Washington Laws and Incentives

Listed below are the summaries of all current Washington laws, incentives, regulations, funding opportunities, and other initiatives related to alternative fuels and vehicles, advanced technologies, or air quality. You can go directly to summaries of:

State Incentives

Alternative Fueling Infrastructure Grant Program

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) offers competitive grants to strengthen and expand the West Coast Electric Highway network by deploying electric vehicle supply equipment with Level 2 and direct current (DC) fast chargers and hydrogen fueling infrastructure along highway corridors in Washington. Eligible project costs include siting, equipment purchases, electrical upgrades, installation, operations, and maintenance. For more information, including funding availability and application periods, see the WSDOT Innovative Partnerships - Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure website. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 47.04.350)

Alternative Fuel Commercial Vehicle and Fueling Infrastructure Tax Credit

Businesses are eligible to receive tax credits for purchasing new alternative fuel commercial vehicles and installing alternative fueling infrastructure. Eligible alternative fuels are natural gas, propane, hydrogen, dimethyl ether, and electricity. Tax credits for qualified alternative fueling infrastructure are for up to 50% of the cost to purchase and install the infrastructure. Commercial vehicle tax credit amounts vary based on gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and are up to 75% of the incremental cost, with maximum credit values as follows:

GVWRMaximum Credit Amount Per Vehicle
Up to 14,000 pounds (lbs.)$25,000
14,001 to 26,500 lbs.$50,000
Over 26,500 lbs.$100,000

This exemption also applies to qualified used vehicles modified with a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-certified aftermarket conversion, as long as the vehicle is being sold for the first time after modification. Modified vehicles are eligible for credits equal to 30% of the commercial vehicle conversion cost, up to $25,000.

Each entity may claim up to $250,000 or credits for 25 vehicles per year. Credits may be earned between January 1, 2016, and January 1, 2021. All credits earned must be used in that calendar year or the subsequent year. Tax credits are available on a first-in-time basis and are subject to annual limits of $2 million for vehicle credits, and $6 million for infrastructure.

(Reference Revised Code of Washington 82.16.0496 and 82.04.4496)

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) Infrastructure and Battery Tax

Public lands used for installing, maintaining, and operating PEV infrastructure are exempt from leasehold excise taxes. Additionally, the state sales and use taxes do not apply to PEV and FCEV batteries or fuel cells; labor and services for installing, repairing, altering, or improving PEV and FCEV batteries or fuel cells and PEV and hydrogen fueling infrastructure; the sale of property used for PEV and hydrogen fueling infrastructure, and the sale of zero emission buses. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 82.29A.125, 82.08.816, and 82.12.816)

Utility Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Return on Investment Authorization

Utilities may petition the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) for a rate of return on EVSE installed for the benefit of ratepayers through December 31, 2030. The UTC may approve an additional 2% to the standard rate of return if the utility installs EVSE on a fully regulated basis similar to other capital investments behind a customer's meter, and the expenditures do not increase ratepayer costs more than 0.25%. EVSE are subject to a depreciation schedule and may be gifted to the customer when fully depreciated. The UTC issued a report on the use and impacts of the incentive on December 1, 2017. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 80.28.360)

Green Transportation Grant Program

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will establish a green transportation capital grant program to fund projects to reduce the carbon intensity of the Washington transportation system, including fleet electrification, modification or replacement of facilities to facilitate fleet electrification and hydrogen fueling, upgrades to electrical transmission and distribution systems, and construction of charging and fueling infrastructure. In order to receive funding for a project, a transit authority must provide matching funding for that project that is at least equal to 20% of the total cost of the project. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 47.66.120)

Retail Sales and Use Tax Exemption

The retail sales and state use tax of 6.5% does not apply to the sale or lease of new or used passenger vehicles, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles that are exclusively powered by an alternative vehicle fuel or are capable of running solely on electricity for at least 30 miles. Eligible alternative fuels are natural gas, propane, hydrogen, and electricity. Vehicles must not have a selling price plus trade-in property value that exceeds $45,000 for new vehicles and $30,000 for used vehicles. The maximum eligible amount for used purchased or leased vehicles is $16,000. The maximum eligible amounts for new purchased or leased vehicles are as follows:

YearMaximum Amount
Through July 31, 2021$25,000
August 1, 2021 - July 31 2023$20,000
August 1, 2023 - July 31 2025$15,000

For more information, see the Renewable Energy/Green Incentives section of Washington Department of Revenue's Incentives Programs website.

