Electric vehicle rebates coming this summer for Washingtonians

Apr 24, 2024, 2:53 PM

General view of some 500 cars parking inside the new Hybrid and PHEV Vehicles Stellantis Group eDCT...

General view of some 500 cars parking inside the new Hybrid and PHEV Vehicles Stellantis Group Assembly Plant on April 10, 2024. (Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)

Washington motorists will get an opportunity to benefit from new state rebates for electric vehicles (EVs) starting this summer. The rebates, which could be as much as $9,000 in some cases, are designed to offset the cost of leasing or purchasing EVs.

Governor Jay Inslee and State Department of Commerce Director Mike Fong announced the program on Tuesday. The program will be available at auto dealerships beginning in August. The initiative is part of the state’s Democratic-led efforts to transition away from fossil fuels and slow climate change by encouraging the use of electric vehicles over gasoline-powered ones.

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“Washington state is already a leader in EV adoption, but many more people interested in ditching the gas pump may think they can’t afford to do it,” Gov. Inslee said in a news release. “With these new rebates, we’re significantly lowering the entry point, opening the door to EVs for people of modest incomes as we continue paving the way to a clean transportation future for all.”

Despite the number of EVs in the state nearly doubling over the past two years, many are high-end models, and ownership is heavily concentrated in the Seattle area. The new program aims to “democratize” the emerging automotive technology, making it more accessible to a broader range of residents.

Single residents earning up to $45,180 annually, or a family of four with income up to $93,600, will be eligible for a rebate of up to $9,000 for a new electric vehicle lease of three years or more. They’d also qualify for up to $5,000 for a new EV purchase or two-year lease. Used electric vehicles are eligible for a $2,500 rebate on purchases and leases.

The Department of Commerce provided an example of how the rebate program could work. A dealer advertising a three-year lease at $239 per month with $1,999 due at signing – for a total lease cost of $10,364 – could see the lease cost reduced to $1,364 for a qualifying customer thanks to the $9,000 state rebate. After applying a $500 lease fee, $200 documentation fee, and collecting state and local transit, title, and registration fees of $734, the final lease totals $2,798, or $78 per month over the 36-month agreement.

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Fong described the program as a “first-in-the-nation model.” His agency said in a press release that the state rebates, combined with federal and automaker incentives, could make monthly lease payments on at least four EV models less than $100 for qualifying consumers.

As of March, there were about 181,400 electric vehicles registered in Washington, including plug-in hybrids, according to Department of Licensing data. That’s up from around 94,000 in March 2022. Despite the growth, EVs remain a small share of the roughly 8 million vehicles registered in Washington.

State figures also show just over half of the EVs registered are in King County and around 40% are Teslas. Tesla prices its least expensive car, the Model 3, at about $39,000.

Bill Kaczaraba is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read his stories here. Follow Bill on X, formerly known as Twitter, here and email him here


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