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In Washington State, the Senate has voted in favour of the national Zero Emissions Vehicle programme in a bid to protect the environment from carbon emissions released by diesel and petrol vehicles.

The Senate passed the SB 5811 bill meaning Washington State will join the national Zero Emissions Vehicle programme in which eleven states have already joined.

The programme stipulates that about 6% of all new cars stocked at dealerships be electric vehicles by 2022. Automakers that do not meet the threshold would need to buy credits from another automaker or pay a penalty.

In addition, the Senate has referred to the House of Transportation Committee, the HB 2515  bill which mandates all new vehicles to be sold in Washington State by 2030 to be electric.

Gasoline fuels are the biggest source of carbon emissions in Washington State, according to a statement.

Matthew Metz, Co-Executive Director of the non-profit Coltura (bill drafter), said, “Coltura has been working for the past year to build a strong coalition of support for SB 5811. We are pleased that the Senate passed the bill quickly and are eager for it to become law.

“This bill creates clarity for local governments, automakers, charging companies, utilities, investors, landlords, and workplaces around the future growth of the EV market in the state. It also increases opportunities for lower-income Washingtonians to acquire used EVs and enjoy significant savings over costs of owning a fossil fuel vehicle.

“It will result in cleaner air for Washington, and it will incentivise private-sector investment in new EVs and charging stations, without imposing significant additional burdens on the state budget or the taxpayers.”

“Switching to local electricity to power our cars will improve our air quality, save the residents of Washington billions of dollars in fuel and maintenance costs, boost our economy, and create jobs,” said Representative Nicole Macri.