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To Help Seattle Meet Its Climate Goals, Mayor Durkan Proposes Legislation to Ensure More New Buildings in Seattle Are Ready for Electric Vehicles 

“EVready” proposal is one of 12 priority climate actions in Mayor’s 2018 Climate Action Strategy

SEATTLE (Feb 19, 2019) – To help Seattle meet its climate goals, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced in her State of the City address this afternoon that she will transmit legislation to the City Council requiring all new buildings in Seattle to be ready for electric vehicle (EV) charging.

This proposal, one of 12 priority climate actions the Mayor identified in her 2018 Climate Action Strategy, will require that all new buildings in Seattle that included off-street parking – like a parking garage – have the necessary infrastructure to support electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.

“Seattle can lead the world by taking bold action to reduce carbon pollution while protecting our communities from the worst impacts of climate change. We know that we need a range of strategies as a City to combat climate change. This includes increased access to transit, bikes and walking as well as adding density.  We also need to move to electric vehicles,” said Mayor Durkan. “Seattle has always invented the future, and we will lead the transition to electric vehicles to combat climate change. Our actions to reduce emissions from transportation will help create a healthier and more just city, with a stronger economy.”

The legislation will require parking spaces provided with all new buildings to include the wiring and electrical outlets necessary to be considered “EV-ready.” Installing the appropriate wiring at the time of construction is the most cost-effective way to install charging stations in the future. The number of “EV-ready” parking spaces required will depend on the type of land use and the type and size of parking facilities provided.

The new measures will require that every individual residence with private parking includes an EV-ready space. For multifamily development with shared parking facilities, at least 20 percent of the spaces will be EV-ready. Parking facilities for non-residential uses will include a minimum of 10 percent of EV-ready spaces. The electric vehicle requirements are flexible in instances where meeting the required amount of EV paces would require upgrades to the utility infrastructure.

The City of Seattle’s Department of Construction & Inspections estimates that this legislation will support the creation of thousands of new EV-ready parking spaces each year.