Washington state has reinstated tax breaks for electric and alternative-power vehicles and plans other incentives to spur demand, notably among the state's low-income residents.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee this week signed four clean-energy bills, including HB 2042, designed to advance the adoption of green transportation across the state.
A spokeswoman for Inslee said HB 2042 revives the state tax incentive program for electric and other alternative-fuel vehicles and charging infrastructure. She said the sales tax incentives, which begin Aug. 1, will make EVs more accessible and affordable by providing a rebate of up to $2,500 on new EVs priced under $45,000 and up to $1,600 on used EVs under $30,000.
The state has a goal of putting 50,000 clean-fuel vehicles on roads by 2020.
New light vehicles are subject to a 6.8 percent sales tax in Washington.
The state's tax breaks on EVs and plug-in hybrids expired June 1, 2018.
HB 2042, which the Washington Legislature passed April 28, seeks to reduce carbon emissions in the Pacific Northwest, according to documents filed by legislators.
The bills signed by Inslee will:
- Establish and extend tax incentive programs for alternative- fuel vehicles and related infrastructure, including for commercial vehicles.
- Provide funding for a capital grant program to help transit authorities reduce the carbon output of their fleets.
- Increase public and private electric utilities' ability to invest in EV charging infrastructure.
- Fund a pilot program to test methods for expanding access to alternative-fuel vehicles and alternative-fuel vehicle infrastructure by low-income state residents.
- Fund a study to examine opportunities to provide financing assistance to lower-income Washington residents who want to buy an EV.
- Establish a tax incentive program for certain electric vessels.
"The people of WA have made our state a leader in transitioning to a #cleanenergy future.," Inslee tweeted Tuesday after signing the bills in Seattle. "This day is the result of relentless determination from #waleg, environmental justice leaders, labor leaders, climate action advocates & WA's youth"