reduce air pollution from vehicles statewide, Oregon has adopted California’s Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) program. The LEV program requires new light-duty vehicles to meet certain emissions requirements that reduce greenhouse gases, (GHGs), criteria pollutants such as carbon monoxide (CO), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and air toxics. The LEV program also includes a Zero Emission Vehicle mandate in which automobile manufacturers must deliver a certain number of new battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to Oregon. 
Oregon’s LEV/ZEV program is one of many significant actions taken toward Oregon’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 75 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. While emissions from all other sectors are declining, emissions from motor vehicles are climbing. The transportation sector is the single largest source of GHG emissions – comprising nearly 40% of statewide emissions. 


DEQ is beginning the rulemaking process to adopt California’s Advanced Clean Cars II rule. This proposed rule will require all new light duty vehicle sales in Oregon to be zero emission by 2035. Learn more about the proposed rulemaking and public opportunities for engagement


The ZEV program requires automobile manufacturers to deliver to Oregon, a certain percentage of zero emission vehicles. The program assigns each automaker a certain number of credits they must maintain, based on a percentage of the automaker’s non-electric vehicle sales in that state. Credits can be earned based on the type of ZEV sold, with certain vehicles earning more credits dependent upon its battery range. Credits can be “banked” or traded to other manufacturers in order to meet the requirements. This credit requirement rises over the years through the 2025 model year.

Manufacturer ZEV requirement

To comply with the ZEV Regulation, large and intermediate volume manufacturers must report to DEQ on an annual basis the number of zero emission vehicles delivered to Oregon and the number of credits those ZEVs generated.

What do these credit balances mean?

All vehicle manufacturers subject to the ZEV Regulation are in compliance through model year 2017. Positive credit balances represent a successful “over compliance” with the ZEV Regulation. Manufacturers can use these balances to provide flexibility in the timing and production of bringing new clean cars to the market to meet the ZEV requirements in coming years.

Multi-state ZEV action plan

Emission-free vehicles will play a critical role in meeting Oregon’s greenhouse gas reduction targets. To support the widespread adoption of zero emission vehicles, Oregon joined other states with zero emission vehicle rules to develop the Multi-State ZEV Action Plan. The states participating in the plan are California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont.
The plan provides a coordinated approach to the increased use of ZEVs by specifying actions needed to remove barriers and facilitate the use of electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and even fuel-cell vehicles. These initiatives include actions to:
  • Increase consumer awareness and confidence in ZEVs;
  • Promote ZEV charging/refueling infrastructure;
  • Make ZEVs more affordable and provide incentives; and
  • Increase ZEVs in public fleets; increase ZEVs in public fleets. 
The plan identifies 80 actions the states and other key partners and stakeholders are undertaking, and additional steps they will consider to build a market for ZEVs.