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State is working to establish zero emission vehicle standards

A battery-powered electric car at a charging station. New Washington law will force manufacturers to sell more zero-emission vehicles. (Photo courtesy of the Washington Department of Ecology)

Cars and trucks are the main source of greenhouse gas emissions in Washington. The Washington Department of Ecology is adopting new requirements that will soon reduce this pollution by putting more zero-emission vehicles on the road.

The Zero Emission Vehicle Standard, which the state legislature approved in 2020, will require that a percentage of vehicles sold in Washington state use either electric or hydrogen fuel cells for power, which means that vehicles will not emit greenhouse gases or other types of exhaust pipes. Pollution.

“Transportation is by far the biggest source of carbon pollution in Washington,” said Laura Watson, director of Ecology. “Putting more zero-emission cars and trucks on our roads will mean cleaner, healthier air for everyone and help our state meet its greenhouse gas emission limits. “

Under a 2020 law, Washington State is required to reduce our global greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030, 70% by 2040, and 95% by 2050. Being Since nearly 45% of our state’s annual greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation, cleaner cars and trucks are essential to meeting these limits. The Zero Emission Vehicle standard will reduce Washington’s total greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of one million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.

Manufacturers who do not offer or sell enough zero-emission vehicles to meet the standard can purchase or redeem credits from another automaker. The standards only apply to manufacturers – people who buy a car or truck can continue to buy whatever type of vehicle they prefer.

In addition to zero-emission standards for passenger vehicles, Ecology will also adopt related standards for medium and heavy vehicles such as delivery vans, semi-trucks and similar vehicles. When the regulations are passed, Washington will join 10 other states that have their own zero emission standards. Four other states are also working to adopt the standards.

Ecology plans to complete rule-making by the end of 2021, but due to federal requirements of the Clean Air Act, the new standards would come into effect from 2024.

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