The WA State Senate Transportation Committee heard a proposal on Monday from a company that wants to start an EV truck subsidy program in WA state. The vehicle pictured is a Rivian electric truck.

The program would subsidize, or provide vouchers, for EV truck purchases

According to The Center Square:

"The program is not only intended to mimic California's Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project, but provide enough funding upfront so it can compete for new electric vehicle, or EV, trucks that are currently being sent to California and, in some cases, are built in Washington state."

The program is designed to be part of the effort to 'wean' WA drivers and the transportation system off fossil fuel vehicles.

It would apply to vehicles that weigh at least 8,500 pounds and could include forklifts, off-road ATVs, and other related vehicles. It would work like a voucher program, with money set aside for each vehicle subsidized. Plan officials said because of how long it takes an EV to be built, especially a truck, this provides money the manufacturer can count on.

It provides the money more upfront, as opposed to building an EV, and then having to apply for a subsidy or voucher.

 Taxpayer-funded subsidies could reach $120K for larger vehicles

Questions were raised about how the subsidies, which start at $7,500 for lighter-duty trucks, would impact taxpayers as the biggest vehicle subsidies could reach $120K.

However, some legislators questioned the program, asking what would prevent these vehicles from being resold, creating a "false market."  CALSTART officials said owners of subsidized vehicles have to keep them for at least 3 years. Other legislators questioned the ability of these heavy-duty trucks and vehicles being able to perform in the colder, harsher weather conditions of Eastern WA.

CALSTART officials also admitted the state needs to greatly expand its EV charging and maintenance capabilities for this to work.


See the Must-Drive Roads in Every State

Gallery Credit: Sarah Jones


More From 610 KONA