Move is another step to get 50,000 plug-ins on state roads by 2020

In a bid to speed up the adoption of plug-in vehicles, Washington state has restored its tax incentive program for electric cars.

The reinstatement of a $2,500 credit for new EVs was part of four bills Governor Jay Inslee signed into law this week, Automotive News reported Thursday. HB 2042 incorporates an incentive of up to $2,500 for Washington state residents who acquire a new plug-in with a sticker price under $45,000, or up to $1,600 for the purchase of a used EV priced below $30,000. Those incentives go into effect August 1.

Washington's original tax breaks ended last June when the number of EVs registered there reached 7,500 and measures to extend the incentives failed in the legislature, according to the Associated Press. The new initiatives, which also include funds to improve the electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the state, are part of Inslee's pledge to get 50,000 alternative fuel vehicles on his roads in 2020 – up from about 25,000 at the end of 2017.

The bills signed this week also include the extension of the tax credits to commercial vehicles (and removes a cap that ended the last round of breaks), as well pilot programs to expand the availability of EVs and alternative fuel vehicles to low-income households in the state.

As Washington state has found, EVs aren't quite ready to stand alone without incentives, save for vehicles such as those from Tesla that have a certain cache to seemingly transcend price points. Whether those in Washington, D.C. realize this yet is still very up in the air.