Washington state will follow California and ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035, state Governor Jay Inslee said.
California regulators on Thursday Moved forward with a major project America’s largest auto market is to phase out sales of gas cars over the next 13 years.
According to the new policy, 100% of new passenger cars, trucks and SUVs sold in the state must be powered by electricity or hydrogen by 2035, with one-fifth being plug-in hybrids.
Specific regulations for Washington state have yet to be developed and the public is likely to weigh in, The Seattle Times reported reported.
Transportation-related emissions account for more than 40% of Washington’s greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2020, lawmakers in the state passed legislation directing the Department of Ecology to adopt California’s emissions standards. This year, they set a target of phasing out sales of new internal combustion-powered cars by 2030.
A state council set up by Inslee to plan the future of electric vehicles held its first meeting in July. Anna Lising, Inslee’s senior climate adviser, said members discussed building a network of fast-charging stations along state highways. The initiative will receive a $71 million grant from the federal government.
The state legislature also budgeted $69 million to build “community charging” stations for people who don’t live in single-family homes.
Lissing said he expects the new regulations will encourage manufacturers to build more and cheaper electric vehicles.
Nearly 20% of new vehicle registrations in Washington in July were electric or hybrid, according to data from the state’s licensing department. In total, there were 104,000 electric vehicles — fully battery electric or plug-in hybrid electric — about 2.5 times the total two years ago.
Massachusetts has said it is following California’s lead and more states are likely to follow. New York and Pennsylvania are among 17 states that have adopted some or all of California’s tailpipe emissions standards, which are stricter than federal rules.
The policy passed in California on Thursday represents a dramatic step toward reducing emissions and combating the climate emergency.
However, implementing the new rules will require significant investments. California needs to expand public charging stations to accommodate the surge in electric vehicles.
The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which represents several major carmakers, said meeting the state’s ambitious timeline is challenging due to a lack of charging infrastructure, access to materials for batteries and supply chain issues.
Even with the new rules, California’s transition to electric vehicles will take time, as gas-powered cars outnumber zero-emission vehicles for years.
In Washington, Republican Rep. Andy Barkis, the ranking member of the state House Transportation Committee, said he felt the push to ban internal combustion engines would affect both manufacturers and consumers.
“I believe the market is better at continuing to judge how we change,” he said.
“Friend of animals everywhere. Devoted analyst. Total alcohol scholar. Infuriatingly humble food trailblazer.”