Governor Signs Law Aiming to Make Zero-Emissions Vehicles the Most Common in Oregon by 2035

Governor Kate Brown signed into law Senate Bill 1044 yesterday, which sets a number of targets intended to make zero-emissions vehicles the most dominant cars on the road within the next 20 years.

Zero-emissions vehicles, or ZEVs, have no tailpipe emissions and instead run on fuel sources like electricity or renewable hydrogen. One goal of the new bill is that 90 percent of all new vehicles sold in Oregon and 50 percent of all registered vehicles in Oregon would be ZEVs by 2035.

“With the passage of Senate Bill 1044, Oregon is helping lead the nation on how to transition to a cleaner, modern transportation system,” Gov. Brown said. “When zero-emissions vehicles are widely used and charging stations are easily accessible to all, we can support economic development and the environment at the same time.”

The legislation also requires the Oregon Department of Energy to monitor ZEV adoption and, if the state is not on target, recommend strategies to the Legislature to spur ZEV adoption. Potential strategies could include policies to develop more infrastructure (such as electric vehicle charging and hydrogen fueling stations) and increasing public awareness about ZEVs and their benefits.

SB 1044 requires that all light-duty vehicles owned or leased by the state of Oregon be ZEVs by 2029, and gives schools the option to use an existing funding source to purchase electric buses and charging stations.

Portland General Electric, Oregon Environmental Council, Climate Solutions, Oregon Citizens’ Utility Board, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Northwest Energy Coalition, Pacific Power and Idaho Power worked with chief sponsors Senator Lee Beyer (D-Springfield) and Representative Jeff Reardon (D-Happy Valley) to promote the bill.

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