Seattle mayor calls for EV readiness

Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan is determined to take a firm step towards achieving the city’s climate change goals by proposing that all new buildings have electric vehicle (EV) charging facilities.

The proposal sets out requirements that a certain percentage of parking spots have the requisite wiring and fittings for EV charging.

EV adoption is one of the key elements of the mayor’s proposal, the Seattle Climate Action Plan, with the core objective of making Seattle carbon-neutral by 2050.

In the case of commercial buildings, at least 10% of spaces will be required to be EV-ready.

In the case of new residential builds, individual family homes with private parking will be required to have at least one EV-charging equipped space, whilst multi-home developments will have a 20% EV-ready requirement.

The proposal further calls for greater electrification of the city’s municipal fleet. The private sector is also covered under the proposal, with a call for vehicle hire fleets to be electrified.

A lack of charging infrastructure is one of the biggest barriers to EV adoption, transportation makes up more than 60% of the city’s carbon emissions, higher than the 27% average of most US cities, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Seattle joins New York City and Atlanta in making firm strides towards EV readiness, but a challenge facing most cities is the high cost of retrofitting existing buildings for EV charging, with many other US cities choosing to focus on more accessible options, such as roadside charging.