Seattle, Washington Mayor Jenny A. Durkan opened 156 new City-owned electric vehicle (EV) charging stations located at the Seattle Municipal Tower parking garage. The 156 new stations join 32 existing ones, which are powered by the nation’s greenest utility. With 188 charging stations, this installation is the first for an American city and one of the largest indoor electric vehicle charging stations in the country.
The completion of this fleet charging project is a key deliverable of the Drive Clean Seattle initiative. The 156 new charging stations were supported through a $1.5 million investment in charging infrastructure to support the continuing electrification of the City’s municipal fleet, which now includes more than 200 plug-in vehicles and 300 hybrid vehicles.
According to the City’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS), for every internal combustion engine replaced with an EV within the fleet, operating costs drop by 30% and greenhouse gas emissions fall 100%. EV charging stations also have lower maintenance costs than fossil fuel stations, and the stations’ supporting infrastructure will last 50 years or longer.
Trucks, cars, and buses are responsible for approximately two-thirds of Seattle’s anthropogenic green-house gas emissions.
Seattle was one of the first cities in the US to buy conventional hybrids and battery-electric Nissan LEAFs. Seattle was the first city to install hybrid systems on ambulances, and first to use 20% biodiesel blend in all heavy-duty vehicles.
Core strategies in the Green Fleet Action Plan are electrification, cleaner fuels, increased efficiency, and a green fleet standard for fleet procurement. In addition to pollution reduction and cost savings, demonstrating best practices and leading by example are two significant outcomes of the City’s fleet electrification efforts.
Seattle is one of the only cities in the country with climate goals that are specific to municipal fleet operations, mandating wide-scale electrification and using lifecycle emissions to track progress on carbon reduction. Since the launch of the Green Fleet Action Plan in 2014, Seattle has reduced fleet lifecycle greenhouse gases by 11.5% and total fuel use by 5% over three years (2013-2016), while adding 150 new vehicles. The City of Seattle is now one of the most experienced EV charging installers in the region, having installed hundreds of charging stations for fleet use not only in the Seattle Municipal Tower but at City facilities throughout Seattle.
The construction project was managed by the Department of Finance and Administrative Services in coordination with Seattle City Light and Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections.