The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is offering higher rebates on new electric vehicle purchases for low income Oregonians. (Photo by National Park Service)

Beginning this year, qualifying Oregonians will get higher rebates for buying an electric car or a plug-in hybrid.

The Department of Environmental Quality announced this week that it has doubled the refund under a program for lower-income buyers from $2,500 to $5,000. Individuals have to earn less than $52,000 a year; the income cap for a family of four is $106,000 a year. 

The agency first adopted rebates for electric vehicles in 2018. Initially, it gave buyers $2,500 back on the purchase of a new electric vehicle regardless of income. This Standard Rebate still exists for all Oregonians, but in 2019, it adopted the Charge Ahead Rebate to offer even more financial aid to low- and moderate- income Oregonians. Those buyers, if purchasing a brand new electric vehicle today, would qualify for both rebates, totaling $7,500 in money back on their purchase. If buying a used electric vehicle, they only qualify for the Charge Ahead Rebate of $5,000.

Both battery operated electric cars and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles qualify for rebates. The former, like a Tesla, only requires a battery to run. The latter, including a Chevrolet Volt, uses both battery power and  gasoline to run.

People have to apply for the rebate by providing proof of purchase. Applications are made here. The wait time for processing applications is currently up to two months, according to the department’s website. 

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