Owning an EV in Oregon: Charging Cost, Incentives, and More

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Owning an EV in Oregon: Charging Cost, Incentives, and More

Oregon has been one of a handful of states to readily embrace electric vehicles. EV ownership in the state is growing at a steady rate, and the infrastructure is moving to match the demand. EVs are still a relatively young technology, so it is quite impressive to see how much Oregon has welcomed them with open arms.

With all this in mind, what is it actually like to own an EV in Oregon? It is quite a friendly state for EV ownership, but that doesn’t get into the actual cost of day-to-day EV ownership in the state itself. Let’s take a closer look at the infrastructure, actual costs, incentives, fees, and other programs being enacted to support electric vehicles.

Charging Infrastructure for EVs in Oregon

Oregon is home to over 2,600 public electric charging stations. The vast majority of these are Level 2 or DCFC stations. The Portland Metro area houses the most currently, with nearly 1,400 public charging stations readily available. Around 200 of these public chargers are Level 3 fast chargers, and there is a good complement of Tesla Superchargers. There are nearly 300 free public charging stations in the Portland area, accounting for around 20% of all public chargers in the area.

Salem and Eugene are the next municipalities with high EV charging station numbers. These pale in comparison to the ones present in Portland, with each city only having around 200 or so. Salem and Eugene are much smaller cities in comparison to Portland and see a lot less tourism traffic overall.

Oregon is also partaking in the West Coast Electric Highway. This program covers every 25 to 50 miles with electric chargers going down the interstate corridors. There is a good concentration of charging stations in Oregon that directly partake in the network. For those on the West Coast, it makes for handy trip planning as the network covers down near the Mexican border all the way up to British Columbia.

Oregon’s Department of Transport has also invested an additional $100 million dollars into producing more publicly available charging stations. These are intended to cover the major interstates that run through the state. The ODOT has designated 11 roads in total to be electric corridors, with massive highways like I-5, I-82, I-84, and I-205 being among those covered.

The Cost of Charging an EV in Oregon

Coverage is fine and dandy, but for most electric vehicle owners charging will be done at home. With this in mind, how does the cost line up compared to a comparable ICE vehicle? Oregon ranks quite well among the other states and is cheaper than average. This translates quite well to a variety of popular electric vehicles.

The ever-popular Tesla Model 3 has proven to be a hit for EV owners. It couples high performance, great range, and a compact size into an affordable package. Model 3 owners in Oregon can look to pay around $5.29 to completely charge their vehicle. This is almost $1.50 lower than the national average for charging the Model 3.

toyota bZ3 vs Tesla Model 3
Tesla Model 3 owners will pay around $5.29 per full charge in the state of Oregon.

©Grzegorz Czapski/Shutterstock.com

Ford’s F-150 Lightning shook the EV landscape by providing an eco-friendly vehicle capable of some serious work. The popular electric truck is one of the costlier EVs to charge, and that is certainly reflected in its cost for potential owners residing in Oregon. You can expect to pay around $11.60 to completely charge the F-150 Lightning. This is around $3.20 lower than the national average and compares favorably to other states.

F-150 Lightning vs Rivian R1t
The Ford F150 Lightning is one of the costlier EVs to charge in Oregon, coming in around $11.60 for a full charge.

©Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock.com

Volvo’s XC40 couples the manufacturer’s stellar safety rating with a powerful electric drivetrain. The XC40 has been a continual hit with EV owners and provides a great alternative to the Tesla Model Y. That said, you can expect to pay around $6.90 to completely charge the vehicle at home. This is almost $2 lower than the national average.

2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge
The Volvo XC40 costs $6.90 to charge in Oregon, nearly $2 less than the national average.