(Reference Revised Code of Washington 82.12.9999)

Natural Gas Tax Exemptions

Compressed, liquefied, and renewable natural gas used as a transportation fuel are exempt from public utility taxes. In addition, natural gas distribution businesses are eligible for an exemption for machinery and equipment used for the production of natural gas for transportation fuel. This exemption is available quarterly as a remittance. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 82.08.02565 and 82.16.310)

Biodiesel Feedstock Tax Exemption

Waste vegetable oil, specifically cooking oil gathered from restaurants or commercial food processors, used by an individual to produce biodiesel for personal use is exempt from state sales and use taxes. The purchaser must provide the seller with an exemption certificate from the Washington Department of Revenue. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 82.08.0205 and 82.12.0205)

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Emissions Inspection Exemption

AFVs powered exclusively by electric, natural gas, and propane vehicles are exempt from state emissions control inspections. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles that obtain a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy rating of at least 50 miles per gallon during city driving are also exempt from these inspections. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 46.16A.060)

Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging Regulation Exemption

An entity that offers electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) to the public for hire may not have their rates, services, facilities or practices regulated by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (Commission). The exemption does not apply if the entity is otherwise subject to Commission jurisdiction as an electrical company, or if an entity's battery charging facilities and services are subsidized by any regulated service. A utility may offer battery charging facilities as a regulated service, subject to Commission approval. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 80.28.320)

Idle Reduction Weight Exemption

A motor vehicle equipped with a fully functional idle reduction system designed to reduce fuel use and emissions from engine idling may exceed the state maximum weight limitations by up to 550 pounds to compensate for the added weight of the idle reduction technology. The vehicle operator must provide written certification of the weight of the technology and demonstrate the technology is fully functional. (Reference Washington Administrative Code 468-38-073)

Utility/Private Incentives

Non-Residential Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Grants - Pacific Power

Pacific Power offers non-residential customers quarterly grants for up to 100% of eligible purchase and installation costs of EVSE. Twenty-five percent of funds will be earmarked for workplace charging and fleet electrification projects. Additional requirements may apply. For more information, including application timelines, visit the Pacific Power Charging Station Grants website.

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging Study Incentive - Tacoma Public Utility (TPU)

TPU is conducting a study to understand the charging patterns for residential PEVs. In exchange for completion of surveys about PEV charging and use, TPU customers may be eligible for an up to $250 incentive per year. Eligible residential customers must own or lease a PEV and own their own charging equipment. For more information, see the TPU EV Charging Study website.

Laws and Regulations

Volkswagen (VW) Settlement Allocation

The Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) will work with the Office of the Governor and state agencies to select projects and distribute funding to leverage 15% of Washington's portion of the VW Environmental Mitigation Trust for the acquisition, installation, operation, and maintenance of light-duty zero-emission vehicle charging infrastructure.

Ecology will establish a competitive process to identify and select projects to fund with the remaining 85% of the appropriation to maximize total air pollution reduction and health benefits, improve air quality in areas disproportionately affected by air pollution, leverage additional matching funds, achieve substantial emission reduction beyond what would occur absent the funding, accelerate fleet turnover to the cleanest engines, and accelerate adoption of electric vehicles, equipment, and vessels. As appropriate, Ecology will work with state agencies to select projects and distribute funding. For more information, see the Ecology VW Enforcement Action website.

Support for Autonomous Vehicles (AVs)

The Office of the Governor established a work group to assess the state government's role in cultivating the safe development of AVs. The group will collaborate with industry representatives, stakeholders, and government representatives, to request updates on AV pilot programs and inform proposed changes to policies, rules, and statutes within the state. (Reference Executive Order 17-02, 2017)

Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Testing Requirements

Starting October 1, 2021, a self-certifying entity may test AV on any public roadway under the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) AV self-certification testing pilot program. The following information must be provided by the self-certifying entity testing the AV:

  • Contact information specified by the DOL;
  • Local jurisdictions where testing is planned;
  • The AV identification numbers; and
  • Proof of an insurance policy in an amount not less than $5 million dollars per occurrence.
The entity testing the AV on any public roadway must notify the DOL of any collisions or moving violations and submit a report by February 1 of each year, covering reportable events from the prior calendar year. In advance of testing, the entity must provide written notice to applicable local and state law enforcement agencies that includes the expected testing time period. Additional terms and conditions apply.

