Over $1.2 million heading to Oregon non-profit for electric vehicle accessibility

The World

Recently, Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced a total of $1,269,225 is coming to Oregon to support electric vehicle deployment through promoting innovative ways to finance EV purchasing for underserved populations. The funding is coming from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Joint Office of Energy and Transportation’s Ride and Drive Electric funding and will be awarded to Forth. 

“Supporting the transition to electric vehicles reduces pollution and health problems in our communities. But we must ensure that the transition doesn’t leave behind underserved communities,” said Merkley “This federal funding will advance Oregon’s transition to electric vehicles and help to combat climate chaos.”

“Electric vehicles are key to stopping climate change in its tracks, and making sure they are affordable is essential to speed up our transition to clean energy,” Wyden said. “These federal funds will ensure that electric vehicle accessibility is expanded to underserved communities in Oregon and help combat the climate crisis.”

These federal investments to improve the accessibility of electric vehicles and make the Transportation Electrification Workforce more diverse stem from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). The BIL includes a historic $7.5 billion dedicated investment to build out a national network of EV chargers. This Ride and Drive Electric funding works to support the deployment of zero-emission, convenient, accessible, equitable transportation infrastructure.

More information on the award can be found below: 

  • Forth, Project LACE: Loans to Access Clean EVs – $1,269,995.00
    • The goal of LACE is to develop, analyze, and promote innovative business models for EV financing that effectively address the barriers faced by underserved populations in Justice40 communities. By working closely with community-based organizations, lending institutions, and local stakeholders, the project will develop program templates and financing options tailored to the specific needs of different regions and demographics within the United States. 

“Electric vehicles provide an excellent opportunity for gig drivers to increase earnings due to the benefits of lower fuel and maintenance costs. However, because they earn non-traditional income, gig drivers face a barrier to access EVs because they often cannot receive reasonable financing to purchase an EV,” said Jeff Allen, Executive Director at Forth.

“In partnership with community-based organizations, lending institutions and local stakeholders, the Loans to Access Clean EVs program will develop scalable business models and financing options tailored to the specific needs of different regions and demographics within the United States, addressing the challenges of vehicle financing for low-wage earners in Justice40 communities.”