Inslee Launches $45M EV Subsidy for Low-income Families in Washington

Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington is pushing to get more electric vehicles (EVs) on the road with a $45 million subsidy program funded by taxpayer dollars. The program, announced this week, will provide subsidies to “low-income” families to help them purchase an EV. Families can receive up to $9,000 to lease an EV, or $5,000 to buy one, and the funding is available to those making 300% of the federal poverty level or less.

Inslee hopes the program will “democratize EVs” and plans to continue supporting the transition to electric vehicles. He aims to help the entire ecosystem of electrifying transportation in the state.

The Washington Electric Vehicle Coordinating Council has recommended providing public dollars to encourage residents to switch from fossil fuel vehicles to EVs. The council also noted that the lack of charging ports is hindering EV sales in the state, and the government plans to double the number of public charging ports using revenue from the Climate Commitment Act.

The Department of Commerce Director, Mike Fong, described the grant program as the first in the nation to allow people to lease an EV, rather than buy one. He lauded the program as an achievement in equity and climate change innovation for Washington.

Not everyone supports the subsidy program, however. Todd Myers, the Environmental Director at the Washington Policy Center, criticized the subsidies as a waste of taxpayer money that won’t effectively reduce carbon emissions. He argued that the funds would be better spent on other environmental priorities, such as salmon recovery.

The grant funds will become available to qualifying residents in August.

Written by Staff Reports

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