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Published on May 27, 2024
Oregon DEQ's Clean Vehicle Rebate Program Hits Pause, Joins Waitlist Amid Funding ShortfallSource: Department of Environmental Quality

In what's gearing up to be a rather bumpy road for green-minded Oregonians, the state's Department of Environmental Quality has thrown eco-conscious consumers onto a waiting list for its Clean Vehicle Rebate Program due to a cash crunch. This announcement comes as the DEQ scrambles to manage an avalanche of interest from residents eager to trade their gas guzzlers for a cleaner set of wheels. Anyone buying or leasing eligible vehicles through June 3 still has half a year to apply for the cash back, but they're going to have to wait until early spring 2025 to see any of that green.

And in a less than electrifying catch, vehicles purchased before April 3 or after June 4 will miss out on the state rebates. They're still in the running for federal tax credits, though, so it's not a total dead battery for late adopters. The DEQ is rolling out two flavors of rebates: a standard one that shaves off up to $2,500 for new battery electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles and electric motorcycles and the Charge Ahead Rebate, which is juicier for low- and moderate-income households offering up to $7,500 for new and $5,000 for used eligible vehicles.

Rachel Sakata, head of the DEQ's Transportation Strategies Section, chimed in on the overwhelming demand, "The good news is we are seeing more people than ever accessing the program, especially for our Charge Ahead Rebate for low- and moderate-income households." According to the Oregon DEQ, Sakata also highlighted the state's push for clean transport, admitting that the waiting game is a bit of a roadblock for Oregonians raring to go electric.

The rebate program isn't just for show — it's a cog in Oregon's grand plan to combat transportation emissions. Annually, at least $12 million, nabbing 45% of the Vehicle Privilege Tax, is charged to fund this program. And don't forget, a slice of at least 20% is earmarked for the Charge Ahead Rebate. If you're an Oregon resident mulling over an EV purchase, or just looking for a charging station deal, the Go Electric Oregon site has the lowdown on all the rebates and incentives you might be able to plug into.