Environment
2:14 pm
Wed July 13, 2011

Seattle takes another step toward green with new electric cars

The city of Seattle is greening up its fleet of vehicles with the addition of five Nissan Leafs. The city plans to have a total of 35 Leafs by the end of 2012.

Seattle is one of 18 cities taking part in The EV Project, the nation's largest electric vehicle demonstration.

Aided by millions of dollars in federal stimulus funds, Seattle is also collaborating with other Puget Sound governments, businesses and organizations to create a regional charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

Mayor Mike McGinn says the purchase of the electric cars supports environmental sustainability while creating jobs in the city:

 “With a new Nissan dealership just south of downtown, and the development of Seattle’s electric vehicle infrastructure, we are helping create 40-70 well paid sales and service jobs. And this helps the city budget with approximately $1.2 million in sales tax revenue. And with City Light power being greenhouse gas neutral, the residents of Seattle have a transportation option that’s good for the environment, and good for the economy."

Long-term plan

With a federal grant awarded to the Puget Sound Clean Cities Coalition, the city of Seattle is installing 22 public charging stations in five locations – SeaPark Garage, 609 Sixth Ave.; Pacific Place Garage, 600 Pine St.; Seattle Center, Fifth and Harrison; Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave.; and City Hall, 600 Fourth Ave.

City Light has permitted 256 charging stations in its service area and estimates there will eventually be 1,000 charging stations in its service area.

Seattle created its Green Fleet Action Plan in 2003, with the goal of having a 100% clean and green fleet of light duty sedans. City officials say Seattle's fleet of more than 4,000 vehicles is now 40% clean and green.