In some parts of rural Washington state, the electric vehicle (EV) market is facing “range anxiety” over getting stranded far from a charger. Without ubiquitous EV charging stations, rural adoption of EVs continues to be discouraged, and without more EVs on the road, building new charging sites isn’t profitable for the private market.

In just the past few years, the number of electric vehicles registered in the state more than tripled as new EV options became available, according to state licensing data. This year so far, one out of every 10 vehicles sold is an EV. Today, about 100,000 EVs roam Washington highways and streets, though they still make up a very small proportion of vehicles on the road.

The greater Seattle area, with 70% of EV cars registered to drivers in King, Snohomish or Pierce counties, leads in EV adoption as well as investment from the private market in charging stations to the region.

A new statewide plan would use federal dollars to build chargers every 50 miles, upgrading rural utilities and combating range anxiety.

Gov. Jay Inslee wants to significantly increase the number of EVs, ideally ending the sale of new gas-powered cars statewide by 2030.

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