Governor announces rebate program for EV purchases

Washington is the first state to prioritize low-cost leases for electric vehicles.

On April 23 — the day after Earth Day — Gov. Jay Inslee announced a new state program that allows instant rebates for eligible Washington residents purchasing or leasing an electric vehicle (EV).

“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,” Inslee said. “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.”

Opening in August 2024, the $45 million state program will allow eligible Washington residents who annually earn up to $45,180 for a single person, or $93,600 for a family of four, to receive up to $5,000 for a new EV purchase or two-year lease, or up to $9,000 for a three-year lease on a new EV.

Used EVs are also included in the program, with eligibility of $2,500 for purchases and leases.

According to the state Department of Commerce, the department is making new EVs more affordable by leveraging the federal credit to make leasing EVs as low as $56 a month for certain models.

According to the Department of Commerce, Washington is the first state to prioritize low-cost leases as part of an EV incentive program and that the department has invested $100 million in EV infrastructure in the state through funding from the Climate Commitment Act. Funding will continue through June 2025, or until all funds are used.

“Transportation is the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and harmful air pollution,” said Washington State Department of Commerce Director Mike Fong. “It is important that people who live in our most-impacted communities, which tend to be urban and lower income, have access to cleaner transportation options, including the choice of EV ownership. These rebates can help many more people all across the state buy or lease an EV.”

In the same week, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced a $6 million grant from the Department of Commerce, allowing the expansion of access to over 400 new EV charging ports throughout the county.

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How to get an EV rebate in August

The program is a collaboration with automakers and dealers. For anyone interested in leasing or buying a new or used EV, they need to go to a dealer to learn more about the low-cost lease offers that are available. A signed attestation will be given to the dealer, showing that the potential buyer meets income and credit report requirements for a lease deal on offer.

With the attestation, the dealer will deduct the applicable rebate amount from the cost of the lease before applying dealer, state and local fees for the total lease amount.

Due to Washington’s zero-emission vehicles exemption of up to $15,000 in lease payments, there will be no state sales tax.