Oregon, and a few other states, has adopted California's zero-emission vehicle regulations. Implementing ZEV requirements has brought new plug-in electric vehicles to these states first, so that automakers may meet demand for what's been called "compliance cars." The District of Columbia and the states of Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont and New Mexico are set to adopt their own ZEV mandates.
Washington has taken on the California Air Resources Board's emissions rules, but left out the ZEV requirements. This means that consumers living in Washington have less EV choices at their local dealerships, since automakers are rolling out their new ZEV offerings first to states with compliance mandates.
Automakers assert that they're not controlled by ZEV mandates, but they do tend to launch new EVs in compliance states. Residents of California and Oregon get to check out the new products long before neighbors to the north in Washington, such as the Honda Fit EV, Fiat 500E and Toyota RAV4 EV. Chevrolet asserts that its upcoming Spark EV isn't being built as a compliance car, but it is initially only being delivered to a few select states, so you do the math. Fiat admits it is going to lose money on every 500E sold, so the project is more of an investment in meeting compliance rules than bringing EVs to many consumers.