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June 13, 2024

Oregonians will have 2-month window this spring to apply for an EV rebate

Asia Johnson and her 3-year-old daughter, Juniper, cut a red ribbon Sept. 18 to celebrate completion of a 24-unit Tesla Supercharger station on Clover Lane in Ashland. Johnson leased her property to Tesla, which built the facility. Jim Flint photo
March 18, 2024

Oregon Clean Vehicle Rebate Program to be open from April 3 to June 3

By Lynne Terry, Oregon Capital Chronicle

If you’re interested in snagging a rebate for purchasing an electric vehicle, gear up to go auto shopping: The state will offer EV rebates for only two months this spring.

The Department of Environmental Quality announced Wednesday it will reopen the Oregon Clean Vehicle Rebate Program between April 3 through June 3. The department expects it won’t have enough money to offer rebates longer than that. Last year, for the first time since the rebate program started in 2018, state officials suspended the program —  in early May — because it didn’t have enough money to meet the demand. Its total budget ended up being more than $18 million, which went towards nearly 3,500 rebates or rebate packages.

This year the department expects to have up to $8.5 million for rebates, according to Susan Mills, a spokeswoman for the Department of Environmental Quality. That money largely comes from 45% of the Vehicle Privilege Tax — 0.5% — that dealers have to pay on certain vehicles. Mills expects the department this year will be able to pay for 2,700 rebates for 2,500 households. 

To qualify, residents have to buy or lease an electric vehicle during the two-month window. That means a car purchased on April 2 or June 4, for example, won’t qualify. Oregonians have six months from the date of purchase or lease to apply for a rebate.

The program offers two types, ranging from $2,500 to $7,500.

  • The state will pay a standard rebate of $2,500 for the purchase or lease of a new EV or plug-in hybrid EV  with a base price under $50,000. A new zero-emission motorcycle will also qualify. This rebate is open to everyone.
  • The state will pay up to $7,500 for the purchase or lease of a new EV or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle or $5,000 for the purchase or lease of a used EV or plug-in hybrid EV with a list price or original list price under $50,000. This rebate has income restrictions: You can’t earn more than 400% of the federal poverty level. That’s just over $60,000 a year for a single person and nearly $125,000 for a family of four.

Consumers can track the availability of funds on the department’s website. If the money runs out sooner than June 3, DEQ will shut the program down and applicants will be put on a waiting list and be paid when next year’s pot of money is allocated in early spring. 

More information
Lower-income households can prequalify for the higher rebate by filling out an application
Go here to apply for a rebate.
For answers to questions, call 855–EVEHICLE (855–383-4425) or email oregoncvrp@energycenter.org. You also can sign up for program updates here
To track data on the program, go here.

More than 740 people were on the waiting list as of last October. By early March, officials had whittled that down to 560, Mills said. The department is still processing applications, she said.

In a release, a DEQ official called the program “a crucial part” of the state’s overall climate plan, which is currently being reworked

“Electric vehicles reduce air pollution and help improve air quality and public health,” Ali Mirzakhalili, state air quality administrator, said in the release. “We’ve seen fantastic success in EV adoption with the Oregon Clean Vehicle Rebate Program. It’s a great way to lower the costs when purchasing or leasing those vehicles, especially for low- and moderate-income households.”

Consumers who miss the purchase or lease window this year can still apply for a federal income tax credit up to $7,500 for the purchase of a new plug-in EV or fuel cell electric vehicle. To qualify, you must buy the vehicle for your own use, drive it primarily in the U.S. and meet income limits:

  • $300,000 for married couples filing jointly 
  • $225,000 for heads of households
  • $150,000 for others

There are also income limits as well as other rebates. Go here for more information about federal tax credits. The program will run through December 2032.

Lynne Terry has more than 30 years of journalism experience, including a recent stint as editor of The Lund Report, a highly regarded health news site. She reported on health and food safety in her 18 years at The Oregonian, was a senior producer at Oregon Public Broadcasting and Paris correspondent for National Public Radio for nine years.

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Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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