Washington makes zero emission vehicles more available and affordable

The Washington State Legislature has passed SB 5811, the  zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) bill, which will increase ​zero emission  vehicle selection in the state and ensure reductions in greenhouse gases from the transportation sector by requiring that ​ZEVs command an increasing share of Washington’s new car market.

Washington joins eleven other states in implementing the ZEV program, which places requirements on ​automakers  to stock and promote the sale of ZEVs. States that have previously implemented ZEV laws have seen increases in ZEV sales, expansions in the range of available models, and lower prices for models that are also sold in non-ZEV states. NW Energy Coalition policy associate, Annabel Drayton, said, “ZEV is a win in the fight against climate change and it’s an even bigger win for consumers and populations near heavily trafficked roadways that are disproportionately exposed to harmful air pollution. This policy will help reduce pollution and increase consumer choice as Washington’s automakers offer a greater selection of zero emission vehicles that are currently unavailable in-state.

The bill follows Washington’s 2005 adoption of California low emission vehicle standards and means that the entire West Coast will operate under a ZEV mandate.

The ZEV bill was sponsored in the Senate by Senators Joe Nguyen, Christine Rolfes, Claire Wilson, Marko Liias, Mona Das, Sam Hunt, Patty Kuderer, and Rebecca Saldaña and in the House by Representatives Shelley Kloba, Nicole Macri, Gerry Pollet, and Beth Doglio and with support from Representative Fitzgibbon. ​A broad coalition supported the bill with support from labor, environmental, environmental justice, and consumer advocacy organizations as well as regional clean air authorities and electric utilities.

The NW Energy Coalition’s effort to enact SB 5811 was led by policy associate Annabel Drayton.  Please feel free to reach out to Annabel with congratulations or if you have questions concerning the legislation