OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law today a bill that will create a pathway for more zero emissions vehicles to be sold in Washington State.

Sponsored by Sen. Joe Nguyen (D-White Center), Senate Bill 5811 requires auto dealerships to stock a set percentage of zero emissions cars for sale on their lots.

“This is an important step in giving more people access to environmentally sustainable modes of transportation,” said Nguyen. “We need to be actively considering how to make our air cleaner and decrease our emissions, and this is a step towards that goal.”

In 2017, about 45% of Washington’s greenhouse gas emissions came from the transportation sector. SB 5811 would work to reduce emissions by spurring automakers to sell about 25,000 electronic vehicles per year by 2025. That number is roughly double the amount sold in 2019, and would make a difference of more than 100,000 tons of carbon pollution annually.

The process of applying California’s nation-leading clean air standards in Washington began in 2005, when the Legislature adopted all standards except for zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) standards. This bill remedies the difference by allowing Washington to join California and nine other states in the country as a certified ZEV state.

The bill is just one step of many taken by Senate Democrats to protect Washington’s natural environment this legislative session. Other bills include a ban on single-use plastic bags, increased access to solar projects for lower-income communities, and a commitment to being carbon neutral by 2050.

“As we face an existential threat to our climate, we can’t afford to sit idly by and watch our planet keep degrading,” said Nguyen. “Now is the time to act so that more generations can have a future like ours.”