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

Washington's National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Planning

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) NEVI Formula Program requires the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to submit an annual EV Infrastructure Deployment Plan (Plan) to the DOT and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (Joint Office), describing how the state intends to distribute NEVI funds. The submitted plans must be established according to NEVI guidance.

For more information about Washington’s NEVI planning process, see the WSDOT Plan website. To review Washington’s NEVI plan, see the Joint Office State Plans for EV Charging website.

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 Level 2 and direct current fast charging (DCFC) electric vehicle (EV) 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 Zero Emission Vehicle Grants website.

(Reference Revised Code of Washington 47.04.350)

Commercial Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) and Fueling Infrastructure Tax Credit

Businesses are eligible to receive tax credits for purchasing new or used medium- and heavy-duty AFVs and medium- and heavy-duty vehicles converted to alternative fuels, 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. New 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:

GVWR Maximum 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

Leased AFVs may receive a tax credit for 75% cost, up to $25,000 per vehicle. This exemption also applies to qualified used vehicles modified with a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-certified aftermarket conversion, if the vehicle is being sold for the first time after modification. Modified vehicles are eligible for credits equal to 50% 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. All credits earned must be used in that calendar year or the subsequent year. Tax credits are available on a first-come, first-served 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)

Electric Vehicle (EV) and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) Infrastructure and Battery Tax Credit

Public lands used for installing, maintaining, and operating EV chargers are exempt from leasehold excise taxes. Additionally, the state sales and use taxes do not apply to EV and FCEV batteries or fuel cells; labor and services for installing, repairing, altering, or improving EV and FCEV batteries fuel cells, or EV and FCEV infrastructure; the sale of property used for EV 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)

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Carshare Grant

The Zero-emissions Access Program (ZAP), administered by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), offers grants to nonprofit organizations and local governments to design and create a ZEV carshare program in underserved and low-to moderate-income communities. Grant awards may range from $50,000 to $200,000. Eligible projects include:

  • Contract, lease, or purchase of ZEVs;
  • Construction or installation of correlated charging station or refueling infrastructure; and,
  • Operational costs to develop, implement, and manage a car share program.

Applicants must provide matching funds as direct contributions or gifts-in-kind for at least 10% of the total cost of the project. Additional eligibility requirements may apply. For more information, including eligible communities and program dates, see the WSDOT ZEV Grants website.

(Reference Revised Code of Washington 47.04.355)

Utility Electrification Plans and Return on Investment Authorization

Utilities are authorized to submit transportation electrification plans that deploy electric vehicle (EV) charging stations or programs and incentives that support transportation electrification. Additionally, utilities may petition the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) for a rate of return on EV charging station 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 EV charging stations 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%. EV charging stations 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 in 2017.

(Reference Revised Code of Washington 80.28.360)

Green Transportation Grant Program

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) offers grants for projects that 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 constructing of charging and fueling infrastructure. To be eligible, a transit authority must provide matching funding of at least 20% of the total cost of the project. Priority will be given to projects that serve overburdened communities and underserved populations. For more information, including funding availability and program dates, see the WSDOT Green Transportation Capital Grants website.

(Reference Revised Code of Washington 47.66.120 and House Bill 1125, 2023)

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Retail Sales and Use Tax Exemption

The sale or lease of new or used passenger vehicles, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger AFVs is exempt from the state retail sales and use tax. Eligible AFVs include those powered by natural gas, propane, hydrogen, or electricity. To be eligible, new vehicles may not be valued above $45,000 and used vehicles may not be valued above $30,000. The tax exemption may apply to all or a portion of the vehicle’s value. The maximum eligible amount for used purchased or leased vehicles is $16,000. The Maximum exemption amounts for vehicles are as follows:

Purchase or Lease Year Maximum New Vehicle Price Eligible for Exemption Maximum Leased Vehicle Price Eligible for Exemption
August 1, 2021 - July 31, 2023 $20,000 $16,000
August 1, 2023 - July 31, 2025 $15,000 $16,000

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)

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) Tax Exemption

Beginning July 1, 2022, 50% of the retail sales and state use tax does not apply to the sale or lease of the first 650 purchases of new passenger vehicles, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles powered by fuel cells. The maximum value amount eligible for the tax exemption is the less of $16,000 or the fair market value of the vehicle. Additionally, all used FCEV sales and leases are exempt from the retail and state use tax. The FCEV exemption may not be combined with the Retail Sales and Use tax Exemption.

