Mayor Durkan Opens 156 New Electric Vehicle Charging Stations at Seattle Municipal Tower That Help Power the City’s Green Fleet

With 188 Total Charging Stations in Building, Installation at the City-Owned Tower’s Parking Garage Is First-Of-Its-Kind for An American City and One of Country’s Largest Indoor Electric Vehicle Charging Installations

Project Key to Seattle’s “Green Fleet” Electrification Program and Meeting Seattle’s Climate Goals

SEATTLE (February 1) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan today celebrated the opening of 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 of its kind for an American city and one of the largest indoor electric vehicle charging stations in the country. It is also key to helping the City of Seattle electrify its fleet of vehicles and meet its climate goals, including becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

“Seattle will continue to lead on climate action and green energy innovation including our City government. While the other Washington embraces inaction and rejects science, Seattle will act to clean our air, protect our city and our planet, and create a better future,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan. “Electrifying our City’s fleet saves Seattle taxpayers money and reduces our carbon pollution.”

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 over 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 percent and greenhouse gas emissions fall 100 percent. EV charging stations also have lower maintenance costs than fossil fuel stations, and the stations’ supporting infrastructure will last 50 years or longer, allowing cost and emissions savings to accrue for decades to come.

Trucks, cars, and buses are responsible for approximately two-thirds of Seattle’s climate-changing carbon pollution.

For 20 years, Seattle’s Green Fleet program has been a national leader in green energy innovation, provided market certainty and driven private investment, and accelerated broader adoption of clean transportation technology. Seattle was one of the first cities in the nation 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 percent 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 percent and total fuel use by 5 percent 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.

“Given that we were in uncharted territory, it was a top priority to be strategic and innovative in the design to not only benefit City operations but also lay a foundation for industry and other partners to follow suit,” said Andrea Pratt, Seattle Green Fleet Manager.

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.

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