Seattle Center as night falls (photo by Jeffery Hayes)Enlarge Photo
Washington looks set to become the second state to cut electric-car incentives for wealthy buyers.
After critics argued that incentive money wasn't going to the people that needed it most, California recently instituted income caps for its electric-car rebate program.
But instead of restricting incentives based on income, Washington will reportedly do it based on the cost of the cars themselves.
So Washington electric-car buyers will still be exempt from sales tax, but only if their cars cost less than $35,000.
The new rule primarily affects the Tesla Model S and BMW i3.
2015 BMW i3Enlarge Photo
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive would also be disqualified, if it was sold in Washington at all.
The Evergreen State is one of the most supportive of electric cars, but because it lacks a zero-emission vehicle mandate, relatively few models are sold there.
The transportation funding measure containing the tax-break cuts is on its way to Governor Jay Inslee's desk. He is expected to sign it.
His office advises electric-car buyers to wait until after the bill is signed to make a purchase, as the previous tax breaks expired at the beginning of this month.
Legislators also voted to raise Washington's registration renewal fee for plug-in cars from $100 to $150.
Tesla Model S 85D, 2015 Detroit Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
Measures like this have been enacted in a handful of states--over protests from electric-car advocates.
Earlier this year Idaho established a $140 fee to make up for perceived gas-tax shortfalls.
Meanwhile Washington's neighbor to the south, Oregon, is testing a road-use fee that would charge drivers based on mileage.