Enjoy your gas-guzzling, engine revving hot rod while you can. If one Seattle-based group gets its way, fuel-burning cars will be nixed in Washington state in 13 years.
“We are proposing a phase out of new gas vehicles after 2030,” said Matthew Metz, co-executive director of Coltura. “At that point, electric vehicles will be at such a point that we can really do without gasoline and without all of gasoline’s problems.”
“New gasoline cars cannot be registered in Washington after 2030,” he explained. “If you have a gas car, you can still keep it, but you can’t register a post-2030 gas car in Washington state.”
Coltura is a group advocating for government regulations that will push along the electric vehicle market, while scaling back fossil fuel burning vehicles. Metz argues that the free market has only gone so far, so a government regulation like what Coltura promotes will drive home the electric transition.
“The idea is to create certainty in the market,” Metz said. “For example, we need to build a lot of charging stations, but if we don’t know when we are going to need them, how fast we are going to need them, people are just going to hang back and see what happens. When the new electric cars come online, then there aren’t going to be the charging stations. Then people will say that people don’t like electric cars. So we need certainty in the market. People need to know what the rules are going to be so the planning can take place … the free market alone is not going to make that happen fast enough, or adequately.”
Metz said that it will take 5-10 years for charging station infrastructure to be built.
“There are a lot of examples, though, where government intervention has helped,” Metz said. “For example, air bags would probably not have happened for 15 or 20 years later. Or seat belts. Every time there’s a government mandate, people cry that it’s the government interfering in the free market … but the fact is, a lot of progress is driven by government regulation.”
It’s not just about electric cars. Metz argues that vehicle emissions are bad for the environment and human health. He points to a 2013 study from MIT that claims 53,000 premature deaths each year can be attributed to air pollution from fossil fuel burning vehicles.