(Reference Revised Code of Washington 82.08.993 and 82.12.817)

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 to produce 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, liquefied petroleum 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)

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

Propane Vehicle Rebate – Pacific Propane Gas Association (PPGA)

PPGA offers commercial customers a rebate of $1,500 for the purchase of a new propane vehicle or propane conversion. Rebates are available until December 31, 2023, on a first-come, first-served basis. Eligible vehicles must be purchased in 2023. For more information, see the PPGA Pacific Runs on Propane website.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Time-Of-Use (TOU) Rate – Pacific Power

Pacific Power offers residential, commercial, and irrigation customers a TOU rate for charging EVs. For more information, including pricing and eligibility, visit the Pacific Power TOU website.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Rebate – Tacoma Public Utility (TPU)

TPU offers residential customers a $400 rebate, in the form of bill credit, for the installation of a Level 2 EV charging station, a smart splitter, or a 240-volt outlet. Applicants may receive one rebate per installation, up to $600 total. For more information, see the TPU EV Charging website.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Rebates – Tacoma Public Utility (TPU)

TPU offers rebates for the installation of Level 2 EV charging stations at multifamily dwellings and businesses located in the City of Tacoma. Rebate amounts for the first two EV charging station ports are available in the following amounts:

Applicant Type Standard Rebate Amount Rebate for Historically Underinvested Communities
Business 60% of project costs, up to $12,000 80% of project costs, up to $16,000
Multifamily Dwelling 80% of project costs, up to $16,000 100% of project costs, up to $20,000

A rebate of up to $2,000 is available for every additional EV charging station port installed. Applicants may also receive a rebate for 100% of utility infrastructure upgrade costs, up to $25,000, to increase grid reliability. For more information, including funding terms and waitlist availability, see the TPU Public Electric Vehicle Charging and Multifamily Dwelling EV Charging websites.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Rebate – Clark Public Utilities (CPU)

CPU offers customers rebates for the purchase and installation of Level 2 EV charging station. Rebates are available in the following amounts:

Eligible Customers EV Charging Station Type Rebate Amount
Residential Non-ENERGY STAR certified; not Wi-Fi enabled $100
Residential Mobile connector for 240V outlet $100
Residential, Commercial, and Industrial ENERGY STAR certified; Wi-Fi enabled $500

For more information, including funding availability, see the CPU Residential Electric Vehicle website and the CPU Commercial and Industrial Electric Vehicle website.

Residential Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Rebate - Snohomish Public Utility District (PUD)

Snohomish PUD offers residential customers a $350 rebate for the purchase and installation of qualified Level 2 EV charging station. For more information, see the Snohomish PUD EV website.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Rebate – Snohomish Public Utility District (PUD)

Snohomish PUD offers residential customers a $200 rebate, in the form of a bill credit, for the purchase or lease of a new or used EV. For more information, see the Snohomish PUD EV website.

Used Electric Vehicle (EV) Rebate – Clark Public Utilities (CPU)

CPU offers low-income residential customers a rebate of up to $2,000 for the purchase of a used EV. EVs purchase price may not exceed $20,000 and must be registered in Clark County. For more information, see the CPU Electric Vehicle Program website.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Support

Washington utilities joined the National Electric Highway Coalition (NEHC), committing to create a network of direct current fast charging (DCFC) charging stations connecting major highway systems from the Atlantic Coast to the Pacific of the United States. NEHC utility members agree to ensure efficient and effective fast charging deployment plans that enable long distance EV travel, avoiding duplication among coalition utilities, and complement existing corridor DCFC sites. For more information, including a list of participating utilities and states, see the NEHC website.

Laws and Regulations

Fleet Electric Vehicle (EV) Procurement Requirements

State executive and small-cabinet agency fleets must procure EVs to replace light-, medium-, and heavy- duty internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles once they reach the end of their useful life. Fleets must achieve the following procurement requirements:

Percentage of Procured Vehicles that Must be EVs
Year Light Duty Medium Duty Heavy Duty
2025 40% No Requirement No Requirement
2030 75% 30% 50%
2035 100% 55% 75%
2040 100% 100% 100%
When EVs are not available for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, fleets must prioritize the lowest-emission, cost-effective option available, and may procure plug-in hybrid vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles.

