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Electric Vehicle Reference Guide


Revised: March 14, 2022

This manual is revised when new information is available.




Taxes and Fees


Registration fees

In addition to the same fees due for registration of internal combustion engine vehicles, there are additional fees on certain electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and hybrids:

  • Electric vehicles that use at least one method of external electricity and can travel at least 30 miles on battery power:
    • $100 annual fee – First $1 million goes to the Motor Vehicle (MV) fund, after which the funds are split 70% – MV fund, 15% transportation improvement account, 15% rural arterial trust account; AND
    • $50 annual fee – First $1 million goes to multimodal fund, after which the funds go to the MV fund.
  • Hybrid vehicles (including plug-in hybrids subject to the electric vehicle fees above):
    • $75 fee – Goes to EV account until 2025, then to the MV fund.
    • Plug-in hybrid vehicles may be required to pay all three fees.

State sales tax exemption and other incentive programs

EVs and plug-in hybrid vehicles are exempt from sales and use tax until July 31, 2025. DOL maintains a list of eligible vehicles on its website, dol.wa.gov. DOL will review and update the list as needed until the exemption expires.  To qualify:

  • The vehicle must be:
    • exclusively powered by a clean alternative fuel; or
    • a plug-in hybrid vehicle that can travel at least 30 miles on battery power alone.


  • Have a selling or lease price of $45,000 or less for new vehicles or $30,000 or less for used.

If the vehicle qualifies:

Date of purchase                   New vehicle exemption limit                        Used exemption

Aug. 1, 2021 – July 31, 2023 Up to $20,000 of the selling price                Lesser of the sales

Aug. 1, 2023 – July 31, 2025 Up to $15,000 of the selling price                 price or $16,000.

The dealer reports the exempt sale by taking a “Sales and Leases of New/Used Clean Alternative Fuel Vehicles” deduction from retail sales tax, and must submit itemized information when filing the excise tax return for each vehicle for which a deduction is taken during the reporting period.

There are additional state requirements and incentives available, many offered by local public utilities.  Click here to learn more.

Federal tax credits and incentives

Internal Revenue Code Section 30D provides a credit for Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicles including passenger vehicles and light trucks.

For vehicles acquired after December 31, 2009, the credit is equal to $2,500 plus, for a vehicle which draws propulsion energy from a battery with at least 5 kilowatt hours of capacity, plus an additional $417 for each kilowatt hour of battery capacity in excess of 5 kilowatt hours. The total amount of the credit allowed for a vehicle is limited to $7,500.

The credit begins to phase out for a manufacturer’s vehicles when at least 200,000 qualifying vehicles have been sold for use in the United States (determined on a cumulative basis for sales after December 31, 2009). Tesla and GM no longer qualify for the credit.

The usefulness of the credit depends on the customer’s individual tax situation and WSADA recommends against dealerships offering customers tax advice.

Other federal EV and charging incentives:

More information is available by clicking here: Federal Law Incentives.   Included in this list of federal EV and charging incentives is the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit for commercial and at-home alternative fueling facilities, including EV charging stations purchased and installed by December 31, 2021. For commercial EV charging, the credit was for up to 30% of the cost, not to exceed $30,000, and up to $1,000 for at-home chargers. Congress is considering legislation to reauthorize this tax credit (or a modified version of it).

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Associated Equipment

Federal Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit

Fueling equipment for natural gas, propane, liquefied hydrogen, electricity, E85, or diesel fuel blends containing a minimum of 20% biodiesel installed through December 31, 2021, is eligible for a tax credit of 30% of the cost, not to exceed $1,000 for residential installations and $30,000 for commercial. Permitting and inspection fees are not included in covered expenses.

EV Infrastructure Exemption

Charges for labor and services applicable to purchasing and installing EV infrastructure, including home charging stations, is exempt from Washington sales and use tax.

Additional charging incentives will be made available by a new state government entity scheduled to be formed later in 2022.  No additional details are available at this time.

Local utilities

Some local utilities and districts offer additional incentives for installing EV charging infrastructure.  For example, Snohomish PUD offers $500 rebate for Level 2 chargers installed in residential buildings, plus an additional $400 in account credits.

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Charging – Chargeway

Charging is often a complicated subject for consumer new to the EV market, with different power levels, plug designs, charging rates, and battery capacities between models.


One way to help customers understand their options is through WSADA-partner Chargeway, which simplifies the customer experience with “electric fuel” by using colors and numbers to make visualizing charging options easier than ever.

Available on app stores or on in-dealership kiosks, Chargeway reduces charging options to two signifiers: (1) – Green – Blue – Red for plug types; and (2) a number signifying power level/charging time.  Chargeway can also be installed as a plug-in directly into a dealership’s website so a customer can understand charging information for a specific vehicle without ever leaving the page.


The company also provides helpful trip planning and charging availability visualizations directly in the app, on the beacon/kiosk, or on the dealership website.

