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Statement by Mayor Jenny Durkan on City Council’s Vote to Approve Her Legislation That Ensures More New Seattle Buildings Are Ready for Electric Vehicles

Seattle (April 29, 2019) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan issued the following statement regarding the passage of her legislation requiring all new buildings in Seattle that include off-street parking – like a parking garage – have the necessary infrastructure to support electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. This builds on Washington State Legislature’s newly-passed budget, which includes legislation, HB 1512, that provides utilities like Seattle City Light the ability to invest in the electrification of transportation infrastructure. 

“Seattle must continue to take bold action on many fronts to reduce carbon pollution and address the negative impacts of climate change. This includes investing in access to transit, bikes, and housing options near transit. This legislation is an important step forward to making sure Seattleites can reliably charge electric vehicles,” said Mayor Durkan. “We need to do more to reduce the number of vehicles on our roads and to move to electric vehicles. It is significantly more cost efficient to include EV infrastructure in construction from the start. Our actions to reduce emissions from transportation will help create a healthier and more just city.” 

Once enacted, the new law 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.