(Reference House Bill 2676, 2020, and Revised Code of Washington 46.30.001)

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging Signage and Parking Regulations

A PEV charging station must be indicated by vertical signage that properly identifies the station and indicates that it is only for PEV charging. The signage must be consistent with the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, and the station must be indicated by green pavement markings. A PEV charging station is defined as a public or private parking space that is served by charging equipment with the primary purpose of transferring electric energy to a battery or other energy storage device in a PEV. Any person who parks a vehicle in a PEV charging station parking space and does not connect to the equipment is subject to a fine of $124. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 46.08.185)

Mandatory Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Building Standards

By July 1, 2021, the Washington State Building Code Council must adopt rules for EVSE installation at all new buildings that provide on-site parking. At least one parking space, or 10% of parking spaces rounded to the next whole number, must be made-ready for Level 2 EVSE. Electrical capacity must accommodate the potential to serve a minimum of 20% of the total parking spaces with Level 2 EVSE. For assembly, education, or mercantile buildings, the requirements apply only to employee parking spaces. Buildings classified as residential R-3, utility, or miscellaneous are exempt from these requirements. Additional terms and conditions apply. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 19.27.540)

Utility Electric Transportation Plan Authorization

The governing authority or commission of an electric utility may adopt an electric transportation plan that proves that utility outreach and investment in the electrification of transportation infrastructure does not increase net costs to ratepayers in excess of 0.025%. The governing authority or commission may consider items such as the impact of electrification on the utilities load, demand response and load management opportunities, system reliability and distribution system efficiencies, and interoperability concerns. Upon making this determination, electric utilities may offer incentive programs for customers. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 35.92.450)

Renewable Fuel Standard

At least 2% of all diesel fuel sold in Washington must be biodiesel or renewable diesel. This requirement will increase to 5% 180 days after the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) determines that in-state feedstocks and oil-seed crushing capacity can meet a 3% requirement. Renewable diesel is defined as a diesel fuel substitute produced from non-petroleum renewable sources, including vegetable oils and animal fats, meets the federal registration requirements for fuels and fuel additives and ASTM specification D975.

At least 2% of the total gasoline sold in the state must be denatured ethanol. The ethanol requirement increase if the Washington Department of Ecology determines that this increase will not jeopardize continued attainment of federal Clean Air Act standards, and WSDA determines that the state can economically support the production of higher ethanol blends.

All state agencies with jurisdiction over renewable fuel infrastructure, specifically storage, blending, and dispensing equipment, are required to expedite related application and permitting processes. The governor may suspend these requirements by Executive Order if the standard is temporarily technically or economically infeasible, or poses a significant risk to public safety.

(Reference Revised Code of Washington 19.112.010 and 19.112.110 -19.112.180)

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Promotion and Infrastructure Development

Any regional transportation planning organization containing a county with a population greater than one million must collaborate with state and local governments to promote PEV use, invest in PEV charging infrastructure, and seek federal or private funding for these efforts. Collaborative planning efforts may include:

  • Developing short- and long-term plans outlining how state, regional, and local governments may construct electric vehicle supply equipment locations and ensure that the infrastructure can be electrically supported;
  • Supporting public education and training programs on PEVs;
  • Developing an implementation plan for counties with a population greater than 500,000 to have 10% of public and private parking spaces ready for PEV charging by December 31, 2018; and
  • Developing model ordinances and guidance for local governments for site assessment and installing PEV infrastructure.
(Reference Revised Code of Washington 47.80.090)

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging Infrastructure Availability

Publicly and privately owned PEVs may charge at state office locations if the vehicles are used for state business, conducting business with the state, or as commuter vehicles. Additionally, contingent upon funding, the state must install electrical outlets suitable for charging PEVs in each of the state's fleet parking and maintenance facilities as well as every state-operated highway rest stop. The Washington Department of Enterprise Services may report to the governor and the legislature on the amount of electricity consumed and the number of PEVs using state-owned charging equipment if it represents a significant cost to the state. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 43.01.250, 43.19.648, and 47.38.075)

Electric Drive Vehicle Fee

Plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) owners must pay an annual fee of $150 in addition to standard registration fees. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles with an all-electric range of at least 30 miles are subject to a fee of $75. Beginning October 1, 2019, hybrid electric vehicles are subject to a $75 hybrid vehicle fee. Fees will contribute to the state's Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Bank to deploy charging stations through public-private partnerships. (Reference House Bill 2042, 2019, and Revised Code of Washington 46.17.323)

