Olympia, WA — Clean Cars 2030 (originally HB 1204), groundbreaking legislation that calls for all model year 2030 or later passenger and light-duty vehicles sold in Washington State to be electric vehicles (EVs), took one step closer to becoming law yesterday when it advanced out of the Senate Committee on Environment, Energy & Technology as an amendment to SHB 1287. The combined bill now heads to the Senate Transportation Committee.
Introduced in the legislature by Rep. Nicole Macri (D-Seattle), the target date for phasing out gas cars established in Clean Cars 2030 is five years earlier than the 2035 target set by California Governor Gavin Newsom last September.
“With increased EV models on the market at lower prices, and with EV charging now widely available, the end of the era of gasoline-powered cars is in sight,” said Matthew Metz, co-executive director of Coltura, the nonprofit leading a coalition of more than 25 organizations advocating for the bill. “Clean Cars 2030 sets Washington on a nation-leading path consistent with climate science and an auto industry trend toward a fully-electric automotive future. We applaud Sen. Marko Liias (D-Lynnwood) and Rep. Macri for advancing the bill and demonstrating leadership on a critical issue.”
Since Clean Cars 2030 was introduced to the legislature on January 14, the automotive industry has accelerated the shift away from gasoline cars. GM announced plans to sell only zero-emissions vehicles by 2035, Ford said it would only sell EVs in Europe by 2030, BMW’s MINI sub-division pledged to be EV-only by 2030, and Volvo committed to selling only EVs by 2030.
The Biden Administration’s anticipated infrastructure plan is expected to prioritize investments in EV charging and technology, prompting Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to declare it a “once in a century” opportunity to remake transportation in the U.S. Further, the International Energy Agency reported that gasoline demand has peaked due in part to an accelerating global shift toward EVs.
Passage of Clean Cars 2030 will serve as a model and impetus for other states to accelerate the switch to EVs, a critical step to meet urgent carbon reduction goals.