(Reference Executive Order 21-04, 2021)

Public Utility Definition

An entity that offers electric vehicle supply equipment 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)

Low Carbon Fuel Standard

The Washington Department of Ecology will develop rules to establish a Clean Fuels Program (Program) that reduces the overall carbon intensity of transportation fuels used in the state by 20% below 2017 levels by 2038. The Program standards must be based on the carbon intensity of gasoline, gasoline substitutes, diesel, and diesel substitutes. The Program must go into effect no later than January 1, 2023.

(Reference Revised Code of Washington 70A.535.005-70A.535.140)

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.

Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) Support

The Department of Commerce must develop and maintain a publicly available mapping and forecasting tool that locates and provides information on electric vehicle charging and refueling infrastructure. Electric utilities with more than 25,000 customers must analyze how their resource plans support and account for anticipated levels of ZEV use, relevant infrastructure forecasts and associated energy impacts, and information from the utilities’ transportation electrification plans.

(Reference Revised Code of Washington 19.280.030)

Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Testing Requirements

Starting October 1, 2021, a self-certifying entity may test AVs on any public roadway under the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) AVs 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 Revised Code of Washington 46.30.050 and 46.92.010)

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) and Infrastructure Manufacturing Siting and Permitting Support

The Interagency Clean Energy Siting Council (Council) supports siting and permitting of new clean energy projects, including ZEV, electric vehicle charging infrastructure and equipment, and hydrogen fueling equipment manufacturing facilities. The Council must identify opportunities to improve siting and permitting of clean energy projects and may establish working groups and advisory committees to inform the development of new siting and permitting approaches. Beginning October 1, 2024, the Council must publish an annual report of their activities and recommendations.

(Reference House Bill 1216, 2023)

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Signage and Parking Regulations

A public EV charging station is defined as a public parking space that is served by charging equipment. Public EV charging stations must have vertical signage that identifies the station and indicates that it is only for EV charging. The signage must be consistent with the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

By 2023, all public EV charging stations must also display all charges and fees associated with operation. Any person who parks a vehicle in a public EV charging station parking space and does not connect to the equipment is subject to a fine of $124.

By 2023, the Department of Agriculture must adopt rules requiring electric vehicle service providers (EVSP) to meet interoperability standards and offer multiple payment methods at public EV charging stations. EVSPs must report inventory and payment information to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory annually. Charging stations installed before January 1, 2024, are exempt from the rules until January 1, 2034.

(Reference Revised Code of Washington 46.08.185 and 19.94)

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Fees

EV charging station ports are subject to the following annual registration fees:

  • $20 per Level 2 port
  • $40 per direct current fast charging (DCFC) port
The Department of Agriculture may adopt additional registration fees and consider differential fees for electric vehicle service providers operating less than 25 public EV charging stations in Washington.

EV charging stations found to be an economic detriment to the customer may be subject to a $200 penalty for the first violation, and $500 penalty for the second violation.

(Reference Revised Code of Washington 19.94.175 and 19.94.517)

Hydrogen Distribution, Production, and Sale Authorization

Government entities or transit authorities that provide public transportation are authorized to produce, distribute, sell, and use green electrolytic hydrogen and renewable hydrogen. 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. Green electrolytic hydrogen is defined as hydrogen produced through electrolysis, which does not include hydrogen produced from a fossil fuel feedstock. Additional requirements apply.

(Reference House Bill 1236, 2023 and Revised Code of Washington 36.57A, 36.56, 35.92, 36.57, 81.112, 81.104)

Mandatory Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Building Standards

At least one parking space, or 10% of parking spaces rounded to the next whole number, must be made-ready for Level 2 EV charging stations at all new buildings. Electrical capacity must accommodate the potential to serve a minimum of 20% of the total parking spaces with Level 2 EV charging stations. For assembly, education, or mercantile buildings, the requirements apply only to employee parking spaces. Buildings classified as utility or miscellaneous and some residential buildings are exempt from these requirements. Additional terms and conditions apply.

(Reference Revised Code of Washington 51-50-0429)

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 increases 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)

Electric Vehicle (EV) 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 EV use, invest in EV 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 EVs;
  • Developing an implementation plan for counties with a population greater than 500,000 to have 10% of public and private parking spaces ready for EV charging by December 31, 2018; and
  • Developing model ordinances and guidance for local governments for site assessment and installing EV infrastructure.

