Wednesday, July 15, 2020
July 15, 2020

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Electric car measure charges forward in state Senate

Senate narrowly passes bill, state’s version of California’s mandate

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

A bill designed to increase electric car sales in Washington narrowly passed the state Senate on Monday.

The bill, SB5811, requires that automakers have electric cars make up at least 5 percent of all auto sales, and it will increase to 8 percent by 2025.

The bill, which passed the House in January, is a version of California’s zero-emissions mandate. Washington is the 12th state in the country to adopt it.

“This means Washingtonians will finally have access to the full range of electric vehicles, helping clean our air and fight climate change,” Gov. Jay Inslee wrote on Twitter on Monday.

One of the first effects Washington will see is the introduction of more electric car models. Secondary effects include more infrastructure for electric cars, such as charging ports.

“The ZEV program will support investment in electric vehicle charging, and research and development that will improve EVs and bring their price down to parity with prices of gas-powered vehicles,” wrote Matthew Metz, co-executive director of pro-electric-vehicle nonprofit Coltura, in a statement. “It will also advance Washington’s greenhouse gas reduction goals by replacing more gas cars with EVs running on renewable electricity.”

Sen. Joe Nguyen and Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon helped the measure pass in the Senate and House, respectively.

SB5811 passed the Senate 25-23 and now heads to Inslee for signing.