The City of Seattle has opened 156 new city-owned electric vehicle charging stations, joining 32 existing ones, to be used by fleet vehicles. The 188 vehicles make up one of the largest indoor EV charging stations in the country and will help the city electrify its fleet and meet its climate goals, including becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

The 156 new charging stations were supported through a $1.5 million investment in charging infrastructure to support the continuing electrification of the city’s fleet, which now includes more than 200 plug-in vehicles and 300 hybrid vehicles. 

“Given that we were in uncharted territory, it was a top priority to be strategic and innovative in the design to not only benefit city operations but also lay a foundation for industry and other partners to follow suit,” said Andrea Pratt, Seattle green fleet manager.

For every internal combustion engine replaced with an EV within the fleet, operating costs drop by 30% and greenhouse gas emissions fall 100%, according to the city’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS). EV charging stations also have lower maintenance costs than fossil fuel stations, and the stations’ supporting infrastructure will last 50 years or longer, allowing cost and emissions savings to accrue for decades to come.

The city has been moving toward a cleaner fleet for 20 years through its Green Fleet Program. Its core strategies now consist of electrification, cleaner fuels, increased efficiency, and a green fleet standard for fleet procurement. Since the launch of the Green Fleet Action Plan in 2014, Seattle has reduced fleet life cycle greenhouse gases by 11.5% and total fuel use by 5% over three years (2013-2016), while adding 150 new vehicles.