State Proposes New Rules Requiring New Vehicles to Meet Zero-Emission Standards by 2035

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All new light duty cars and trucks sold in Washington would have to meet zero-emission vehicle standards by 2035 under new rules proposed by the state Department of Ecology (DOE). According to a statement released by the DOE this week, the new rules are still under consideration, with the public comment period continuing through Oct. 19. Should the DOE approve the rules, Washington will become one of the first states to adopt a zero-emission mandate after California’s decision to do so last month.

Electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrid vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are included within the definition of zero-emission standards.

“Switching to zero-emission vehicles is a critical milestone in our climate fight,” said Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. “With growing numbers of consumers and manufacturers already making the switch, we’re making sure Washington is ready to seize the benefits of our EV future.”

According to the statement, about 45% of greenhouse gas emissions in Washington state are from transportation, with a majority of those emissions coming from passenger vehicles.

While the new rules would set a 2035 deadline, changes to the state transportation budget passed earlier this year set a target to reach the proposed vehicle emissions goals by 2030.



“Washingtonians are embracing the transition from cars powered by fossil fuels — there are already more than 100,000 electric vehicles on our roads,” said Laura Watson, DOE director. “We’ve seen a significant number of new, zero-emission vehicles come on the market in recent years, and we are confident that the technology, production capacity and charging infrastructure needed to make this shift will be there.”

In its statement, the DOE claimed communities along major transportation corridors are expected to benefit the most from a decline in vehicle emissions due to improved air quality.

As part of an effort to reach the state’s goal of reduced vehicle emissions, Washington state and federal governments are offering incentives for drivers to switch to electric and other zero-emission vehicles. New zero-emission vehicles purchased for up to $45,000 are fully or partially exempt from the state sales tax while used zero-emission vehicles purchased for up to $30,000 also qualify. Additionally, beginning in 2023, consumers can utilize a tax credit of up to $4,000 toward the purchase of a used zero-emission vehicle and up to $7,500 for a new one.

To submit a public comment on the proposed rules, go to https://bit.ly/3DhYBPB or send a comment by mail to Adam Saul, Department of Ecology Air Quality Program, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600.

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