Local Government Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) Infrastructure Requirements

Jurisdictions must develop regulations to allow the use of PEV infrastructure and battery charging stations in all areas except critical areas or areas zoned for residential or resource use. The Washington Department of Commerce included a model ordinance, development regulations, and guidance for local governments for site assessment and installing PEV infrastructure in Electric Vehicle Infrastructure: A Guide for Local Governments in Washington State. This requirement applies to jurisdictions that meet specific location criteria and is contingent upon federal funding. Additionally, cities or municipalities may adopt incentive programs to encourage retrofitting of existing structures capable of charging PEVs. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 35.63.126, 35.63.127, 35A.63.107, 36.70.695, 36.70A.695, and 43.31.970)

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) and Battery Exchange Station Regulations

State and local governments may lease land for installing, maintaining, and operating EVSE or electric vehicle battery exchange stations for up to 50 years for at least $1 per year. Additionally, the installation of battery charging and exchange stations is categorically exempt from the Washington Environmental Policy Act. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 79.13.100 and 43.21C.410)

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Car Share Pilot Program

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will develop a pilot program to provide AFV use opportunities to underserved and low-income communities and to those without easy access to transportation corridors. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 47.04.355)

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Road User Assessment System Pilot

The Washington Transportation Commission (Commission) studied the feasibility of transitioning from a fuel tax to a road user assessment system in the state. In 2012, the Commission conducted a limited scope pilot project to test the feasibility of this new system as it applies to PEVs. For the results of this evaluation, see the Washington State Department of Transportation report. The Commission began a year-long pilot project in fall 2017. On January 13, 2020, the Commission submitted a report of findings and recommendations to the governor, state legislature, and the U.S. Department of Transportation. The governor and state legislature will decide if a road usage charge will be implemented. For more information, see the Commission Road Usage Charge Assessment website.

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Technical Assistance and Education Program

The Washington State University (WSU) Energy Program must establish and administer a technical assistance and education program on the use of AFVs for public agencies, including state and local governments. For more information, visit the WSU Energy Program Green Transportation Program website. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 28B.30.903)

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Infrastructure Definitions

PEV infrastructure is defined as structures, machinery, and equipment necessary and integral to support a PEV, including battery charging stations, rapid charging stations, and battery exchange stations. A battery charging station is defined as an electrical component assembly or cluster of component assemblies designed specifically to charge batteries within a PEV. A rapid charging station is defined as an industrial grade electrical outlet that allows for faster recharging of PEV batteries through higher power levels. A battery exchange station is defined as a fully automated facility that will enable a PEV with a swappable battery to enter a drive lane and exchange the depleted battery with a fully charged battery through a fully automated process. Infrastructure must meet or exceed any applicable state building standards, codes, and regulations. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 19.28.281 and 47.80.090)

Biofuel Blend Dispenser Labeling Requirement

Pumps dispensing ethanol or biodiesel blends must have a label that specifies the percentage of ethanol or biodiesel present in the fuel. Ethanol pumps distributing between 1% and 10% must include a label stating that the fuel "contains up to 10% ethanol" and those distributing blends greater than 10% must be labeled with the capital letter E, followed by the numerical value volume of ethanol and the word "ethanol." Pumps dispensing biodiesel blends of 5% (B5) or less must include a label stating that the fuel "may contain up to five percent biodiesel" and those distributing blends greater than 5% must be labeled with the capital letter B, followed by the numerical value volume of biodiesel and the words "biodiesel" or "biodiesel blend." (Reference Revised Code of Washington 19.112.020, and Washington Administrative Code 16-662-115)

Biofuel Quality Program

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) Biofuels Quality Program tests and assesses biofuel quality and quantity to resolve any quality issues before the product reaches the consumer. WSDA samples biofuel throughout the state, monitors and tracks the quality of biofuel, and works with producers and manufacturers to help supply the highest biofuel quality fuel available to consumers. The goal of the program is to create equity in the biofuel marketplace for refiners, suppliers, distributors, and retailers, and protect consumers. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 19.112.005 -119.112.080)

E85 Definition

E85 motor fuel is defined as an alternative fuel that is a blend of ethanol and hydrocarbon, of which the ethanol portion is 75-85% denatured fuel ethanol by volume and complies with the most current ASTM specification D5798. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 19.112.010)

Biodiesel Definition

Biodiesel fuel is defined as a monoalkyl ester of long chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oils or animal fats for use in compression-ignition engines and meets the requirements of the ASTM specification D6751. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 19.112.010 and 43.19.643)

Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Deployment Support

California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington (signatory states) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to support the deployment of medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs through involvement in a Multi-State ZEV Task Force (Task Force).

