Washington State establishes a nation-leading vehicle electrification goal: Clean Cars 2030

Environment Washington

Washington state has adopted the most ambitious clean cars target in the nation, with a goal of having all new passenger vehicles be electric by 2030. Rapidly electrifying our transportation system is a key part of addressing the climate crisis, and though non binding, the 2030 target for the phaseout of internal combustion passenger vehicles gives automakers and consumers in Washington and across the country a target to aim for. 

Climate change is one of the most important issues facing Washington and the country as a whole, and as the state’s grid gets cleaner, addressing emissions from transportation has become even more pressing. Transportation emissions are Washington’s leading source of climate pollution, and getting electric cars on the road as quickly as possible will be a key part of addressing the climate crisis. 

The passage of Senate Bill 1287– after a series of amendments, hearings, and considerable public input from Washingtonians– means Washington has the most aggressive clean cars target in the nation, establishing a goal that “all publicly owned and privately owned passenger and light duty vehicles of model year 2030 or later that are sold, purchased, or registered in Washington state be electric vehicles.” 

The bill also helps Washington get more electric vehicles on the road in other concrete ways:. It requires  the state’s Department of Ecology to develop a mapping and planning tool for EV adoption, letting consumers know where they can charge their electric vehicles and providing key data about future charging needs. It also requires that utilities and building codes model and prepare for increased electricity demand as more people are driving and charging electric vehicles.

Accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles and their related infrastructure will take much more, but aligning our state’s clean cars target with what we know we need to do to avoid the worst effects of climate change and with what automakers have already indicated they want to accomplish is a key step in the right direction.