Washington auto dealership industry executive concerned about electric vehicle plans
Gov. Jay Inslee announced Wednesday that the state will ban the sale of new gas-powered cars starting in 2030.
SEATTLE — California earlier this week announced plans to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars starting in 2035. Gov. Jay Inslee tweeted Washington will follow suit, aiming for all new car sales to be zero emissions by 2030.
California’s plans would require all new cars, trucks and SUVs to run on electricity or hydrogen. No new gas-powered vehicles can be sold after 2035. The policy was approved by regulators on Thursday. The policy has yet to be approved by the federal government, though it will likely happen under President Joe Biden’s administration.
Transportation accounts for nearly half of Washington’s greenhouse gas emissions.
“This is a critical step in our fight against climate change,” Inslee tweeted.
Washington State and King County have been pushing to install more electric charging stations in anticipation of its electric goals. But some people within the auto dealership industry are refusing to go all-electric.
Brian Dansel, executive director of the Washington State Independent Auto Dealers Association, said his biggest concern with the ban on the sale of new gas-powered vehicles is how the state will maintain the road network, saying that it is currently maintained by fuel taxes. He also believes the ban will be detrimental and limit the market, which will have a negative effect on consumers who will have to pay more to switch to electricity.
“Just another attack on independent car dealerships. I mean every time we turn around, it seems like there’s some new rule or law mandating the actions our guys are taking,” Dansel said.
Washington Department of Ecology officials are confident that electric cars won’t be out of reach in terms of affordability. They expect supply to increase; the cost will go down.
The state will collect public comment on the new rule beginning September 7.