What electric vehicle incentives are available in Western Australia? Check our list

What electric vehicle incentives are available in Western Australia?  Check our list

The Climate Lab is an initiative of The Seattle Times that explores the impacts of climate change in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. The project is funded in part by the Paulette, Mike and Becky Hughes Foundation, the University of Washington and the Walker Family Foundation, and its fiscal sponsor is the Seattle Foundation. Learn more about the Climate Lab from our executive editor.

It’s a good time to buy an electric car.

Some federal incentives are easier to access than ever, and the state is finalizing its own rebates set to launch this spring — in addition to the existing statewide sales tax exemption (more on that later).

Driving a car is still a necessity for many Washingtonians. The average family in the Seattle metropolitan area still drives at the same rate as the national rate, according to a study completed last year by the Brookings Institution.

Tailpipe emissions from family SUVs, or their products and Amazon orders traveling by trucks, ships, trains and planes, represent the largest group of greenhouse emissions in Washington by the most recent count.

What kind of discounts can I get?

If you’re in the market for an electric vehicle, some dealers in Washington apply a federal advance tax credit of up to $7,500 on some new hybrids and all-electric vehicles, and up to $4,000 on used models. The U.S. Treasury Department declined to share the list of merchants who have signed up for the instant rebates, so be sure to ask while shopping.

New rules from the Biden administration have reduced the number of vehicles eligible for the full tax credit due to requirements on where battery components are extracted, processed or assembled. Some models that were previously eligible for up to $7,500 are now eligible for just $3,750.

This can be combined, in some cases, with a state sales tax exemption of up to $15,000 of the purchase price of new vehicles valued at $45,000 or less, or used vehicles valued at $30,000 or less.

Coming later this spring, you can expect an additional rebate from the state, said Steven Hershkowitz, transportation electrification policy official for the state Department of Commerce. Management plans to prioritize rebates for People who are low-income, live in communities with disproportionately high levels of air pollution, or drive a large number of miles on their way to work, Hershkowitz said.

How cool are these drivers?

All of Washington’s “gasoline superusers” burn an average of 1,903 gallons of gasoline a year, or about five times what the average driver consumes, according to the latest report from the Seattle nonprofit Cultura.

Although they make up about 8.8% of drivers in Washington, according to Coltura research, they use about 32% of the gasoline consumed by passenger cars. Nationally, about 92% of gasoline is burned in light-duty vehicles. Medium vehicles along with lawnmowers, jet skis, generators and plenty of other small appliances make up the other 8%, according to Coltura.

On average, these 384,000 “super users” spend 14.2% of their household income on gasoline, and drive an average of 742 miles per week.

“If you don’t get that population, it will be almost impossible to achieve climate goals,” said Matthew Metz, founder and co-CEO of Cultura.

Washington state lawmakers have commissioned a similar study of high-consumption fuel users, which is expected to help shape incentive programs in the state. It is one of the first states to consider these types of incentives aimed at targeting the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.

The new program is scheduled to begin this spring and continue until at least June 2025. The program will be announced in the coming months.

Currently, you can check to see which models are eligible for current credits using our website Interactive below. Be sure to confirm eligibility with dealer before purchasing.

Just over 13% are new Passenger cars Cars registered in the state in 2023 were either fully electric or plug-in hybrids, which can run on a charge and a tank of fossil fuels, according to data provided by the state’s licensing department.

“We are among the top three in purchasing electric vehicles across the country,” said Jake Fey, Chairman of the House Transportation Committee. “So it clearly had an impact.”

So what does all this mean for our climate, and can it make a difference?

Electric cars will not save us from the climate crisis. While they may not emit greenhouse gas emissions from their tailpipes, some still benefit from electricity grids that include coal and gas-fired power. In some cases, the rush to mine lithium to make batteries has threatened tribal sovereignty and water quality.

However, the metal, a necessary ingredient in the batteries that power these clean cars, is essential for some to maintain the internationally agreed climate warming limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius to avoid the worst climate disasters.

For some, cars are never the answer. They pose a threat to people who choose to walk or cycle, and in urban areas, car journeys can often be replaced by more accessible (though not always reliable) bus journeys, or electric bicycles and cargo bikes.

Reducing greenhouse emissions and improving the health of communities will require a little of everything.

A 2022 study found that replacing 35% of gasoline-powered cars with electric vehicles, and replacing half of short car trips (about 5 miles or less) with walking or cycling would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about a third, and reduce the number of deaths. Lethal. Traffic injuries and asthma cases associated with exposure to pollution.

Seattle Times data reporter Manuel Vela contributed reporting.

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