On Thursday, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee vetoed legislation that would have set the first state-legislated 2030 phaseout target for automotive combustion engines in the country. (Earlier post.)
The Clean Cars 2030 package passed the legislature as an amendment to E2SHB 1287—a bill mandating electric utility preparation for an all-EV future. Governor Inslee signed the bulk of 1287, vetoing the Clean Cars amendment package due to its linking electrification to the implementation of a road usage charge program.
In his veto statement, Governor Inslee said:
Section 6 of the bill [the Clean Cars package] ties a very important goal of electrifying our transportation sector to the implementation of a road usage charge program. Transportation is our state’s greatest source of carbon emissions and we cannot afford to link an important goal like getting to 100% zero-emission vehicles to a separate policy that will take time to design and implement.
The Clean Cars 2030 legislation would have set a goal for the state that all publicly owned and privately owned passenger and light duty vehicles of model year 2030 or later that are sold, purchased, or registered in Washington state be electric vehicles—once the road usage charge (or tax based on vehicle miles traveled or equivalent charge) was in effect in the state with at least 75% of registered LDVs participating.
Electric was defined as vehicles that use energy stored in rechargeable battery packs or in hydrogen and which rely solely on electric motors for propulsion.
The all-electric mandate would apply to on-road motor vehicles with a scale weight of up to 10,000 pounds and three or more wheels. Emergency services vehicles would be exempt.
Matthew Metz, founder and co-executive director of Coltura, an organization that had championed Clean Cars 2030, said that Coltura will continue to work with the governor’s office to advance vehicle electrification policy in the state.
After the dust settles from this legislative session, we hope the governor will consider setting a goal by executive order for all new vehicles to be electric by 2030.—Matthew Metz