Washington State has passed ground-breaking and historic legislation which would move to end the sale of all fossil fuel-powered vehicles by 2030, accelerating the US state’s transition to all-electric vehicles.
The Washington State legislature passed the Clean Cars 2030 legislation last week as an amendment to a bill that aims to prepare the state for the transition to a zero-emissions transportation system.
The larger bill requires the state government to provide resources that facilitate the planning and deployment of EV charging and refuelling infrastructure, as well as charging utilities to begin planning for the impact of EV charging on electricity generation and require state building codes to similarly prepare to support zero emissions vehicle use.
The headline amendment that has caught everyone’s attention is a first step towards banning the sale of new fossil fuel-powered vehicles by 2030.
The amendment determines that all publicly owned and privately owned passenger and light duty vehicles of model 2030 or later that are sold, purchased, or registered in Washington State, must be electric vehicles as long as a road usage charge, or equivalent fee or tax based on vehicle miles travelled, is in effect in Washington State with at least 75% of the registered passenger and light duty vehicles in the state participating.
Worth noting is that the law accounts for both plug-in battery electric vehicles as well as hydrogen vehicles and applies to all passenger and light duty vehicles with a scale weight of up to 10,000 pounds and three or more wheels.
First introduced in the legislature by Representative Nicole Macri, representing the Democrats in Seattle, as HB 1204, the bill is now the first fossil fuel-powered phaseout target to be passed through the legislative process.
Moreover, the bill sets a target for a phase out of fossil fuel-powered vehicles that is five years ahead of a similar law signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom in September 2020.
The bill now heads to the desk of Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, where it will almost certainly be signed into law.
Inslee made an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination for President in the 2020 election, but pushed climate change and environmental responsibility to the top of peoples’ minds in that campaign, forcing it into the Presidential discussion.
Supporting the passage of the bill through Washington State’s legislature was Coltura, a group spearheading a diverse coalition of more than 25 organisations advocating for the bill’s passage.
“With the passage of Clean Cars 2030, the end of the era of gasoline-powered cars is in sight,” said Matthew Metz, co-executive director of Coltura.
“Clean Cars 2030 is a critical step to meet urgent carbon reduction goals here in Washington and can serve as a model and impetus for other states to accelerate the switch to EVs.”