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The US state of Oregon has passed a new bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.

The Senate Bill 1044, passed by the legislature on Tuesday, now awaits the governor’s signature.

The new law is expected to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission vehicles in an effort to address climate change.

The bill states that:

  1. 90% of all new vehicles old in Oregon must zero-emission and 50% of registered vehicles must be ZEVs by 2035
  2. The Department of Energy will monitor the adoption of zero-emission vehicles as well as recommend strategies to accelerate adoption
  3. Recommendations will include the development of EV charging infrastructure and programmes to enhance consumer awareness on EVs
  4. All light-duty vehicles owned or leased by the state should be zero-emission by 2029
  5. Schools to make use of existing fund source to purchase electric buses and charging stations

Nearly 40% of greenhouse gas emission in Oregon is from the transportation sector.

Oregon Gov. Brown said: "When zero-emission vehicles are widely used and charging stations are easily accessible to all, we can support economic development and the environment at the same time."

"Oregon has important and ambitious climate goals, and the only way the transportation sector will reach them is if ZEV adoption happens at a much faster rate," added senator Lee Beyer. 

"Zero-emission vehicles and buses are not only better for the environment, but the fuel to power them is less expensive and often produced right here in Oregon, by Oregon workers," said representative Jeff Reardon. 

Maria Pope, President and CEO of Portland General Electric, said the company helped develop the bill as part of its goal to support economy-wide decarbonisation.

Oregonians who own ZEVs also save about $860 a year in fuel costs and even more in reduced maintenance. Most ZEVs built today can drive between 150 and 240 miles on a single charge, enough range to meet most people's driving needs.