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Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate

In 2020 a bill passed the State Legislature that made Washington the twelfth state to adopt California’s Zero Emission Vehicle mandate.  The Department of Ecology began rulemaking to adopt the new ZEV standards on June 22, 2021, and the requirements will take effect with the release of model year 2025 vehicles in 2024.

Ecology chose not to include a method for manufacturers to earn credits before the effective date of the program, leading some to resist sending EVs to Washington.  Ecology has since announced plans to revisit that decision using a revised rulemaking process in 2022.

Zero emission vehicles (ZEV)

ZEV vehicles include battery-powered electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and fuel cell electric vehicles. Under the new ZEV mandate:

Passenger cars, light-duty trucks, medium-duty vehicles

  • Medium duty vehicles (trucks, vans, SUVs) are added to the current California Emissions Standards.
  • Manufacturers must meet a ZEV credit requirement starting with model year 2025. The number of credits varies depending on the volume of vehicles produced for sale in California.
  • About 8% of new vehicle sales in Washington must be zero emission (equivalent to 22% ZEV credits, since automakers can earn more than one credit per vehicle).

Medium and heavy-duty trucks (vehicles weighing more than 8,500 pounds)

  • Manufacturers must meet a ZEV credit requirement starting with model year 2025.
  • By 2035, deliveries to Washington must be:
    • 55% Classes 2b–3 trucks – vans, medium pickup trucks
    • 75% Classes 4–8 trucks – delivery trucks, delivery/service vans, lighter truck tractors, bucket trucks
    • 40% Class 8 truck tractors – cement trucks, dump trucks, sleeper cab trucks
    • The percent of annual deliveries increases each year.

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E2SHB 1287 – Zero-Emission Vehicles – Preparedness

(Effective 7/25/2021)

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Tool (RCW 47.01.520)

In consultation with Ecology, Commerce, and the state Office of Equity, Department of Transportation (Transportation) must develop and maintain a publicly available mapping and forecasting tool with locations and essential information on charging and refueling infrastructure to support forecasted levels of EV adoption, travel, and use.   In addition to also meeting additional “if feasible” goals, the tool must:

  • be designed to enable deployment of charging and refueling infrastructure to support transportation electrification efforts that result in emission reductions consistent with state greenhouse gas (GHG) emission limits;
  • initially prioritize on-road transportation;
  • incorporate Department of Transportation traffic data for passenger and freight vehicles;
  • integrate population, health, environmental, and socioeconomic data; and
  • integrate related analyses, such as the state energy strategy

Utility Resource Plans (RCW 19.280.030)

Electric utilities’ Resource Plans must account for:

  • Load forecasts with anticipated levels of ZEV use.
  • Analysis and other information in the utilities’ transportation electrification plans; and
  • Assumed use case forecasts and associated energy impacts of plans due after September 2, 2023

Building Requirements for EVs (RCW 19.27.540)

The state building code requirements must exceed the 2019 minimum requirements for residential and commercial buildings to the extent necessary to support anticipated levels of ZEV use. Rules must be adopted by July 1, 2024.

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2SSB 5192 – Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (RCW 47.01)

Publicly available EV supply equipment (EVSE) and associated parking spaces designated as available to the public are subject to increased regulation, including signage and payment option requirements.  EVSE and associated parking at a licensed vehicle dealership are exempt from many of the requirements, including:

Signage Requirements

By January 1, 2023, EVSE providers must ensure all publicly-available EVSE are clearly marked and disclose all charges, fees, and costs for a charging session at the point of sale, prior to initiating a charging session. At a minimum the disclosure must include information related to:

  • any fee for use of the parking space;
  • a nonmember plug-in fee from the EVSE;
  • price to refuel in U.S. dollars per kilowatt hour or megajoule;
  • any changes in price to refuel due to variable pricing;
  • any other fees charged for a charging session; and
  • disclosure if the charging session, or portion of the session, is offered at no cost.

EVSE and associated parking spaces provided by a vehicle dealer licensed under RCW 46.70 at its established place of business are exempt from the sign requirements.  This includes all licensed new and used vehicle dealerships.


Methods of Payment

By January 1, 2023, Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA), with the Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) and Department of Commerce (Commerce), must adopt rules requiring all EVSE providers to make multiple payment methods available at all public Level 2 and DC fast chargers. At a minimum the rules must provide minimum required payment methods that are convenient and reasonably support access for all current and future users.

EVSE and associated parking spaces provided by a vehicle dealer licensed under chapter 46.70 RCW at its established place of business are exempt from the methods of payment requirements.

Interoperability Standards

By January 1, 2023, WSDA, in consultation with Commerce and UTC, must adopt rules establishing requirements for all EVSE to, at a minimum, meet and maintain nonproprietary interoperability standards for Level 2 and DC fast charger EVSE. The requirements may not provide the purchase or license of proprietary technology or software from any other company and may not require companies to maintain interoperability agreements with other companies. Interoperability means the ability of hardware, systems, software, or a communication network provided by one service provider to interact with and exchange information, including payment information, between hardware, software, or a communication network provided by a different service provider.

