“You can still buy a horse”

May 2, 2022

So says Washington State Senator Marko Liias, Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. Tom Banse of Northwest News Network asked Liias why the state didn’t mandate EVs for all new car sales after 2030 rather than simply setting a goal. Liias and his colleagues in Olympia believe that at the right price, car shoppers will freely choose EVs for their efficiency, performance, and bidirectional charging capability 

Clean & Prosperous Washington advocates for accelerating the transition to a clean economy with prosperity for all, so we agree with Senator Liias that the faster we can move from gas-guzzlers to charged chargers, the better. Not only for our climate and clean air, but also for our economy. The New York Times reports

The auto industry is on track to invest half a trillion dollars in the next five years to make the transition to electric vehicles, Wedbush Securities, an investment firm, estimates. That money will be spent to refit and build factories, train workers, write software, upgrade dealerships and more. Companies are planning more than a dozen new electric car and battery factories just in the United States.

“It’s one of the biggest industrial transformations probably in the history of capitalism,” Scott Keogh, chief executive of Volkswagen Group of America, said in an interview. “The investments are massive, and the mission is massive.”

Those investments and those jobs are not all in Detroit – or Wolfsburg. Why not Washington? The next generation of electric trucks is built by Kenworth, in Renton, after all.

And the investments in a clean energy future are coming not only from large, well-known companies, but also from start-ups and VCs. Venture-backed startups in the EV space raised upward of $20 billion in 2021, more than double what was raised the previous year. 

With public funding of EV charging infrastructure, our state is well-positioned to accelerate both EV adoption by Washington drivers, and EV investments by Washington businesses.

Clean & Prosperous Washington is a project of the Washington Business Alliance.
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