electric vehicles

Tom Banse / NW News Network

In their last minute dash to adjournment Sunday, Washington state legislators revived a lapsed sales tax break for buyers of electric cars. The resurrected incentive will be similar in value to a publicly-funded rebate for battery-powered cars that Oregon now offers.

Tom Banse / NW News Network

Fifteen years ago, the California and British Columbia governments sketched bold plans for a "hydrogen highway" for clean cars stretching from Whistler, B.C., to the Mexican border. California's then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger drove a Hummer converted to run on hydrogen. Vancouver city officials pictured travelers to the 2010 Winter Olympics leaving only water vapor exhaust in their wake.

But Oregon and Washington state didn't warm to the idea. There are still no public fueling stations for hydrogen cars in either state. (Schwarzenegger replaced his hydrogen-fueled Hummer with an electric Mercedes-Benz SUV in 2017.)

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Democrats in the Washington Legislature want to revive a tax break for buyers of electric cars, which critics view as wasteful and unnecessary. Meanwhile, a publicly-financed rebate for battery-powered cars in Oregon is finding thousands of takers.

Chris Lehman

Washington drivers who are thinking about buying an electric car would be wise to get down to a dealership in the next two weeks. That's because a valuable tax break disappears at month's end.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

If you're thinking about buying an electric car in Washington state, you might want to act fast. That's because the state Legislature is on the verge of letting a hefty sales tax break expire. In Oregon, an electric car rebate faces a challenge in court next week.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

If you’re considering buying an electric car in Oregon or Washington, you might want to pay attention to possible changes in tax policy. There’s uncertainty about the tax incentives meant to spur electric car sales.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Starting in January, Oregonians in the market for a new electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle could be offered a significant incentive: a taxpayer-funded rebate of up to $2,500.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The state of Washington has taken delivery of its first longer-range electric cars as part of a plan to double its electric vehicle fleet. Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee showed off one of them at a ceremony in Olympia Thursday.

Gerry Lauzon / Flickr - tinyurl.com/hg6zm44

Oregon and Washington state are teaming up to a get a share of a remediation fund created under a court case against Volkswagen for emissions fraud. The first grants to promote electric cars could come later this year.

Avista

Spokane-based Avista Utilities and Seattle City Light --perhaps soon to be joined by Oregon's two biggest electric utilities: Portland General Electric & Pacific Power -- are diving into a new line of business: charging up electric cars.

They have plans to buy and maintain significant numbers of electric car charging stations. These will be installed at homes, private workplaces and public locations.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

California, Oregon and Washington state have lofty goals for increasing the number of non-polluting vehicles on the road. To achieve those goals, you and your neighbors will need to buy electric cars at a higher rate that we're seeing now.

Hundreds of electric car enthusiasts and policymakers gathered this week in Portland to weigh how to accelerate consumer demand.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

A few minutes past the last minute, the Washington Legislature renewed an expiring tax incentive to promote non-polluting plug-in cars.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Sales of expensive electric cars are getting a jolt from the impending expiration of a sales tax incentive in Washington state. It goes away June 30.

Oregon Prepares Pay-By-The-Mile Tax

May 29, 2015
Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

When you buy gas for your car, you're paying a flat, per-gallon tax. But Oregon is starting a new program July 1 that would change things.

Kowloonese / Wikimedia

The federal government and many states have offered car buyers incentives to venture into the electric car market. But now some states are going in a different direction.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

We know it's illegal to park in a disabled parking spot if you don't have a permit. Now, some Oregon lawmakers want to make it a costly infraction to take a spot reserved for electric vehicles.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Have electric cars been on the market long enough to stand on their own without public subsidies?

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

A coalition in Oregon and the Democratic governor of Washington want to juice sales of electric cars by providing more state incentives.

Tesla Motors

Washington Governor Jay Inslee tried to woo electric carmaker Tesla Motors to build a massive battery factory in the Evergreen state. But according to at least one report, the company may have already broken ground near Reno, Nevada.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The slow uptake of electric cars by Northwest drivers is prompting calls to extend a tax break in Washington state for new vehicles powered by alternative fuels.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Just like consumers who postponed buying new cars during the recent recession, government agencies also put off vehicle replacements. But now procurement officers are getting busy again.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Imagine paying less than a dollar per gallon for your commute, compared to today's statewide averages of $3.84 in Oregon and Washington and $3.80 in Idaho for a gallon of gas. Eighty-four cents in Idaho and Washington -- or 96 cents in Oregon -- per gasoline gallon equivalent is how much the US Department of Energy figures it costs to recharge an electric car in each state.

The agency's assistant secretary David Danielson announced an online cost comparison calculator Tuesday for what he calls the "eGallon."

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

A couple of years ago, Democratic politicians at the state and national levels set heady goals for battery powered cars. For example, in his 2011 State of the Union speech, President Obama said, "With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015."

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The automaker Nissan says sales of its fully electric Leaf compact surpassed all other Nissan models at dealers in the Seattle and Portland areas this spring. The announcement Wednesday runs counter to the prevailing wisdom that adoption of plug-in cars has been sluggish.

At Nissan USA headquarters, electric vehicle marketing & sales director Erik Gottfried says he's scrambling to ship enough Leafs to meet demand in the Pacific Northwest. The car maker juiced its plug-in sales by slashing the sticker price and offering low-cost leases.

Link Transit

In the last couple years, you've seen mass-produced, 100 percent electric cars take to the streets in the Northwest. In the same vein, now come the first battery powered buses. And we're not talking about trolley buses that get juice from overhead wires.