Oregon DEQ to suspend clean vehicle rebate May 1

Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 5:34 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality announced on Wednesday they will have to suspend the program on May 1 because by spring 2023, all the money will have been used.

If a consumer chooses to purchase or lease an electric vehicle, they’re eligible for a rebate of up to $7,500. The program gets its annual funding from the Vehicle Privilege Tax. The budget is $17.5 million but DEQ says because so many people are taking advantage of the rebates, they expect the funds to run out.

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Arnab Mitra bought his electric car in October but says the rebate wasn’t the main reason, but a plus.

“Our family was certainly trying to be more mindful about impacts of our car and driving on climate” says Mitra. “It was certainly nice. I think with the cost of car purchasing these days in general be much higher it certainly was a nice benefit at the time of purchase.”

If you buy or lease an electric car before May 1, you can still apply for the rebate but after April 30, you won’t get the rebate, but you can still qualify for a federal tax credit.

Electric car sales at EV Rides Dealership in Portland shot through the roof last year because of high gas prices, but sales started to drop in November, and now with the suspended rebate, that could slow sales even more and worries how it will affect his business.

“Eight out of 10 cars that we sell, most people apply to that so and most people get it, So it’s not good,” says Guillermo Sintora, Co-Owner. “When we started the business there was no rebates and we started when the pandemic started. I’d say yes but I don’t know how bad It’s gonna be.”

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DEQ says they expect the program to be back in March of 2024.

“Hopefully it’s something that the program can resume at some point in the new future because I think there’s a lot of people who are interested in buying electric car,” says Mitra.