Washington governor mandates a state fleet switch to electric vehicles

As Seattle sets big electrification goals, Washington passes a hike on electric vehicle fees. (Photo via City of Seattle)

The massive, Washington state-owned vehicle pool will begin the switch to electric power with the goal of having the whole fleet fully electric by 2040, under an executive order signed by Gov. Jay Inslee.

The order outlines specific target goals for all of the approximately 5,000 state vehicle from snow plows to state trooper patrol vehicles. Broadly, it calls for 40% of the fleet to switch electric by 2025; then to 75% by 2030 and ending at 100% compliance five years later.

The order allows some deadline and vehicle-type leeway for state-owned medium and heavy-duty trucks.

Under the order, 30% of the large vehicles must be electric by 2030, climbing to 100% by 2040. If electric vehicles are not available for certain applications, state agencies must seek out the “lowest emission, cost-effective option including, but not limited to, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell technologies.”

Inslee, who issued the declaration while attending the climate COP26 conference in Glasgow, Scotland, said the fleet order dovetails with global efforts to combat climate change.

“Together with the rest of the leaders here and those everywhere else today who are committed to this fight, we will lead the charge on decarbonizing the transportation sector,” Inslee said in a statement.

The state-fleet goals align with the goals sought by the state legislature that all new vehicles sold in Washington be electric by 2030. Additionally, the state plans to commission its first hybrid electric ferry in 2025 and is holding a naming contest for the new boat. The new ship will hold up to 144 cars and 1,500 people.

See the full executive order signed by Inslee below.

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