Southern California environment news and trends

Washington State to impose $100 tax on electric car drivers

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Bryan Mitchell, Getty Images

The Nissan Leaf prototype electric car.

Electric vehicles are definitely on the rise. With the market continuing to expand from the Volkswagon Electric E-Bugster to the much discussed Neon Leaf, it could be argued that EV’s are the current belle of the auto industry ball.

With the State of California setting “clean car” rules to further reduce auto emissions, all signs are pointing to an overall healthier environment for everyone.

The state of Washington, however, seems to have missed the memo. Just last week, the Washington state senate passed a new law that charges owners of electric vehicles $100 to make up for lost gasoline tax. Senator Mary Margaret Haugen (D) sponsored the bill, and commented on its passage in a press release:

“We think the purchase of electric vehicles is great for the environment, but we also need to maintain our roads, which is why we have the gas tax,” she stated in the release. “Electric vehicles put just as much wear and tear on our roads as gas vehicles. This simply ensures that they contribute their fair share to the upkeep of our roads.”


Starbucks opens drive-through made of recycled shipping containers near Seattle

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Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

Shipping containers have long been a hot topic in eco-circles. With more of them collecting dust across America than many realize, finding myriad ways to recycle the hulking shells abound. Given their size, re-imagining these containers as homes and shelters have been especially popular. The SEED Project at Clemson University was inspired to utilize them as emergency housing in case of devastating incidents such as Hurricane Katrina.

Shipping containers have also become popular as quick and easy pop-up businesses (officially known as “cargotecture”), and Starbucks has jumped on the trend by opening a drive-through store from recycled shipping units in Tukwila, WA, not far from Seattle. Constructed from four cargo containers stacked two high, the location does not have any indoor seating.