Oregon: An Emerging Electric Vehicle Market
July 12, 2012
July 12, 2012
The state of Oregon has emerged as a leader in clean and alternative fuel initiatives. The state has one of the highest hybrid ownership rates per capita in America and has become a hotbed for electric vehicle projects and tests. The state was selected as part of the ECOtality’s EV Project, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy; one of only six states selected. There are also multiple incentive projects aimed to create mainstream adoption of alternative fuels. Combine this with the sustainability efforts of the city of Portland and you have a great place for electric vehicle adoption.
The EV Project in Oregon:
The EV Project is the largest deployment of charging infrastructure ever conducted in the United States. The project will deploy charging stations in strategic areas such as Oregon, California, and Washington. Within these states certain cities were selected to jump-start the effort. In Oregon these were Portland, Eugene, Corvallis, and Salem. The selection of Oregon for the ECOtality project shows that there was an existing interest in electric vehicle technologies and that this interest can be sustained into the future.
Oregon currently offers incentives for the purchase of zero emission urban delivery trucks and tax credits for the purchase of electric vehicle charging stations. Oregon will provide $20,000 towards the purchase of an electric truck over 10,000 pounds regardless of manufacturer. The state hopes that this will encourage mass adoption of heavy-duty alternate fuel vehicles for commercial use. To supplement this incentive, electric charging infrastructure tax credits are also available. They are available at a resident and business level. Residents can receive a tax credit for 25% of the purchase and installation up to a maximum of $750. Businesses on the other hand are eligible to receive a tax credit for 35% of eligible costs associated with the project. The aim of this incentive is to encourage businesses to adopt chargers for public parking or to offer to employees. The state hopes that providing these parking options to the citizens of Oregon will increase purchase considerations of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.
There are many organizations in the state that are making vehicle electrification a reality. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), for example, has been tasked with meeting Senate Bill 1509, which is the state’s greenhouse reduction target. ODOT creates partnerships with metropolitan planning organizations to develop guidelines and tool kits to help reduce fleet GHG emissions. Another organization that has been instrumental to sustainable transportation in Oregon is the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC). Their mission is to sponsor research and education to meet sustainable transportation needs of Oregon and the nation as a whole. The consortium currently partners with Portland State University, The University of Oregon, Oregon Institute of Technology, and Oregon State University.
At FleetCarma we love to see sustainable vehicles become an important aspect of future planning. This desire is why we created our resource center – a repository of information and materials that fleets and municipalities can access to help evaluate electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. The resource center is accessible for free here.
What is your State, Province, or Municipality doing in regards to sustainable transportation? We would love to hear about it.