The Washington State House and Senate recently approved the Clean Cars 2030 legislation, which at face value appears to ban the sale of brand new gas-powered cars and light-duty vehicles as of January 1st, 2030.

While the 2030 mark is the "deadline," Car and Driver Magazine online actually breaks down and clarifies what's appearing to be a confusing bill.

According to C-D, the actual 'deadline' is when 75% of current vehicles are enrolled in or are paying a road use tax, or a vehicle-miles-traveled tax.

You may remember in the last two years or so, the Department of Transportation has been pilot testing a road use-mileage tax; which would eventually replace gas taxes. Legislators keep raising gas taxes, only to find more efficient vehicles and better driving habits make fuel consumption drop; therefore, gas taxes never live up to their financial promise.

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According to Car and Driver:

"Clean Cars 2030, an amendment to E2SHB 1287, a state bill that would require local electric utilities to get ready for more electric vehicles, looks for a time when at least 75 percent of the vehicles registered in Washington pay to use the roads through a vehicle miles-traveled tax."

According to C-D, there isn't a current law or mandate for such a road-vehicle-mileage tax, but as we have seen with the DOT pilot program, it appears one will be coming. The Clean Cars 2030 bill does allow the continued use of 'used' vehicles past 2030, but by then gas prices by way of taxes are expected to be very high.

Will the Clean Cars 2030 bill affect trucks?  The bill says passenger and light-duty vehicles. What is the WA state definition of light-duty? From the Revised Code of WA:

"(8) "Light duty truck" is any 2000 and subsequent model motor vehicle certified to the standards in Title 13, CCR, section 1961 (a)(1) rated at 8,500 pounds gross vehicle weight or less, and any other motor vehicle rated at 6,000 pounds gross vehicle weight or less, which is designed primarily for the purposes of transportation of property or is a derivative of such vehicle, or is available with special features enabling off-street or off-highway operation and use."

So, if you have a half or 3/4 ton truck, you will probably fall under this when it comes to buying a brand new one in state after 2030. You will not be allowed to buy one out of state, bring it here, and license it.

We predict, just our opinion, you will see a growing rush of buying as we get closer to 2030; people grabbing up trucks, SUV's etc. to beat the deadline. Then after 2030, car lots will vanish like a mirage in our state; especially the new car lots that don't currently push a lot of electric vehicles.

But, a lot can happen between now and then.


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