Oregon Offers New EV Rebates, But Adds Bicycle Tax

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Oregon falls right in line with California in its quest to get more electric vehicles on the road. It has a solid charging infrastructure to ease range anxiety and now it’s adding in tidy rebates to further encourage its citizens to embrace our electric future. On the flip side, the state is adding new taxes to compensate, including a tax on bicycles.

Oregonians will be able to take advantage of rebates up to $2,500 when they purchase or lease a new electric or hybrid vehicle. The rebate gets processed at the time of sale right at the dealership, but happy EV owners may have to wait as long as 60 days for the state to process the rebate. Patience is a virtue.

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The rebate is only available on hybrid and electric vehicles priced at $50,000 or less, so those who can afford to buy more expensive cars like the Tesla Model S are excluded. The full $2,500 rebate only goes to EVs with battery capacities over 10 kWh. The number drops to $1,500 for hybrids with a battery capacity of 10 kWh or less. There’s also a spending cap of $12 million annually, so residents will need to make sure the rebate is still available or possibly delay their purchases.

It’s all well and good to encourage environmentally friendly EVs, but the cost of rebates and the loss of money in gasoline taxes has to be made up by states somehow. The same bill that gives Oregon residents rebates on EVs also adds in new registration and title fees for those same cars. The additional fees are delayed until 2020. Other fees wrapped into the bill include a 4-cent-per-gallon gas tax that will increase to 10 cents by 2024, $16 registration fee, .1 percent payroll tax, and .5 percent new vehicle sale tax.

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The fees also impact those who don’t even own cars – hybrid, electric, or otherwise. Adult bicycles over $200 dollars will be required to pay a $15 excise tax to fund bicycle and pedestrian projects. In some places, that might not seem like a great way to raise funds, but Portland has a huge bike culture. Expect plenty of griping when cyclists realize they’re impacted by this new legislation.

Electrified vehicles may offer a savings at the pump, but the loss in tax revenue means everyone is paying more in other ways to cover the difference.