The Energize Oregon Coalition

The Energize Oregon Coalition is a voluntary partnership working to ensure a strong and enduring market for plug-in electric vehicles in Oregon.

The highest value of the Coalition is to identify important projects and tasks that are best accomplished together, and to provide the organization, focus, and resources to ensure they are quickly accomplished. The Coalition will serve as an initial point of contact for electric vehicle efforts in Oregon, as a forum for sharing information and best practices, and as a coordinating body for the diverse independent projects related to electric vehicles around the state.


In 2011, the State of Oregon developed a comprehensive plug-in electric vehicle market and community plan to address next-generation deployment strategies.  The product of this effort, the Energizing Oregon Plan, laid out specific recommendations to support accelerated electric vehicle adoption.  This Coalition was created by a Memorandum of Understanding between Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, Drive Oregon, and the Oregon Department of Transportation in early 2013, as a critical strategy to implement the Plan.

 Coalition Work Groups  

The Coalition has identified a small number of specific, focused areas of work and established work groups to advance them. The Coalition’s work is done through these focused task forces both in-person and through periodic conference calls; however, the full Coalition is convened at least once per year.  Drive Oregon manages the Coalition with representatives acting as co-chairs, supporting the work groups, but each task force will be driven by its individual chair and membership.

Currently, the Coalition has four work groups. To learn more about or get involved in a specific work group, please contact the staff listed.

Workplace Charging – A work group focused on increasing the number of employers offering workplace charging in Oregon through public outreach and one-on-one engagement with potential hosts. Staff: Zach Henkin (email)

Electric Vehicle Policy – A work group advocating for smart, impactful policies in Oregon that will support the growth of the electric vehicle market. Staff: Zach Henkin (email)

Outreach and Education – A work group developing and promoting messaging about the benefits of electric vehicles for Oregon. Staff: Zach Henkin (email)

Utility Engagement – A work group that serves as a forum and resource for Oregon’s utilities, as they seek to learn about and get more engaged with transportation electrification. Staff: Emmaline Pohnl (email)

 Join the Energize Oregon Coalition Today!

Joining the Coalition is as simple as becoming a member of Drive Oregon.  Annual dues range from $200 to $2,000, based on your organization’s type and size. Government agencies and nonprofit organizations may request special consideration. For more information, contact Zach Henkin at (503) 724-8670 or via email.

(Note: The Coalition is not a lobbying organization per se but will empower individual organizations with tools and language to take positions on key policy issues.)

Clean Cars are Good for Oregon 

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Electric vehicles reduce gasoline consumption, air pollution, and emissions of greenhouse gases. Clean cars also strengthen Oregon’s economy, keeping more money circulating locally. Oregon doesn’t have any producing oil wells or petroleum refineries, and approximately $6 billion per year in Oregonians’ fuel spending leaves the state. Fuel costs for Oregonians have nearly doubled over the past decade, rising to nearly 7% of household income. 

In February 2015, a study was released examining the specific economic benefits to Oregon that a broader deployment of electric vehicles would bring.  Some of the study’s key findings include: 

  • Every time an Oregon family chooses an electric vehicle, they draw federal tax credits of up to $7,500 to the state, save money over the life of the vehicle, and shift spending from petroleum to electricity and other goods with more of an economic multiplier impact in Oregon.
  • By 2030, electric vehicles could contribute between $113 million and $182 million annually to the economy, and $12 million in increased tax revenue, assuming 15% of new car buyers choose electric.

More of the study’s results are highlighted in a Drive Oregon press release and the complete study, The Returns of Electrification, is available for download.

Additionally, a UC Berkeley study found that spending shifted from fuel purchases to other spending creates 16X more jobs. A growing electric vehicle market in Oregon will also strengthen the state’s diverse and vibrant electric vehicle industry, already worth $266 million per year.