Inslee will follow California’s lead, aims to eliminate sale of new gas vehicles by ’30

Pasco, Inslee

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Governor Jay Inslee proclaimed his intention to follow California’s lead in a new initiative to eliminate the sale of new vehicles powered by gasoline in the next decade.

California is aiming for all new cars, pickup trucks and SUVs sold in the state to be powered by electricity or hydrogen by 2035, as confirmed by a new report of August 25. Governor Jay Inslee restated on his Twitter account that Washington aims to reach the same goal by 2030.

RELATED: California phasing out gas vehicles in climate change fight

“This is a critical milestone in our climate fight. Washington set in law a goal for all new car sales to be zero emissions by 2030 and we’re ready to adopt California’s regs by end of this year,” Inslee stated in a tweet. “We look forward to partnering with California and the Biden Administration to quickly eliminate our country’s #1 source of GHG emissions.”

Washington lawmakers included the goal of phasing out new gas-powered cars by 2030 in the state’s $17 billion transportation plan. They also committed to following vehicle emissions standards set by California legislators. These guidelines are known for being the most rigorous in the nation.

Although the sale of new gas-based vehicles will be halted, used vehicles will still be eligible for sale. Furthermore, many of the dates that were previously set (35% emission reduction by 2026, 68% reduction by 2030) are not set in stone — they serve more as benchmarks and goals than firm deadlines.

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There is a significant hurdle to shifting vehicle sales — particularly on the Eastern side of Washington state: increasing the availability of charging stations. While they have become more common in densely populated parts of the state like the Seattle/Tacoma region, charging stations can be difficult to come by in rural Washington and in some instances, can be quite costly.

One of the biggest focal points of Inslee’s career as Governor of Washington has been eliminating the state’s carbon footprint and reducing its emissions in hopes of curbing climate change. Still, the state will face many logistical hurdles in reducing emissions from gas vehicles.

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