On Monday, Washington and Oregon formally joined California by requiring all new vehicles sold in the states to be zero-emissions by 2035. SUVs. Does not apply to used vehicles.
The task is slowly coming into play. It starts with the 2026 model year and requires 35% of new passenger car sales to be EVs. It then increases by 6-9% each year until all vehicles covered by the rule must have zero emissions. Eligible vehicles may be EV, solar-powered or rechargeable hybrid vehicles if they can travel at least 50 miles on battery power.
Vermont has also adopted California rules, and experts say a dozen additional states are expected to do the same.
According to the state’s Licensing Department, EVs accounted for 11% of new vehicle sales in Washington last month. In November 2021, this rate was 6%.
Car and Driver reports that 34 all-electric models are on sale in the US this year, and more than two dozen additional models will be launched by the end of 2024.
Two incentives in Washington support EV purchases:
- Federal tax credit of $7,500 applicable to certain vehicles
- Exemption of up to $1,300 from government motor vehicle sales and use taxes for new vehicles costing up to $45,000
California’s EV sales requirement, known as Advanced Clean Cars II, includes additional rules to reduce vehicle pollution, such as EV performance and endurance mandates and incentives. Washington also passed rules requiring heavy-duty truck manufacturers to reduce the amount of smoke-generating pollution their new combustion engine trucks emit.
“Joining other states in adopting these clean vehicle rules is an important and necessary step towards achieving our climate goals, reducing air pollution and freeing ourselves from dependence on volatile and high gasoline and diesel prices,” said Leah Missik, responsible for transportation policy. nonprofit Climate Solutions executive, by email.
There are still challenges to rapidly accelerating widespread adoption of EVs. While vehicles are expensive for many consumers, experts say savings are achieved over time, thanks to lower fuel prices and less expensive maintenance costs.
Car charging can be a hindrance for drivers who don’t have the means to plug it in at home or work. Government agencies are developing and implementing plans to deploy charging infrastructure in communities and along major highways.
And some drivers in Washington have shared their concerns about the high cost of license fees for EVs. Because EV drivers don’t pay gasoline taxes that help maintain and build roads, the state has sought other ways to cover these costs, including license fees. The Washington State Transportation Commission is investigating a “road use fee” that would set fees based on EV drivers’ use of public roads, rather than flat fees.
Washington lawmakers set a goal earlier this year to reach 100% EV sales by 2030.