Seattle, WA— With the right policies in place, plug-in vehicles can reduce oil dependence in Washington by 3,974,880 gallons per year, according to a new report released today by Environment Washington.
“It’s time to plug in, power up, and protect our planet because plug-in vehicles have arrived here in Washington,” said Dan Kohler, Environment Washington’s Regional Director.
According to the Environment Washington report, Charging Forward: The Emergence of Electric Vehicles and Their Role in Reducing Oil Consumption, 16,671 drivers in Washington could purchase their first plug-in vehicle within the next three years. Overall these vehicles will reduce Washington’s global warming pollution by 28,176 metric tons per year. If the plug-in vehicles are powered by clean sources of electricity, these savings will rise to 69,838 metric tons per year.
“For decades, owning a car has meant consuming oil. Today, drivers finally have a choice,” said Kohler. “Thanks in part to smart policies in Washington and from the Obama administration, every major automobile manufacturer is offering a new plug-in vehicle powered primarily by electricity. For the first time, we can power our cars with clean energy.”
In Washington DC, President Obama has proposed fuel efficiency standards that Environment Washington credits as being the most important step ever taken to build clean, advanced technology cars that will get us off oil. His administration has also made investments in critical technologies, such as advanced batteries and high powered charging stations.
Here in Washington State, the Washington Clean Cars program has helped ensure that Washington drivers continue to have a choice between vehicles powered by oil and advanced, high-tech vehicles powered by clean energy. This year, Washington will have an opportunity to build on this critical program by adopting new rules that will help us build over 1.4 million electric vehicles by 2025.
"Carbon emissions from the transportation sector account for almost 50% of our overall carbon emissions in the state, so electric vehicles are a smart choice for Washington” said State Senator David Frockt. “Their use helps us fulfill our climate goals by reducing the amount of carbon emissions, particularly when combined with our state grid that is phasing out coal and emphasizing hydro and other renewable energy sources."
The Environment Washington report shows the impressive technological breakthroughs that have helped move plug-in vehicles into the fast lane, from advanced batteries that have dropped in price by over 80 percent, to super-fast charging stations that have reduced charge times by over 90 percent.
To make plug-in vehicles a choice for more consumers, Environment Washington’s report calls for more work to be done to build the infrastructure of the charging stations that can service these vehicles, as well as more investment in the technologies that will drive down prices. Currently, Washington ranks 2nd in the country in total number of vehicle charging stations. Environment Washington also called on state and federal leaders to help plug-in vehicles achieve the greatest possible pollution reductions by adopting policies that will ensure we get more of our electricity from clean, renewable energy sources like wind and solar power.
“Electric vehicles offer all Americans hope for a cleaner, healthier future. But to make this promise a reality, continued public investment will be necessary to ensure that these vehicles are as convenient and as affordable as cars powered by oil,” concluded Kohler.
Environment Washington is a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization.