The age of the internal combustion engine vehicle may finally be drawing to a close. After using fossil fuel vehicles for nearly a century, several territories around the world are now turning to zero-emission electric cars in a bid to combat climate change.
A new bill signed into law by Washington State Governor Jay Inslee would see the state ban the sale of most nonelectric cars by the year 2030. As such, Washington State joins the dozens of local and national governments that have pledged to limit or outright ban the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles in the future.
The legislation would require that all model 2030 vehicles that are purchased, sold or registered in Washington State to be electrified. The newly signed bill will task an interagency electric vehicle coordinating council with figuring out a plan for doing this by the end of 2023.
According to Inslee, transportation accounts for a large percentage of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Nationally, transportation is responsible for nearly 30% of the country’s greenhouse emissions.
Inslee states that the new bill will transition Washington State’s transportation to a system “our children dream of.” It is part of the state’s effort to make its transportation more efficient via a $16.0 billion transport package dubbed Move Ahead Washington.
During the signing event for Move Ahead Washington, Inslee said that any talk of combating climate change has to include transportation. He noted that the Climate Commitment Act’s cap-and-invest program has raised billions of dollars that can be used to fund the transition from fossil fuel vehicles to zero-emission transport options such as EVs.
Unlike combustion vehicles that use fossil fuels to generate energy, electric cars are powered by rechargeable batteries and produce zero emissions at the tailpipe. If EVs can be coupled with renewable energy sources, Washington State could significantly cut down on its carbon emissions.
The 16-year Move Ahead Washington Plan will invest a significant amount of money in cleaning up the transportation sector and, by extension, combating climate change. Aside from outlawing the sale and purchase of internal combustion engine vehicles after 2030, the transportation package will also fund the purchase of four hybrid-electric ferries, 25 statewide transit electrification projects, a network of public EV charging stations and free fares for underage riders on public transportation. The plan will also fund the removal of fish passage barriers installed along state highways that have sealed off nearly 650 miles of prime habitat from steelhead and salmon.
As more states implement policies geared at speeding up EV uptake, automakers such as NIO Inc. (NYSE: NIO) will gradually find it easier to find buyers for the models they bring to market.
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