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DEQ broadens electric vehicle rebate program, making more Oregonians eligible

Electric car charging
KTVZ file
Electric car charging

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has made big changes to the Oregon Clean Vehicle Rebate Program’s Charge Ahead Rebate, to broaden access to the program for lower-income Oregonians, the agency said Wednesday.

As of Jan. 1, 2022, low- and moderate-income households are eligible for $5,000 back with the purchase or lease of a new or used battery electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Previously, the Charge Ahead Rebate was $2,500. In addition, if the purchase or lease is a new battery electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, then the rebate can be combined with the Standard Rebate for up to $7,500 back.

The Oregon Legislature agreed to the increase in May 2021. It also expanded the Charge Ahead Rebate to make low-income service providers eligible for money back.

“The changes approved by the Environmental Quality Commission, make it easier for low- and middle-income Oregonians to purchase or lease electric vehicles,” said DEQ Air Quality Division Administrator Ali Mirzakhalili. “By taking advantage of the Oregon Clean Rebate Program, everyone in the state can actively participate in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping to clean our air while saving money.”

New and simplified Charge Ahead Rebate eligibility requirements also went into effect as of the new year. Income eligibility is now determined as less than 400% of the federal poverty level per household. Prior to 2022, Charge Ahead Rebate recipients had to earn less than 120% of the area median income for their metropolitan area.

The new requirements ensure those households who can most benefit from the rebate are eligible, the DEQ said. Those unsure of their eligibility can check the Charge Ahead Rebate Income Eligibility Calculator here.

As of the end of December 2021, 14,421 Standard Rebates, 1,436 Charge Ahead Rebates and 620 combined Standard and Charge Ahead Rebates have been issued since the Oregon Clean Vehicle Rebate Program launched in 2018. The Oregon Legislature makes $12 million available annually for the program. Thus far, more than $41 million has been issued in rebates.

About the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality protects human health and the environment by controlling air and water pollution, reducing the impacts of manufactured products and cleaning up contaminated properties. DEQ engages the public in decision-making and helps communities solve problems in ways that are economically and environmentally sustainable.

Article Topic Follows: Oregon-Northwest

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