- The Seattle City Council has passed a measure requiring all new buildings with off-street parking — like garages — to have electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, according to a statement from Mayor Jenny Durkan.
- Under the policy, individual residences built with private parking must have at least one space with wiring and outlets to be "EV-ready." Multi-family residences with shared parking must have 20% of their spaces EV-ready, and non-residential buildings will need at least 10% of parking to be EV-ready.
- "It is significantly more cost efficient to include EV infrastructure in construction from the start," said Durkan, who proposed the measure in February.
Seattle's Department of Construction & Inspections estimates that the requirements will lead to thousands of EV-ready spaces each year, a major step in the city's campaign to put more EVs on the road.
Durkan has proposed electrifying the municipal fleet and turning more for-hire fleets over to clean vehicles as part of her proposed Seattle Climate Action Plan, which seeks to make the city carbon neutral by 2050. West Coast states have also been investing in EV chargers as part of the "West Coast Green Highway" initiative.
A lack of charging infrastructure is one of the major barriers to EV deployment, and installing chargers after construction can be costly for car buyers and business owners.
News site MyNorthwest reports that Durkan is facing criticism from some green advocates, who say that her administration should be doing more to promote biking and mass transit, instead of focusing on electric vehicles. Advocates have been especially concerned about the city's Bicycle Master Plan, which proposed a smaller network of bike lanes than expected.