By January 2021, the Task Force will develop a multi-state action plan to support electrification of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The Task Force will consider actions to accomplish the goals of the MOU, including limiting all new medium- and heavy-duty vehicles sales in the signatory states to ZEVs by 2050. The signatory states will also seek to accelerate the deployment of medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs to benefit disadvantaged communities and explore opportunities to coordinate and partner with key stakeholders.

For more information, see the Multi-State Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle MOU.

Biodiesel Storage Regulations

Underground storage tank (UST) regulations apply to all biodiesel blends with the exception of 100% biodiesel (B100). If a UST owner increases the percentage of biofuel in a petroleum UST, they must prove that all UST materials are compatible with that product. UST owners must submit an Alternative Fuel Installation or Conversion Checklist when the percentage of ethanol in gasoline is greater than 10% or the biodiesel percentage in diesel is greater than 20%. For more information, see the Department's Biodiesel in Underground Storage Tanks fact sheet. (Reference Washington Administrative Code 173-360)

Point of Contact
Annette Ademasu
Underground Storage Tank Inspector
Washington Department of Ecology
Phone: (425) 649-7189
annette.ademasu@ecy.wa.gov

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Sales Requirements and Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Standards

Washington adopted the California motor vehicle emissions and compliance requirements specified in Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations. The Washington Department of Ecology adopted rules to implement these emissions standards for passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles, known as the Clean Car Law. For more information, see the Washington Clean Car Standards website. (Reference Senate Bill 5811, 2020, and Revised Code of Washington 70.120A.010 and 70.120A.020 and Washington Administrative Code 173-423-010 - 173-423-150)

Alternative Fuel Vehicle Labeling Requirement

Every alternative fuel automobile, truck, motorcycle, motor home, or off-road vehicle must bear a reflective placard from the National Fire Protection Association indicating that the vehicle is powered by an alternative fuel. Alternative fuels include propane and natural gas. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 46.37.467)

Alternative Fuel Vehicle Annual Fee

Owners of natural gas vehicles (NGVs) and propane powered vehicles are required to pay an annual license fee, based on gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), instead of motor fuel excise taxes. The fee is calculated as follows:

GVWRFee
Less than 10,000 pounds (lbs.)$45
10,001 - 18,000 lbs.$80
18,001 - 28,000 lbs.$110
28,001 - 36,000 lbs.$150
More than 36,000 lbs.$250

To determine the actual annual license fee imposed per registration year, multiply the appropriate dollar amount given in the above schedule by the motor vehicle fuel tax rate in cents per gallon effective on July 1 of the preceding calendar year, and divide the resulting amount by $0.12. There is an additional $5 handling fee for each license issued.

(Reference Revised Code of Washington 82.38.075)

Medium-Speed and Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) Definition and Access to Roadways

NEVs and medium-speed electric vehicles are defined as self-propelled, electrically powered four-wheeled motor vehicles. NEVs may reach speeds of at least 20 miles per hour (mph) but not more than 25 mph. Medium-speed electric vehicles may reach speeds of at least 25 mph but not more than 35 mph. NEVs and medium-speed electric vehicles must be in compliance with the national safety standards in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 571.500. NEVs are permitted on roads having speed limits of up to 35 mph. Medium-speed electric vehicles are permitted on roads having speed limits of up to 45 mph in counties consisting of islands that are only connected to the mainland by ferry routes. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 46.04.295, 46.04.357, 46.61.723, and 46.61.725)

Biodiesel Use Requirement

At least 20% of all diesel fuel used to fuel state agency vehicles, vessels, and construction equipment must be biodiesel. The Washington Department of Enterprise Services (WDES) must assist state agencies by coordinating the purchase and delivery of biodiesel if requested, using long-term contracts if necessary, to secure a sufficient and stable supply of biodiesel. For state agencies complying with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) mandate, at least 2% biodiesel (B2) must be used as an additive to ULSD for lubricity, provided that the use of a lubricity additive is appropriate and that performance and cost are comparable with other available lubricity additives. All agencies using biodiesel must submit annual consumption reports to WDES. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 43.19.642 and 43.19.646)

