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Mayor Murray launches Drive Clean Seattle

Initiative to electrify Seattle’s transportation system among most comprehensive in the nation

MurrayatCLCToday at the Climate Leadership Conference, Mayor Murray announced a bold new initiative focused on leveraging Seattle’s clean electricity across the transportation sector. Drive Clean Seattle is a comprehensive plan to accelerate and increase the use of electric vehicles to move people, goods and services around the City.

“Drive Clean Seattle is an aggressive plan to electrify our transportation at a broad scale,” said Mayor Murray. “We will work with residents, transit agencies, and businesses to promote the use Seattle City Light’s carbon neutral electricity to move around the city. Transportation is Seattle’s leading source of greenhouse gases and this plan will allow us to work aggressively to reduce climate impacts.”

“Transportation is the largest source of climate and air pollution in Seattle. Air quality is a major environmental justice issue here,” said Craig Kenworthy, Executive Director of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. “Getting cleaner vehicles on our roads will support better health outcomes for some of our most vulnerable residents in Seattle. I applaud Mayor Murray and the City of Seattle for making this commitment.”

Mayor Murray announced the following specific goals and actions:

  1. Leading By Example: Transform the City of Seattle Fleet

Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the City’s municipal fleet 50 percent by 2025 through a combination of cleaner fuels, more efficient vehicles, and significant investment in electric vehicles.

  1. Accelerating EV Adoption: Enable and support the adoption of 15,000 electric vehicles by 2025

This goal represents a five-fold increase in the number of electric vehicles currently on the road. To help accelerate the pace of adoption, the City will launch several projects over the next year to triple the number of publicly available DC Fast Chargers throughout Seattle. Seattle City Light will also launch a pilot project to support residential charging stations in homes through innovative on-bill repayment and time-of-day pricing.

  1. Improving Air Quality: Reduce congestion and improve air quality

Electric transit and other modes of shared transportation means better air quality in busy transit corridors. Transit systems provide the best opportunity to reduce emissions at scale and ensure everyone can participate in the electrified transportation economy. In addition to welcoming a new electric car share company to the Seattle marketplace, the City will continue to partner with King County Metro, Sound Transit, and other regional transit agencies to identify opportunities to continue to use our clean electricity as a transit fuel.

  1. Growing the Economy: Electricity as a transportation fuel keeps our fuel dollars in the community

Direct the Office of Economic Development and the Office of Sustainability and Environment to develop a strategy to help businesses, organizations, and residents participate in the electrified transportation economy, as well as align City regulations, policies, codes, and plans to encourage electric vehicles and private sector investment in cleaner transportation choices.

“From the time we embraced the goal of Seattle becoming a carbon neutral city, we knew clean solutions for the transportation sector would be critical,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien, chair of the Transportation and Environment Committee. “Drive Clean Seattle sends a strong message that we are serious and optimistic about being able to significantly reduce the climate impacts of our transportation system.”

“While Seattle appears to have a lot of electric vehicles, the charging infrastructure is sorely lacking,” said Larry Weis, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s nominee to become the next CEO and general manager of Seattle City Light. “I’m committed to finding a way to improve charging and other infrastructure to support electric vehicles.”

“MacDonald Miller has made conversion to electric vehicles a priority for our fleet,” noted the company’s fleet manager, Bruce Birdsell. “Mayor Murray’s Drive Clean Seattle initiative will create the infrastructure necessary for our continued conversion, saving carbon emissions from our transportation fleet as we continue to help our customers save carbon emissions through building energy efficiency.”

“Electric vehicles in Seattle reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality. Climate change is one of the greatest human health threats of our time. The Mayor’s initiative is smart leadership that will help protect the health of our community for generations to come,” said Brenna Davis, Director of Sustainability at Virginia Mason.