Washington Makes Major Shift Towards All-Electric Vehicle Fleet

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Gov. Jay Inslee has signed an executive order where the end goal is to move the state government vehicles to an all-electric fleet by 2035. The order was announced in Glasgow, Scotland by Inslee at the Conference of Parties, an international summit designed to look towards solutions for the currently-growing climate crisis.

The order was signed on Nov. 3 and will require the 24 executive branch agencies under Inslee to purchase electric vehicles to replace light-duty trucks and passenger vehicles. These agencies include the Department of Transportation, for example. During this process, the state must reach breakpoints of 40 percent by 2025 and 75 percent by 2030, before reaching the full 100 percent by 2035.

Regarding heavy-duty vehicles, Inslee would like to see the state achieve a 30 percent usage of electric vehicles by 2030 and reach 100 percent by an extended deadline of 2040. Battery-powered models might not always be available, but in this case, these agencies will obtain options with low emissions and high cost-effectiveness.

Inslee’s order will affect around 5,000 vehicles in the state. Covered agencies must present a compliance plan which outlines their expected timeline and the financial cost of converting their gasoline or diesel vehicles to electric in order to meet the requirements.

At the summit, Inslee said that “together with the rest of the leaders here and those everywhere else today who are committed to this fight, we will lead the charge on decarbonizing the transportation sector.”

Since the conversion to an electric fleet will require an increase in electric charging stations across the state, an Inslee spokeswoman said that funding will be requested from both federal and legislative sources to cover these costs.

On Nov. 8, Inslee doubled down on ideas regarding changing how vehicles in the state operate. He endorsed the idea that all new cars sold in Washington should be zero-emission by 2030 and included that new building construction should generate no net emission increase by the same year.