(The Center Square) — Governor Jay Inslee seemed pleased to announce recently that Washington State will follow California’s lead and phase out the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035.
“This is a critical step in our fight against climate change,” Inslee said in a message on social networks. “Washington has set a legal goal for all new car sales to be zero emissions by 2030 and we are ready to adopt California regulations by the end of this year.”
Earlier this year, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law Senate Bill 5974, setting the goal of banning most gas-powered vehicles in Washington state within the next eight years as part of the fight against climate change.
The effort is part of the $16.9 billion transportation program called “Move Ahead Washington.” The applicable section reads: “A goal is established for the State that all publicly and privately owned passenger and light-duty vehicles of model year 2030 or later that are sold, purchased or registered in the ‘Washington State are Electric Vehicles.’
While Inslee is ahead of banning the sale of new fossil-fuel automobiles in the near future, Todd Myers – director of the Center for the Free Market Environment Washington Policy Center think tank – pump breaks.
“Well, the 2030 target, which was in the transportation package, was unreasonable,” he said in an email to The Center Square. “I thought they would bring it back to 2035 to line up with California. Pretty sure.”
Not that the 2035 goal is necessarily more reasonable, according to Myers.
“As to whether it’s doable, who knows?” He asked. “The 2035 target is not based on research that shows it can be done. This objective is only a guess. California’s previous effort to mandate electric vehicles [electric vehicles] in the 1990s failed badly.
In 1990, the California Air Resources Board passed the Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate which required the seven major auto suppliers in the United States to offer electric vehicles in order to continue sales of their gasoline-powered vehicles in California, or 2% of all cars. sold as is had to be electrically powered from model year 1998.
However, the council repealed the mandate in 1996 after pressure and lawsuits from automakers, as well as pressure from the oil industry, largely due to the expensive technology and limited range of electric vehicle batteries. .
“Also, good research would be very difficult,” Myers continued. “Jay Inslee’s book – 14 years ago – predicted that cheap biofuels would be plentiful and would be the key to reducing transport-related CO2 emissions. None of these things are true.
This is a reference to “Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy“, a 2007 book by Inslee and researcher Bracken Hendricks.
“Predicting 13 years into the future is pretty hard,” Myers joked.
He went on to note that it was essential to make electric vehicles more affordable.
“According to the most recent data from the Licensing Department, approximately 10% of new vehicles purchased are electric vehicles,” Myers pointed out. “It’s not bad, but the key is to get middle-income people to buy them, not just those who can afford the extra expense. It doesn’t entirely surprise me that 10% can afford electric vehicles Going significantly above that will be a challenge.
The average price of a new electric vehicle is higher than $66,000according to Kelley Blue Book estimates.
“The main question is what would it take to achieve the goal of EVs,” Myers explained. the policies that pay the most bang for the buck.
He highlighted the benefits of capping carbon dioxide emissions.
“We have a CO2 cap policy,” Myers said. “It causes problems, but the good thing is that it encourages people to find the cheapest way to reduce emissions and it eliminates the need for ad hoc policies like the EV mandate.”
Politics stands in the way, he noted.
“But the political upsides of adopting climate policies, even when they’re unnecessary and ineffective, are so great that there’s very little downside to making pledges for 2035,” Myers said.
Meanwhile, the state is preparing for a future for electric vehicles by being part of the $5 billion National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program authorized under the Investment and Development Act. infrastructure jobs passed by Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden last year.
The program provides funding to states to deploy electric vehicle charging infrastructure and to establish an interconnected network to facilitate data collection, access and reliability.
Evergreen State’s share of federal funds is $71 million over five years, including $10.5 million for the first year.
“Washington State plans to invest approximately $71 million of this program over five years, along with a 20% non-federal matching of $17.75 million,” a draft report of the plan shown. “Washington will finalize and submit this document by August 1, 2022, for federal funding eligibility.”
Emily Glad, acting director of communications at the Washington State Department of Transportation, expects a response shortly.
“We anticipate a response by the end of September,” she emailed The Center Square.
“The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) must approve all state plans or notify state DOTs if changes are required to their plans by September 30, 2022.”