Washington passes bill to target all electric vehicle sales by 2030 – for real this time (Updated)

Washington State has set a goal that all 2030 or later model year vehicles sold, purchased, or registered in Washington State be electric vehicles. The bill was signed today by Governor Inslee, making Washington the state with the nation’s first all-electric new car target.

A similar effort occurred once before, but Governor Inslee vetoed it due to concerns about road user fees included in the wording of the bill. Road user fees would be a smarter way to finance roads than current methods (which typically involve a combination of gas taxes, registration fees, road tolls and general funds, according to the state), but Inslee said he didn’t want to tie the two ideas together because failing to adopt a road user charge would mean scrapping the 2030 requirement for all electric vehicles from the old bill.

Washington has relatively clean and cheap electricity compared to nearly every state, given the state’s high hydroelectric mix. It also has relatively high gas prices and more public charging stations than most states, making it a great place to own an electric car. The main downside is their stupid tariff for electric vehicles – which the last bill’s road usage charge might have helped avoid.

The current effort is part of a $16.9 billion transportation package called “Move Ahead Washington.” The bill covers many transportation issues and includes a section that reads:

Second. 415. (1) A goal is established for the State that all publicly and privately owned passenger vehicles and light-duty vehicles of model year 2030 or later that are sold, purchased, or registered in the State of Washington are electric vehicles.

(2) By December 31, 2023, the electric vehicle interagency coordination board established under section 428 of this Act shall complete a framework plan to achieve the 2030 goal.

Notably, this seems to apply to any vehicle registered in Washington, not just sold and bought. This suggests that 2030 model year gasoline cars purchased outside of Washington could not be registered in Washington State, eliminating a possible workaround whereby people could import dirty gasoline vehicles into the state.

More details will be worked out later, and guidance will be provided to all levels of Washington government and industry by an interagency electric vehicle planning board that will develop the infrastructure needed to prepare for a fully-fledged fleet of vehicles. electrical.

That puts Washington in the lead nationally in efforts to end gas-powered vehicle sales, in a much more reasonable time frame than the 2035 laggards in California, Massachusetts, and New York (and…everyone else). States that have not set a target).

As we have already shown, 2035 is not at all ambitious, because this date could be reached simply by continuing the status quo with all the efforts of the automotive industry and simply not starting new developments on the gasoline vehicle models from now on – which is something of everything. carmaker should do at this point anyway.

There have been a few other 2030 efforts in the United States, although Washington’s is the first to be adopted at the state level. The California Democratic Party and several California cities have approved moving the state’s calendar to 2030, Hawaii and Rhode Island have introduced bills seeking a 2030 ban, but otherwise most states have done nothing. effort or have stuck to the unambitious 2035 timeline. The first global “target” is Norway, which wants to reach zero gasoline car sales by 2025, but could achieve it three years earlier.

The Washington state bill also calls it a “target” rather than a “requirement” or a ban on gas-powered vehicle sales, so it’s possible that some gas-powered vehicle sales may still exceed the target. of 2030. Governor Inslee’s press office said 2030 is a goalbut that 2035 is a requirement. But given the example of Norway, where there’s been a virtual standstill in gasoline car sales three years before the goal is achieved, who’s to say Washington can’t follow suit and see only a trickle of gas-powered car sales by the end of this decade? After all, we at Electrek I wonder who will still want to buy a gas-powered car in a decade anyway?

Nationally, American voters broadly support sales of all electric vehicles by 2030, but states and our national government have so far refused to embrace this desired timeline – which is also necessary if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change. President Biden wants to make the entire fleet of US federal vehicles electric, a plan that is being jeopardized by the corrupt management of the US Postal Service which plans to spend billions on gas consumers. And 12 governors requested a 2045 timeline last year, which is, again, an extremely low commitment given the state of the climate and the dynamics of the auto industry. Even the US military recognizes the need to convert to electric, wanting to electrify all non-tactical vehicles by 2035 (and light vehicles by 2027).

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