SEATTLE - The nation's first electric-vehicle vanpools, four Nissan LEAF cars, were added to the Seattle Children's Hospital commute options for employees as part of King County's new "Metropool," according to the release from the County.
These electric vehicles are joining King County Metro Transit's vanpool fleet, with more than 1,170 commuter vans (vanpool and vanshare) in revenue service, providing about three million passenger trips annually. Metro's Rideshare Operations has committed to purchasing 20 Nissan LEAF vehicles to pilot electric-vehicle technology in a commuter application called "Metropool." The agency will coordinate the installation of charging stations at major employer sites and multi-modal transportation hubs such as park-and-rides and ferry terminals.
The first phase of the initiative involves hospital employees using four of the program's zero-emission cars. ECOtality's Blink charging stations have been installed on the Children's campus to support the program.
"Sharing a ride to work is an environmentally healthy way to commute, and Seattle Children's employees just got greener by signing up for Metro new electric-vehicle vanpools," said King County Executive Dow Constantine. "King County is adding alternative fuel vehicles to its fleet, specifically electric vehicles, to cut fuel consumption and carbon emissions."
The LEAF is a 100-percent electric, no gas, no tailpipe, no emissions vehicle with an estimated driving range of 100 miles on a single charge. It seats five people, the state minimum for commuter vans.