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Passenger vehicles and commercial trucks are an important part of the transportation sector, and the STS strategy assumes automakers will continue to build cars and trucks that prioritize fuel efficiency and new technology.
The chart below is a quick look at our progress in vehicle technology.
Vehicle technology -- and how quickly consumers adopt new technology -- is connected to external economic factors. State government can influence and set policies, but market forces like gas prices, new vehicle costs, and overall economy health play the biggest factor in consumer choices.
Expand each category below for an in-depth breakdown of our progress, and steps ODOT is taking to influence consumers and industry in a positive direction.
Automakers are continuing to produce more fuel efficient vehicles every year, including more zero emission vehicle options. However, consumers in Oregon have been slow to adopt more fuel efficient vehicles, according to DMV data. Alternative fuel vehicles, despite impressive MPG numbers, are still too expensive for many Oregonians to afford.
Federal MPG regulations could change as too, which could influence automaker’s investments in fuel efficient technology.
How we can improve: Continue to support our industry partners and ensure our transportation system supports multiple modes of transportation for Oregonians.
Battery technology continues to evolve and car batteries are becoming more efficient. Some electric vehicles can drive more than 300 miles on a single charge.
How we can stay on track: Educate consumers about the benefits of ZEV and ensure electric vehicle charging networks in Oregon are common and reliable.
SUV’s and light trucks continue to be very popular in Oregon, especially in the state’s rural areas. The STS envisions a shrinking number of SUV’s and light trucks as we get closer to 2050, but as of 2018, that isn’t the trend.
How can we improve: Work with our industry partners to educate consumers about the benefits of zero emission vehicles, including the several new electric SUV/light trucks that will be released over the next few years.
The average car in Oregon is 12 years old. Consumers, without economic incentives, don’t have solid reasons to upgrade their cars to more fuel efficient models.
How we can improve: Educate consumers about the benefits of ZEV’s, including government incentive programs like Department of Environmental Quality’s Clean Vehicle Rebate program.
Building Oregon’s network of electric vehicle charging stations is a top priority, and ODOT is currently analyzing ways to improve the network across the state. As of October 2020, there are approximately [number] of charging stations in Oregon.
How we can improve: Work with local communities and business partners to improve access to existing charging stations, and ensure installing new charging stations is straightforward and safe.
E-commerce (AKA online shopping) has caused a sharp increase in the number of delivery vehicles on our roads, including gig economy workers delivering for restaurants or grocery stores. We working to collect more data about delivery vehicles, like miles driven and fuel efficiency.
How we can improve: Gather more data about delivery vehicle emissions, and educate consumers on delivery options that have the smallest impact on GHG emissions.
Freight vehicles, or semi-trucks, are lagging behind the STS vision and by 2050 will be the single largest polluters in the transportation category. Freight trucks are an integral part of Oregon’s economy, so we need to capitalize on the numerous opportunities to make them fit into our low-emission future.
How we can improve: Invest in fuel technology for freight vehicles, including natural gas and electric power. Encourage long-haul carrier companies to invest in newer, fuel efficient trucks via tax incentives.
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