(Reference Revised Code of Washington 47.80.090)

State Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Infrastructure Availability

Publicly and privately owned EVs 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 EVs 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 EVs 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 Vehicle (EV) Fee

Owners of all-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles with an all-electric range of at least 30 miles must pay an annual registration fee of $150 and a $75 transportation electrification fee in addition to standard vehicle fees. The transportation electrification fee contributes to state programs supporting the adoption of EVs and deployment of EV charging infrastructure. Hybrid electric vehicles and electric motorcycles are also subject to an additional annual fee of $75 and $30, respectively.

(Reference Revised Code of Washington 46.17.323-324)

Local Government Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Requirements

Jurisdictions must develop regulations to allow the use of EV 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 EV 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 EVs.

(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 (EV) and Battery Exchange Station Regulations

State and local governments may lease land for installing, maintaining, and operating EV charging stations 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)

Electric Vehicle (EV) 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 EVs and published outcomes in a 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 state legislature directed the Commission to further study aspects of the road usage charge program, including:

  • The impact of a road usage charge, incentives, and other factors on consumer purchase of EVs and conduct a test with drivers to assess impacts;
  • Delivery vehicle fleets and how a road usage charge may be applied, identify potential impacts to fleet operations and costs, state department of transportation revenues, and conduct a pilot test;
  • The process for changing vehicle ownership and determine the possible implications and identify the process needed for reconciling a road usage charge owed between sellers and purchases of used vehicles; and,
  • Opportunities for achieving large-scale data integration to support road usage charge service provisions that could be offered by private-sector service providers and conduct pilot tests to determine the ability of services to support automatic mileage reporting and periodic payments services.

For more information, see the Commission Road Usage Charge Assessment website.

(Reference Senate Bill 5689, 2022)

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)

Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Definitions

EV infrastructure is defined as structures, machinery, and equipment necessary and integral to support a EV, 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 EV. A rapid charging station is defined as an industrial grade electrical outlet that allows for faster recharging of EV batteries through higher power levels. A battery exchange station is defined as a fully automated facility that will enable a EV 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 19.27.540, 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 Washington Administrative Code 16-662-115 and Revised Code of Washington 19.112.020)

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 to 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 (MHD) Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Deployment Support

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

In July 2022, the Task Force published a multi-state action plan to support electrification of MHD vehicles. The action plan includes strategies and recommendations to accomplish the goals of the MOU, including limiting all new MHD vehicle sales in the signatory states to ZEVs by 2050, accelerating the deployment of MHD ZEVs, and ensuring MHD ZEV deployment also benefits disadvantaged communities.

For more information, see the Medium- and Heavy-Duty ZEVs: Action Plan Development Process website.

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 173-360A)

Point of Contact
Annette Ademasu
Senior Tank Inspector
Washington Department of Ecology
Phone: (206) 999-5901

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 Revised Code of Washington 70.120A.010 and 70.120A.020 and Washington Administrative Code 173-423-010 to 173-423-150)

Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Requirement

Washington has adopted the California Advanced Clean Trucks requirements specified in Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations, requiring manufacturers to meet California’s ZEV production and sales requirements. Beginning with model year 2025, manufacturers will be required to sell zero-emission trucks as an increasing percentage of their annual sales for Class 2b through Class 8 vehicles in Washington. ZEVs include all-electric and fuel cell electric vehicles. For more information, see the Washington Clean Car Standards website.

(Reference Washington Administrative Code 173-423 and 173-400-025)

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, liquid petroleum gas, 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 schedule is as follows:

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, Revised Code of Washington 43.19.647 and 43.19.648, and Washington Administrative Code 194-28 and 194-29)

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 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 (RNG) and Renewable Hydrogen Fuel Sales Regulations

Public utility districts are authorized to sell RNG and renewable hydrogen to facilities that condense or dispense natural gas or renewable hydrogen for use as a motor fuel. RNG 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 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 2030, reduce overall GHG emissions in the state to 45% below 1990 levels; and
  • By 2040, reduce overall emissions to 70% below 1990 levels; and,
  • By 2050 reduce overall emission to 95% below 1990 levels.

