Governor Kate Brown this week signed legislation to expand access to electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, particularly to people with low incomes and people of color.
By removing the current sunset on funding, House Bill 2165 will allow the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to continue offering rebates to those who buy electric vehicles.
The transportation sector is the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon, and pollutants from diesel and gasoline combustion pose immediate public health risks for vulnerable communities in Oregon, particularly Black, Indigenous, Latino, Latina, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, Tribal and communities of color.
HB 2165 addresses equity by expanding the benefits of vehicle electrification to communities of color, rural, and low-income communities across Oregon. It also helps Oregon achieve its ambitious electric vehicle goals through an extension of the state’s successful EV rebate program and the collection of a new utility charge for utilities to expand EV infrastructure. The bill:
- Removes the current sunset on funding for the state’s EV rebate programs.
- Strengthens the Charge Ahead EV Rebate Program to better serve low-income, BIPOC, and rural communities.
- Streamlines investment in EV infrastructure by Portland General Electric and Pacific Power through the collection of a small charge, with the requirement that at least half of the investment benefit low-income, rural, and BIPOC communities in their service territories.
Read the full news release.
–Harry Esteve, communications manager