Planning for Zero-Emission Vehicle Future in Washington

[AUDIO] Washington motorists could get a real charge out of legislation directing various State entities to prepare for the inevitable shift away from internal combustion engines and toward zero-emission vehicles powered by electricity or green hydrogen that’s under consideration at the state Capitol. Dan Frizzell from the House Democratic Caucus has more.

By all accounts, the days of the internal combustion engine are numbered. But an electric car without a handy charging station is like a turtle on its back, and lawmakers in virtual Olympia want to make sure there’s plenty of juice, and lots of places to get it, when the zero-emission movement hits critical mass in Washington. Members of the House gave a big thumbs-up Wednesday night to legislation directing electric utilities and state transportation officials to do what it takes now to prepare for a future that might not be very far away. Representative Alex Ramel wrote the bill.

RAMEL: “Vehicle electrification is coming to Washington. The same day that this bill was heard in committee, General Motors announced that by 2035, they don’t intend to build internal combustion engines anymore. This is a technology that’s getting better every year, that’s economical, and that’s going to create good jobs in our state. Let’s get ready.”

Ramel, a Democrat from Bellingham, received strong bipartisan support for his bill, which is designed to put together detailed information on where charging stations are and where, and how many, there should be as the shift occurs. It requires utilities to plan now for how they’ll meet the increased demand when hundreds of thousands of zero-emission-vehicles are rolling on Washington roads. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration. In Olympia, Dan Frizzell.