Hello Drive Electric Washington! Here is a brief summary of what is new with EV policy issues this week in the Washington State Legislature. Four hearings are coming up this week, and you will find information below about how to participate and share your thoughts:
SB5828 – Requires a plan for autonomous vehicles in emergency and traffic enforcement incidents. Sponsor Sen. Nguyen. The bill would no longer require including moving violations by autonomous vehicles in testing programs in their annual reports to the Department of Licensing. It also drops a clause implying the Department can require information about collisions in addition to what the law currently specifies. It requires submitting a law enforcement interaction plan to the Department including information on how to interact with the vehicle being tested in emergency and traffic enforcement situations, and requires submitting the expected period of time during which testing will occur to the Department rather than to various local and state law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction over public roadways on which testing will occur. Referred to Senate Transportation Committee. Read text here.

SJM8008 –
Senate Joint Memorial urging the United States Government to enter into a fossil fuel nonproliferation treaty. Sponsor Sen. Das. Transmits a memorial from the Legislature to the President Biden, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House, and Washington’s Congressional representatives urging them to begin good faith negotiations to enter into a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty. It would commit participating nations to end new fossil fuel exploration and expansion, phase out existing production in line with the global commitment to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and accelerate equitable transition plans. Referred to Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee. Read text here.

THIS WEEK: HB1792 – Hydrogen production tax exemption. Sponsors Reps. Ramel, Orcutt, Abbarno, Hearing at 8 a.m. Jan. 18 in the House Energy & Environment Committee. Fitzgibbon. Defines electrolytic hydrogen production facilities as “fuel cell vehicle infrastructure,” and grants sales and use tax exemptions for labor, services, and materials used in installing, constructing, repairing, or improving fuel cell infrastructure. Read text here.

HB1831 – Electrician certification program for EV charging station installation, Sponsors Reps. Bronoske, Berry, Macri, and Ramel. Hearing at 10 a.m. Jan. 18 in the House Labor and Workplace Standards Committee. Requires the Department of Labor and Industries to create the rules for an electric vehicle infrastructure training program certification. Beginning July 1, 2023, all electric vehicle equipment intended for public use would have to be installed by appropriately licensed electrical contractors and appropriately certified electricians. At least one certified electrician would have to be present at any given time on a jobsite where that equipment was being installed or maintained. Read text here.
HB1918 – Exempts zero-emission outdoor power equipment from the sales tax and imposes an additional 6.5% air quality tax on equipment with emissions. Sponsor Rep. Macri. Hearing at 10 a.m. Jan. 20 in House State Government and Tribal Relations Committee. Adds an air quality improvement tax of 6.5% on each retail sale of outdoor power equipment that produced emissions. The tax would be collected through 2032, and apply to equipment with less than 25 horsepower. Exempts zero-emission outdoor power equipment from the sales tax, and requires electronic retailers to notify potential customers of that and of the 13% tax on other outdoor power equipment. It would prohibit state agencies and local governments from purchasing any outdoor power equipment with emissions after 2024. Read text here.

-Report on lithium and rare earth minerals used in battery manufacturing. Sponsor Sen. Fortunato. Hearing at 8 a.m. Jan. 20 in the Senate Business, Financial Services & Trade Committee. Requires the Department of Commerce to report to the Legislature on the global availability of lithium and rare earth minerals used in battery manufacturing, because “the State is increasingly encouraging new energy storage technologies such as electric vehicles and electric grid-scale battery storage … dependent on rare earth minerals and difficult-to-source earth components.” Referred to Senate Business, Financial Services & Trade Committee. Read text here.


Portals for remote testimony are available online for the state House and Senate.

You also can register your position on a bill or issue, and you can call and e-mail your state senators and representatives – find your district, names and e-mail addresses at www.leg.wa.gov.

Seeking Advisory Board Members

Drive Electric Washington is seeking new advisory board members. Please submit your application if you are interested in this opportunity. The Advisory Board meets quarterly and serves as a sounding board to the Board of Directors. As an Advisory Board member, you may be contacted by the Board of Directors to provide input as we engage with legislators, state and local agencies, and the general public. We may ask you to participate in our speakers’ bureau or provide information on a local level. If you have experience or interest in transportation electrification, please consider applying for this important role in our organization.


Washington State University and Washington State Department of Transportation requesting stakeholder feedback

The transition to electric transportation continues to accelerate.  The 2021 State Energy Strategy estimates that one million internal combustion vehicles need to be zero-emission vehicles by 2030 to meet the state’s target for reducing greenhouse gases. By 2035 all new car sales will need to be electric.

How will charging/fueling infrastructure develop and change during that time? How can the state optimize the use of public dollars? 

To help answer these questions, in spring 2021 the state legislature directed the  Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to develop a public mapping  and forecasting tool to support forecasted levels of zero-emission vehicle (ZEV)  adoption and use across Washington (HB 1287). With teams from UW and WSU, WSDOT  is preparing information about the scope, cost and schedule for tool development. They  are requesting early input from stakeholders interested in the development and use of  this new online tool. The results of these efforts will be shared with legislators in time for  their next session. 

Attend a public listening session to learn about the new tool and offer your ideas: 
Wednesday, December 1, from 2 to 4 pm 
Monday, December 6, from 1 to 3 pm 
Monday, December 13, from 4 to 6 pm 
Register today! 
(click the session you prefer from the dropdown list)

If you are unable to attend one of these meetings, please share your ideas for making this tool  successful using this convenient online response form

You are also invited to send questions about this project to:  Jim Jensen, WSU Energy Program, [email protected], or Tonia Buell, WSDOT, [email protected]