Oregon has suspended rebates for electric vehicles (EVs) on a provisional basis, citing budgetary limitations.
The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) announced last week that the state’s EV rebate program, which had provided up to $2,500 for the purchase of an EV, is on hold until further notice due to budgetary constraints. The program, which had been in place since January 2019, had provided more than $4 million in rebates to date.
“We regret having to take this action and understand that it may be difficult for some of our customers who were planning to purchase an EV,” ODOT director Kris Strickler said in a news release. “However, we must ensure that our resources are allocated in a manner that best meets the needs of Oregonians.”
The suspension of the EV rebate program is the latest of a series of budget-related moves made by the ODOT in response to declining revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this year, the ODOT announced that it would reduce spending by $100 million over the next two years and freeze hiring and salary increases.
The suspension of the EV rebate program is in effect for the remainder of the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2021. ODOT will reassess the program at that time to determine if the budget allows for it to be reinstated.
For those who purchased an EV prior to the suspension of the program, ODOT said it is still accepting applications for rebates. However, the agency cautioned that due to the limited budget, the number of rebates available is limited and applications will be processed in the order in which they are received.
The EV rebate program is part of a larger effort by the ODOT to promote electric vehicles and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The agency said it is committed to continuing to explore ways to incentivize the adoption of EVs in Oregon.