EVSE and associated parking spaces provided by a vehicle dealer licensed under chapter 46.70 RCW at its established place of business are exempt from the methods of payment requirements.


Reporting Requirements

By January 1, 2023, publicly available EVSE providers must report inventory and payment method information to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory Alternative Fuels Data Center. The information must be reported annually and must include at a minimum:

  • EVSE service provider information;
  • EVSE inventory for active and retired, decommissioned, or removed EVSE in Washington; and
  • annual reports detailing EVSE payment information.

EVSE and associated parking spaces provided by a vehicle dealer licensed under chapter 46.70 RCW at its established place of business are exempt from the reporting requirements.


Fees and Civil Penalties

(EVSE at dealerships are not exempt)

Fees are established at $20 for Level 2 electric vehicle supply equipment ports and $40 for direct current fast charger electric vehicle supply equipment ports. In addition, WSDA may adopt a reasonable registration fee for EVSE to cover the remaining costs associated with enforcement.

Civil penalties for incorrect measuring equipment is set at $200 for the first violation, and $500 for subsequent violations, enforced by the Department of Agriculture.

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Executive Order 20-01

In 2020 Governor Inslee signed an executive order directing state government to increase its adoption of alternative fuels under standards adopted by a cross-agency Governing Council.  Directors of state agencies are tasked with:

  • Zero-Emission Vehicles.
    Directors must ensure that each lease or purchase of new vehicles must prioritize BEVs (or better emerging technology) and support the installation of associated charging infrastructure. For vehicle classes in which BEVs are not available, agencies must prioritize the most cost-effective low-emission options available.
  • New Facility Construction.
    Subject to available funding, Directors must ensure that all newly constructed state-owned (including lease-purchase) buildings are designed to be zero energy or zero energy-capable, and include consideration of net-embodied carbon. Where a cost effective zero-energy building is not yet technically feasible, buildings must be designed to exceed the current state building code for energy efficiency to the extent possible.
  • Energy Efficiency in Owned and Leased Facilities.
    Directors must ensure that their agencies adopt and implement plans to dramatically reduce energy use in state-owned facilities. In most cases, agencies will choose to adopt tools to improve energy efficiency, operations, process management, and occupant behavior in the short term, while accelerating planning for deep facility retrofits and new construction in future years. For leased facilities, where a working group identifies cost-effective opportunities for savings, Directors must ensure the pursuit of these opportunities.
  • State Ferries.
    The Secretary of the Department of Transportation (WSDOT) must ensure the Washington State Ferry system begins the transition to a zero-carbon emission ferry fleet, including the accelerated adoption of both ferry electrification and operational improvements that will conserve energy and cut fuel use.
  • 100% Clean Electricity.
    Directors must ensure agencies are evaluating available options from electricity providers, and pursuing opportunities identified by the Council to support state operations from zero-emissions electricity sources.
  • Toxics and Solid Waste Reduction.
    Directors must ensure that their agencies are complying with state rules and guidance on environmentally preferable purchasing. Directors of the Department of Enterprise Services (DES) and the Department of Ecology (ECY) must ensure their agencies are collaborating to produce guidance that is simple, clear, and targeted on the most important opportunities for toxics and solid waste pollution reduction.

Finance and Budget

Directors must support the efforts of a working group to better align current fiscal policies or create new policies where needed to support emissions-reduction and carbon sequestration efforts.

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Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

The 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) authorizes up to $7.5 billion through two new programs designed to facilitate the installation of up to 500,000 electric vehicle (EV) chargers across the country. These funding programs, the key elements of which can be read by clicking here, are being administered pursuant to the White House’s EV Charging Action Plan.  The summary offers key takeaways for dealers and ATAEs; initial background information; a breakdown of the funding; key deadlines; and additional resources.

The Biden administration announced that $5 billion authorized for EV charging under the IIJA  will be made available under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program.  In conjunction with this announcement, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) launched a new website on BIL implementation with fact sheets, funding notices, guidance, regulations, and presentations.

Importantly, FHWA released a new NEVI program guidance (Guidance).

As explained in the Guidance, each state is required to submit an EV Infrastructure Deployment Plan (Plan) describing how the state intends to use its apportioned NEVI Formula Program funds.  States may not obligate their NEVI Formula Program funds until FHWA approves their Plans.  Plans must be submitted to the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (Joint Office) no later than August 1, 2022, and FHWA will approve eligible Plans by September 30, 2022.  States that submit Plans before August 1, 2022, will be approved by FHWA on a rolling basis.

In addition, FHWA has specified the funding amounts states will receive upon approval of their individual Plans.

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(206) 433.6300

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Fax: (206) 433.6301

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