©North Monaco/Shutterstock.com

Electric vs. Gas Prices

Oregon has relatively cheap electricity prices, at least going on a state-by-state basis. This is in stark contrast to the average cost of conventional fuel sources. At the time of this writing, the national average gas price for unleaded in Oregon is seated at $3.99 a gallon. Using the F-150 Lighting’s gas-powered counterpart, the perennially popular F-150, as an example, you can expect to pay around $104 dollars to completely fuel it. Even charging the F-150 Lightning to full every single week would not account for a single tank of gas for weekly use in the state.

Incentives and Fees for Local EV Owners

Oregon residents qualify for the same electric vehicle rebate the federal government offers up. This covers up to $7,500 in costs for the purchase of a new vehicle and around $2,400 for a used EV purchase. The state itself also offers up a $7,500 rebate, dubbed the Oregon Clean Vehicle Rebate Program. This program is being suspended temporarily starting in May of 2023 but makes for some substantial savings for anyone purchasing a new EV.

There are other local incentives for the purchase and ownership of an electric vehicle. Many of the electric companies and coops within the state offer up a monthly rebate or other incentives for the installation of home charging stations. As such, with local and federal rebates, it makes for a rather affordable means of owning an EV.

Oregon also has some annual fees required for the registration and ownership of an EV within the state. These are about on par with other EV-specific fees seen in other states. Registration fees are intended to maintain the roads themselves, rather than any overt EV infrastructure initiatives. That aside, it’s relatively affordable coming in between $135 to $150 annually.

How is Oregon’s EV Support?

Oregon has an impressive support network in place for its electric vehicles. While nationwide support is a given at this point, thanks to the ever-increasing infrastructure and rebates, Oregon is ahead of the pack. This is thanks in part to lower electrical costs, wide-ranging rebates, and an expansive public charging infrastructure.

The future only holds more promise as well, as the nation grows to embrace alternative fuel sources. One can only imagine that EVs will steadily be a part of the roadways in Oregon. It is an incredibly friendly state for EV ownership, all fees aside. The West Coast is leading the wave of change it seems, and it will only continue to grow as ownership becomes more affordable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it cheaper to charge my EV at home or at a public charging station?

Typically speaking, it should be much cheaper to charge at home. Paid charging stations have specific rates charged per kilowatt-hour, and may have additional fees for time as well. For free public chargers, it is overwhelmingly in favor of using them. This is thanks in part to it not being part of your overall electrical bill at home. Instead, free public utilities are provided as part of being a taxpayer.

Either way, it comes out as being far cheaper than driving a gasoline or diesel-powered vehicle.

Can you have a Level 2 charger at home?

You absolutely can have a Level 2 charger at your home. Most home charging is going to be done with either a Level 1 or Level 2 charger. Level 1 chargers are relatively simple and just need a standard wall outlet to function. Level 2 chargers, on the other hand, might need a special installation or easy access to a 240-volt outlet to function. Level 2 chargers are far more expensive compared to a typical Level 1 charger.

That said, many of the power companies in Oregon provide incentives for installing your own Level 2 charger. Rebates and reduced rates are available on a per-municipality basis and will greatly depend on your local power company.

Is Oregon EV friendly as a state?

Oregon is an incredibly EV-friendly state. It has lower electric rates compared to some other states, and there is a wealth of resources available to make ownership easier. Charging infrastructure isn’t as robust as somewhere like California, but it is readily available.

Also, there’s good news for owners of Ford and General Motors (GM) EV’s. At the start of 2024, they’ll be able to use an adaptor to charge at 12,000 Tesla’s Superchargers throughout North America. And starting in 2025, both manufacturers will feature Tesla’s North American Charging Standard connector.

You can find a list of Tesla Superchargers in Oregon and the rest of the U.S. (by state) here.

Does the federal tax credit apply for Oregon?

It applies to all states but certainly does work in Oregon.

Do EVs require less maintenance?

Yes, EVs require a lot less regular maintenance. The engine of an EV isn’t filled with moving parts, so there is zero need for oil changes or fluid flushes. Your regular expenses aside from charging should mostly amount to tires and brake changes.

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