Portland receives EPA taxpayer funding to get electric utility trucks



(The Center Square) – Portland received an initial $611,536 award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to replace two municipal aerial lift utility trucks with fully battery-electric vehicle aerial trucks.

The two trucks will be the first BEVs in this vehicle class for the city.

The city will also use the funding to offer specialized BEV training to its in-house vehicle technicians.

“Portland’s push to transition to electric vehicles is a win in the battle against climate chaos and to protect clean air,” U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, said in a statement. “Emissions from fossil-powered vehicles are a huge driver of climate chaos, and this funding for new, all-electric BEV aerial trucks and technician training is a step towards a greener and cleaner future for Oregonians.”

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, expressed a similar sentiment.

“This federal investment in replacing Portland’s utility diesel trucks with electric vehicles takes a key step toward cleaner air and greener energy,” Wyden said. “That adds up to a solid win in the climate crisis fight that can both be celebrated today and built upon in the future.”

The allocation comes from the EPA’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding. The program “offers funding assistance to accelerate the upgrade, retrofit, and turnover of legacy diesel fleets,” the release said.

For much of its history DERA has replaced old diesel engines with newer, cleaner diesel engines and at times has funded vehicles falsely described as zero-emissions, fully electric vehicles when they are, in fact, diesel-electric hybrids.

Overall, Portland received $1,358,968 from this program for its Utility Vehicles Electrification Pilot Project. However, the city has not received most of that funding yet.

You can find a complete list of DERA national award recipients here.

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