Ever think about owning an electric vehicle? Now is a good time to consider it for your next vehicle, especially with work that is underway to increase EV ownership in Washington.
We recently released the EV Action Plan (pdf 2.7 mb), which aims to meet the state’s goal of increasing the number of EVs in Washington to 50,000 vehicles by 2020. It intends to do that through a variety of proposed incentives, EV infrastructure improvements and partnerships to support and promote EV ownership.
“Why is the state promoting EVs?” you ask. We’re trying to reduce carbon emissions that produce greenhouse gases. Transportation generates nearly half of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. All-electric vehicles have zero tailpipe emissions and produce no greenhouse gases. That means they don’t put fine particles or smog-causing pollution into our air. It’s great news for the environment and for people who suffer from respiratory issues.
With access to hydropower – one of the cleanest and least expensive energy supplies in the nation – plugging into the grid makes EV ownership in Washington an attractive choice. That fact hasn’t escaped the notice of EV manufacturers – Washington was one of the five states to launch the first Leafs, and we’re third in the nation for overall EV market share, down from number 1 in 2013. California and Georgia now lead the pack. In Washington, nearly 12,500 registered EVs were on the road at the end of 2014.
EV ownership isn’t just for people like you and me. Public agencies are also getting on board, adding alternative fuel and electric vehicles to their fleet. Examples include electric transit buses and trolleys, vanpools and carpool vehicles. We’re expanding our own EV fleet of six Leafs and 10 Volts, with four more Volts on order.
One obvious advantage of owning an EV is the ability to cruise on by the gas station. Fueling a car with electricity costs about one-third of what you’d spend to fuel a vehicle with gasoline (about 88 cents per eGallon vs $2.81 per gallon of gas). Beside the savings to the pocketbook, driving an EV helps us break our dependence on foreign oil.
|EV charging station at northbound Gee Creek rest area.|
EVs can travel about 60 to 100 miles on a single charge. That makes them ideal for short to medium commutes, but it produces “range anxiety” for those who need to drive longer distances. Fortunately, a whole lot of folks in Washington are working together to fix that.
Through our EV action plan, we’re proposing a number of steps to make it easier for drivers to afford EVs and “go the distance.” Highlights of those activities include:
- Extending the sales tax exemption on the purchase or lease of an EV
- Building out the fast-charging network to fill in the gaps on key corridors across the state – Washington currently has 449 public charging stations
- Increasing EV-charging signs to make it easier to locate charging stations
- Pooling resources within communities to electrify tourism routes
- Working with employers to encourage workplace charging
So, next time you’re shopping for a new vehicle, why not make it electric?
- EVs are fun to drive – they have loads of torque for fast acceleration. Ask a friend or neighbor to take you for a spin and you’ll experience the “EVgrin.”
- EVs are affordable – several makes and models start at $20,000 to $30,000 and lease prices start as low as $250 per month.
- With the current sales tax exemption (until July 1, 2015, unless extended), you could save thousands on the purchase price, plus you can take advantage of a $7,500 federal tax credit.
That’s good for you and good for the environment!