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 70A.45.020)

Electric Vehicle (EV) Deployment Goal

All light-duty vehicles sold, purchased, or registered in Washington state must be EVs by model year 2030. The Interagency EV Coordinating Council must develop a plan for achieving this goal by December 31, 2022.

(Reference Senate Bill 5974, 2022)

Electric Transportation Transition Study

The Joint Transportation Committee (Committee) must study opportunities for high-consumption fuel users (users) to adopt electric vehicles (EVs) and make recommendations to the Committees and governor by July 1, 2023. The Committee must investigate and determine the following:

  • Number of users that could utilize EVs for a high percentage of their driving needs;
  • Fuel savings and gallons of fuel displaced if users switch to EVs;
  • User attitudes and perceptions of EVs; and,
  • Policies and messages that encourage EV adoption.

    (Reference Senate Bill 5689, 2022)

    Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations and Hydrogen Fueling Station Support

    Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) must install co-located direct current fast chargers (DCFC) and hydrogen fueling stations in the Wenatchee or East Wenatchee area near a state route or publicly owned facility. WSDOT must contract with a public utility that produces hydrogen or provides technical assistance for hydrogen fueling stations.

    (Reference Senate Bill 5689, 2022)

    Zero Emission Truck Support and Demonstration

    The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) must establish and coordinate a zero-emission truck stakeholder group to lead the development and implementation of at least one zero-emission drayage truck demonstration project and develop a roadmap to transition the NWSA cargo gateway fleet to zero-emission trucks, by 2050.

    (Reference Senate Bill 5689, 2022)

    Support for Electric Vehicle (EV) and Infrastructure Deployment

    The Washington State Department of Commerce and the Washington State Department of Transportation must establish an interagency EV coordinating council (Council) to advance transportation electrification. The Council must:

    • Develop a state-wide transportation electrification strategy;
    • Identify electric vehicle infrastructure grant-related funding;
    • Coordinate grant funding criteria across agency grant programs;
    • Develop a robust public and private outreach plan that includes engaging with community organizers and local governments;
    • Create an industry EV advisory committee;
    • Ensure the new strategies and programs benefit underserved communities; and,
    • Provide an annual report to legislature committees summarizing EV implementation progress, gaps, and resource needs.

    (Reference House Bill 1853, 2023 and Revised Code of Washington 43.392.040, 43.392.030)

    Support for Interagency Collaboration on Hydrogen Development

    The Washington Department of Commerce must establish the Office of Renewable Energy (Office) to leverage, support, and collaborate with other state agencies to:

    • Accelerate market development by providing assistance along the entire life cycle of renewable fuel projects;
    • Support research on the development and deployment of renewable fuel and use of renewable and green electrolytic hydrogen;
    • Drive job creation, improve economic vitality, and support the transition to clean energy;
    • Enhance resiliency by using renewable fuels and green electrolytic hydrogen to support climate change mitigation and adaptations; and,
    • Partner with underserved communities to ensure communities equitably benefit from clean fuel efforts.
    The Office must compile data regarding the use of renewable fuels and green electrolytic hydrogen in state operations, including motor vehicle fleets, the state ferry system, and non-road equipment.

    (Reference Senate Bill 5910, 2022 and Revised Code of Washington 43.330)

    Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Policies for Multi-Unit Dwellings

    A common interest development, including a community apartment, condominium, and cooperative development, may not prohibit or restrict the installation or use of EV charging stations. These entities may put reasonable restrictions on EV charging stations, but the policies may not discourage or add obstacles to the use of EV charging stations. The EV charging station installer must obtain appropriate approvals from the common interest development association, comply with applicable architectural standards, engage a licensed installation contractor, provide a certificate of insurance, register the EV charging station with the association, meet health and building standards, and pay for the electricity usage, maintenance, and other costs associated with the EV charging station until it is removed by the homeowner.

    (Reference Revised Code of Washington 46.32-46.39, 64.32, 64.90)

    Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Community Grant Program Authorization

    The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is authorized to establish a grant program for local governments, federally recognized tribal governments, or utilities to deploy EV charging stations in rural areas, office buildings, multi-unit dwellings, ports, schools and school districts, and state and local government offices. Preference will be given to direct current fast charging (DCFC) projects.

    (Reference Senate Bill 5693, 2022 and Revised Code of Washington 42.330.101 and 42.330.102)