Washington State & Virginia mandate stricter EV regulations
The US state of Washington has introduced a law according to which all passenger cars and light commercial vehicles sold there must be purely electric from 2030. In Virginia, stricter regulations are to apply from the 2025 model year, but a ban on internal combustion engines has not yet been decided.
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In the northwest of the USA, the Washington State House Transportation Committee has already voted in favour of the bill by 17 votes to 12. The regulation stipulates that from the model year 2030, all newly registered vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds (equivalent to 4.54 tonnes) in the state must be electrically powered.
Emphasis is placed on “electrically powered”. Electric vehicles are defined in the regulation as “vehicles that consume energy stored in rechargeable battery packs or hydrogen and rely solely on electric motors for propulsion”.
By 1 September 2023, the law now requires the Utilities and Transportation Commission to develop a plan for exactly how the transition will occur. Among other things, forecasts of expected new registrations and charging requirements are to be prepared. From this, the commission wants to derive which investments are necessary for different areas of the infrastructure. But of course, also affects the state’s revenue from taxes on fuels.
Two other points are also interesting. On the one hand, the “effects on equity” are to be illuminated, mentioned here are “especially disadvantaged and low-income communities”. Secondly, “strategies to maximise equity in implementation” are to be developed and a “transition strategy for those negatively affected by the requirement”.
Over on the West Coast, Virginia has also joined the now 14 other states and the District of Columbia to implement stricter “clean car standards” modelled on California. These standards are to apply to new cars in Virginia from the model year 2025. The only thing missing is the formal signature of the governor.
Update 17 April 2021: Washington State’s plan to require all cars and light commercial vehicles sold there to be zero-emission vehicles by 2030 is a done deal. The corresponding law has now been passed and only needs to be formally signed by Governor Jay Inslee. Washington is thus the US state with the earliest end date for new cars with combustion engines, ahead of California (2035).
Update 17 May 2021: The Washington State law passed in mid-April, according to which all passenger cars and light commercial vehicles sold there must be purely electric from 2030, has surprisingly failed due to a veto by Governor Jay Inslee – at least for the time being. Initially, the governor’s signature was considered a mere formality, but he now issued a partial veto. While he is committed to achieving zero-emission transport in the state as soon as possible, he says this goal is too important to be tied to the implementation of a separate directive for a road user charge.
greencarcongress.com, prnewswire.com (both Washington), greencarcongress.com, ngtnews.com, Update: washingtonstatewire.com, prnewswire.com, lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov (PDF), electrek.co (update II), greencarcongress.com (update II)