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Policymakers for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality approved a rule that prohibits the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger vehicles in Oregon by 2035. The effort comes as Oregon plans to cut climate-warming emissions by 50% by 2035 and by 90% by 2050. The transportation sector accounts for nearly 40% of greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon. The rule is based on vehicle emission standards California adopted in August. The standards require car manufacturers to sell a certain percentage of zero-emission vehicles — electric cars, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles — as part of their total sales, starting with 35% in 2026 and increasing to 100% by 2035.  The rule allows for hybrid vehicle sales, which run primarily on electricity but can run on gas. The rule does not affect cars already on the road and used gas-powered cars will continue to be available for sale within the state.

The new rule also requires manufacturers to increase access to affordable zero-emission vehicles to disadvantaged households. It offers incentives to manufacturers to sell electric cars to community car share programs, to produce lower-cost zero-emission cars and to direct used electric cars to dealerships participating in low-income assistance programs.  The new requirements will help Oregon meet its goals, adopted by the Legislature in 2019, of at least 90% of new vehicles sold annually to be zero emission by 2035. Those goals came without consequences, while the newly adopted rule includes penalties to manufacturers for non-compliance. The Environmental Quality Commission received over 700 comments on the rule with 500 in support. Oregonians who spoke out against the rule during the public comment period cited the expense of electric cars and lack of charging stations.



Tuesday, 20 December 2022