The rule allows the sale of hybrid cars
PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) — Policymakers with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Monday approved a rule banning the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger vehicles in Oregon by 2035.
The effort comes as Oregon plans to cut greenhouse emissions by 50% by 2035 and by 90% by 2050, The Oregonian/Oregon Live reports. The transportation sector accounts for nearly 40% of Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions.
The rule is based on vehicle emissions standards that were adopted in California in August. The standards require automakers 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 at 35% in 2026 and rising to 100% by 2035.
The rule allows the sale of hybrid cars, which run primarily on electricity but can also run on gas. The rule does not affect cars already on the road and used gas-powered cars will still be available for sale within the state.
The new rule also requires manufacturers to increase access to affordable zero-emission vehicles for low-income families and communities of color. It offers incentives for manufacturers to sell electric cars to community car-sharing programs, to produce low-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 targets, adopted by the legislature in 2019, of at least 90% of new cars sold annually to become zero-emissions by 2035. Those goals came without consequence, while the newly approved rule includes penalties for the companies manufacturer non-compliance.
“By creating regulatory certainty for manufacturers and providers of electric vehicle and utility charging, it sets a clear path forward for a zero-emission future of passenger cars and trucks in Oregon,” said Rachel Sakata, senior air quality planner with the Division of Environmental Quality. .
Sakata said the Committee on Environmental Quality had received more than 700 comments on the rule, with 500 supporting it.
Oregonians who spoke out against the rule during the public comment period cited the cost of electric cars and the lack of charging stations.
Environmental Quality Commissioner Greg Addington, who voted against adopting the rule, acknowledged that many Oregonians, especially in rural areas, do not support the rule and do not have access to electric vehicle charging.
“There are a lot of people in the state who just aren’t up to it,” Addington said.
Sakata said the new standard would expand the market for new and used cars that emit zero emissions and lower prices. She also said that the upfront costs are offset by lower operating and maintenance costs.
Oregon has more than 2,000 public and private electric vehicle chargers across the state, with more being established.
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