Washington’s 2035 gas vehicle ban: Explained

small white electric car on an old street
(Flikr Creative Commons Ivan Radio)



Governor Jay Inslee has set ambitious climate goals for Washington state, including a ban on the sale of new, gas-powered passenger vehicles that will go into effect in 2035.

Studies from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency show gas-powered passenger cars are the largest source of carbon emissions. 

The state legislature has set goals to incentivize Washingtonians to begin their transition to electric cars by 2030, but right now there is no legal requirement, says Anna Lising, Senior Climate Advisor to Gov. Inslee. 

“The actual requirements to purchase zero-emission vehicles [is] starting [in] 2035,” says Lising. “That is actually both a combination of a law that was passed by Washington State Legislature in 2019 and to adopt California’s vehicle emission standards and requirements, including their zero-emission vehicle requirements.”

The law is you will not be able to buy a new, gas-powered vehicle in Washington state after 2035. 

Although drivers will still be allowed to license gas-powered vehicles purchased out-of-state. Lising says the whole point is to get to zero-carbon emissions. “The other intent behind this too is to really signal to auto manufacturers that this is something that they need to evolve and meet the demands of, ” says Lising. “And that just brings the price point down.”

And don’t worry: Lising says the state will not come and take your older gas-powered vehicles away.