Electric & Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Electric and alternative fuel vehicles are increasingly common on our roads, and many efforts are underway to accelerate the adoption of these vehicles nationwide. This website is intended to help local planners, decisionmakers, and residents find resources and explore equity issues to prepare for this shift in our transportation system.

Why Electric & Alternative Fuel Vehicles?

Switching from fossil fuel vehicles to electric (EVs) and other alternative fuel vehicles improves air quality, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and can save owners money on fuel and maintenance. 

Washington State has adopted a plan with the following vision for electric vehicles - that all Washingtonians and visitors have the ability to use an EV and find convenient, affordable, and accessible fast-charging stations. The vision is accompanied by several goals, including reaching 500,000 EV registrations by 2027. The state has indicated a commitment to adopt California’s vehicle emissions standards and ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035. 

Regional Targets

Thurston Regional Planning Council has adopted greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Reduce locally generated greenhouse gas emissions

  • 45% below 2015 levels by 2030 and
  • 85% below 2015 levels by 2050

Increasing EV adoption has been identified in the Thurston Climate Mitigation Plan as one of many strategies to meet these goals. Switching to electric or higher efficiency fuels to power cars, trucks, and buses accounts for more than two thirds of the reductions we will need in local transportation emissions by 2050.

What is an Alternative Fuel Vehicle?

Alternative fuel vehicles operate on at least one fuel other than gasoline or petroleum diesel. There are dual-fuel alternative fuel vehicles that may operate on an alternative fuel and gasoline or diesel. Commonly used alternative fuels include electricity, hydrogen, biodiesel, and natural gas. 

There are several types of electric vehicles:

  • Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) rely solely on an electric motor.
  • Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) are powered by an internal combustion engine and an electric motor, can operate in all-electric mode, and charge their electric batteries by plugging into an electric power source.
  • Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) are powered by an internal combustion engine and an electric motor, and charge their electric batteries by regenerative braking. HEVs are not included in Electric Vehicle Registrations reported by the Department of Licensing.

To view and download EV registration and charging station data in Thurston County, visit the Electric Vehicles webpage of the Profile.

Contact Us

  1. Theressa Julius, Senior Planner

    Thurston Regional Planning Council
    2411 Chandler Court SW
    Olympia, WA 98502

Washington State electric vehicle planning has kicked off.

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