In the state of Washington, EV tax incentives have been reinstated. They ended last year but were recently revived and will go into effect on August 1st of this year. Washington Governor Jay Inslee was behind the revival. The goal in Washington is to get 50,000 of these kinds of vehicles on the roads by 2020. Tara Lee, the Deputy Communications Director, Office of the Governor for the state of Washington, answered some questions for CleanTechnica.
1. Why was the state’s EV tax incentive reinstated and when does it go into effect?
Climate change is a critical existential threat that is already waging devastating impacts on the people of Washington state. Transportation accounts for nearly 50% of our state’s total greenhouse gas emissions, and electrifying vehicles and providing transportation choices will reduce asthma in children, make a significant dent in climate change, grow jobs and improve the economy and quality of life for all. The state’s EV incentive makes EVs more accessible and affordable to everyone, and it goes into effect on August 1, 2019.
2. Is the incentive a rebate on electric vehicle purchase sales tax up to $2,500?
No, it’s not a rebate that requires filling out a form and waiting for a check to be mailed. Instead, it’s a sales tax exemption that takes money right off the hood. It incentives the purchase or lease of new EVs under $45,000 and used EVs under $30,000, providing up to $2,500 off the sticker price.
3. How does a Washington state resident who buys a new EV apply for the incentive?
No application is required. Simply buy or lease an eligible electric vehicle and the tax is exempted at the point-of-sale.
4. Can the state incentive be combined with a potential federal tax incentive?
5. Which vehicles are eligible, or how does someone who is interested in buying an EV find out which ones are?
The sales tax exemption applies to the purchase or lease of new EVs under $45,000 and used EVs under $30,000, providing up to $2,500 off the sticker price.
6. Are used EVs eligible for the incentive too?
Yes, used EVs under $30,000 are eligible.
7. About how many EV purchases might be facilitated by reinstating the incentive?
This incentive, along with our significant investments in electric charging infrastructure, the Governor’s EV Fleets Initiative (the most aggressive in the US), investments in electric buses and our electric ferry fleet, our partnership with utilities to promote EVs and deploy EV charging at home and at work, and our building code changes that make owning an EV more practical will help us meet our ZEV Alliance commitment to go all ZEV by at least 2050.
8. Approximately how many EVs are on the roads now in Washington?
We’ve increased the number of EVs on the road from 8,000 when the Governor first took office, to 44,492 today. We are on track to meet (and exceed) the Governor’s goal of 50,000 EVs on the road by 2020.