Alternative Fuel Use Requirement

All state agencies must, to the extent practicable, use 100% biofuels or electricity to operate all publicly owned vehicles. Agencies must prioritize all-electric vehicles (EVs) when leasing or purchasing new vehicles, and all trips that may feasibly use EVs must employ them. For vehicle classes without EV model options, agencies must prioritize the most cost-efficient, low-emission vehicle option available. Agencies may substitute natural gas or propane for electricity or biofuel if the Washington State Department of Commerce (Department) determines that electricity and biofuel are not reasonably available. Practicability and measures of compliance are defined in rules adopted by the Department. The governor has established a cross-agency Governing Council, which must adopt and implement standards, measures, targets, and tools to support agencies in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and prioritizing EV adoption.

In addition, all local government agencies must, to the extent practicable, use 100% biofuels or electricity to operate all publicly owned vehicles. Transit agencies using compressed natural gas and engine retrofits that would void vehicle warranties are exempt from this requirement. To allow the motor vehicle fuel needs of state and local government to be satisfied by Washington-produced biofuels, the Washington Department of Enterprise Services and local governments may contract in advance and execute contracts with public or private producers and suppliers for the purchase of appropriate biofuels. Agencies may substitute natural gas or propane in vehicles if the Department determines that biofuels and electricity are not reasonably available. Practicability and measures of compliance are defined in rules adopted by the Department.

(Reference Executive Order 18-01, 2018, Washington Administrative Code 194-28 and 194-29, and Revised Code of Washington 43.19.647 and 43.19.648)

State Vehicle Low Rolling Resistance Tire Requirement

Except for cars operated by the state patrol, Washington state agencies replacing the tires on their vehicles must use tires with the same or better rolling resistance as the original tires. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 43.19.648)

Low Carbon Fuel and Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Acquisition Requirement

Washington state agencies must consider purchasing low carbon fuel vehicles or converting conventional vehicles to use low carbon fuels when financially comparable over the vehicle's useful life. Low carbon fuels include hydrogen, biomethane, electricity, or natural gas blends of at least 90%. State agencies must achieve an average fuel economy of 36 miles per gallon (mpg) for passenger vehicle fleets in motor pools and leased conventional vehicles. State agencies must also purchase low carbon fuel vehicles or, when purchasing new conventional vehicles, achieve an average fuel economy of 40 mpg for light-duty passenger vehicles and 27 mpg for light-duty vans and sport utility vehicles. When calculating average fuel economy, emergency response vehicles, passenger vans with a gross vehicle weight rating of 8,500 pounds or greater, off-road vehicles, low carbon fuel vehicles, and vehicles driven less than 2,000 miles per year are excluded. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 43.19.622)

Biofuels Production and Distribution Contracts

Conservation districts, public development authorities, municipal utilities, and public utility districts may enter into crop purchase contracts to produce, sell, and distribute biodiesel produced from Washington feedstocks, cellulosic ethanol, and cellulosic ethanol blended fuels for utility and public use. Additionally, municipal utilities and public utility districts may produce and distribute biodiesel, ethanol, and ethanol blended fuels. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 35.21.465, 35.92.440, 54.04.190, and 89.08.570)

Renewable Natural Gas and Renewable Hydrogen Fuel Sales Regulations

Public utility districts are authorized to sell renewable natural gas and renewable hydrogen to facilities that condense or dispense natural gas or renewable hydrogen for use as a motor fuel. Renewable natural gas is defined as methane gas or other hydrocarbons derived from organic materials. Renewable hydrogen is defined as hydrogen produced using renewable resources as the source of the hydrogen and the source for the energy input into the production process. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 54.04.190)

State Emissions Reductions Requirements

Washington State must limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to achieve the following reductions:

  • By 2020, reduce overall GHG emissions in the state to 1990 levels;
  • By 2035, reduce overall GHG emissions in the state to 25% below 1990 levels; and
  • By 2050, reduce overall emissions to 50% below 1990 levels or 70% below the state's expected emissions that year.
Every other year, the Washington Departments of Ecology and Commerce must report to the governor and legislature on the total GHG emissions in the state for the previous two years. For more information, see the Washington Department of Ecology Climate Change and the Environment website.

(Reference Revised Code of Washington 70.235.020)