A new law signed by Washington governor Jay Inslee makes two important changes to the state’s electric car incentive program. The changes add plug-in hybrid cars, provided they have at least 30 miles of range. It also raises the maximum sale price from $35,000 to $42,500. Not coincidentally, the higher sale price will allow several cars like the Chevy Volt, Nissan LEAF SL, and the upcoming Tesla Model 3 and Chevy Bolt to qualify for the state incentive of $3,100. The rebate is available whether the car is purchased or leased.
Curiously, the changes do not go into effect until July 1, meaning sales of higher end electric and plug-in cars will probably have a lull in Washington over the next 10 weeks or so. JJ McCoy, legislative director for the Seattle Electric Vehicle Association tells Inside EVs,
“This bill will help get more Washington residents behind the wheel of a great EV. Several exciting mid-market cars with 200 miles of range will be in showrooms soon, and Washington’s incentive will give them a boost. Electric vehicles have a host of benefits – lower carbon emissions, lower fueling costs, better air quality – but they still cost more to make than an equivalent gas car,” McCoy said.
“As car makers scale up battery production and prices fall, EVs will soon be able to compete un-subsidized and provide a compelling value proposition. Fueling up costs just $0.85 a ‘gallon’ on Washington electricity rates, so once you have the car, you’re saving money with every mile. They’re also just a lot of fun to drive. We find that once people try an EV, they never they never want to go back to their gas car.”
The rebate program is scheduled to end on July 1, 2019, or one month after Washington sells 7,500 EVs that qualify for the exemption. McCoy says current estimates, based on the rate of electric car sales in his home state, are that there will be 7,500 qualified EVs on the road by the middle of 2018. If you are planning to buy an EV and live in the state of Washington, the time to act is now if you want to save an additional $3,100 on the purchase price of your car.
Photo credit: Seattle Electric Vehicle Association