Mayor Durkan Opens Seattle City Light’s First Curbside Fast-Charging Stations for Electric Vehicles

As part of “Drive Clean Seattle” initiative, Seattle City Light to install up to 18 additional new charging stations by year’s end, making it easier for Seattle drivers to charge electric vehicles

SEATTLE (Jan 30) – Saying Seattle will continue to lead in the fight to address climate change, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan put into service Seattle City Light’s (SCL) first two fast-charging stations for electric vehicles in Beacon Hill. Mayor Durkan also announced plans to install up to 18 more charging stations at sites across Seattle by the end of 2018.

“We won’t wait on the other Washington to act. Seattle believes in science and will lead the nation in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Leveraging the nation’s greenest utility, we can clean our air with more electric vehicles on our roads,” said Mayor Durkan.

Road transportation – including cars, trucks, and buses – account for two-thirds of Seattle’s climate-changing carbon pollution. To combat those sources of carbon emissions, the City has a goal of increasing electric vehicle ownership to 30% by 2030 while rapidly transitioning the municipal fleet to hybrid and electric vehicles, further advancing us toward our climate goal.

The new charging stations were installed as part of the City’s “Drive Clean Seattle” initiative, which facilitates greater access to electric vehicle charging stations and prioritizes publicly available charging to enable shared mobility and fleet electrification. At fast-charging stations like the ones opened today, drivers of electric vehicles can charge them for approximately 20 minutes to get 80 miles of range and will pay 43 cents per kilowatt-hour while charging their vehicles. To charge a Nissan LEAF from a near-empty battery to fully charged would cost about $10.70. In addition, fast-charging stations like these address range anxiety and provide access to charging for residents who may be unable to charge their vehicle at home.

With electric vehicle sales at four times the national average, Seattle is consistently ranked as one of the leading markets in the United States in both the electric vehicles share and public charging infrastructures. Seattle is also identified as the largest and most important markets outside of California. Situated next to a mobility hub – with light rail and bus service just across the street – and near major arterial streets that provide access to the rest of the City, the Beacon Hill site was identified as a strong location for the first City-installed charging stations.

“Investment in charging infrastructure is one of the most important ways we can speed up the adoption of electric vehicles in Seattle. This new Beacon Hill charging station is in a prime location to help EV owners and ReachNow with energy management of our shared electric fleet, while filling a critical EV infrastructure gap,” said Steve Banfield, CEO, ReachNow. “Thank you to the City of Seattle for supporting the transition to sustainable transportation.”

The opening of the new charging stations came on the heels of the wettest four-year period in Seattle’s history, and a new study commissioned by Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) released yesterday, which found that the strength of extreme rainstorms in Seattle has increased dramatically since 2003. Rainfall patterns across the city show that these extreme weather events have grown 30 percent stronger over the past 15 years, an expected impact of climate change. The new SPU study draws from data collected by 17 SPU-owned rain gauges and from regional observations taken by the National Weather Service (NWS).

Learn more about Seattle’s climate action plan from Seattle City Light, Seattle Public Utilities and the Office of Sustainability and Environment.