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Next Steps in Drive Clean Seattle

Mayor Ed Murray recently signed an Executive Order that signals the next step in the Drive Clean Seattle Initiative. The Executive Order directs City departments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a three-pronged approach: buying the greenest vehicles, electrifying the fleet and using other renewable fuels, and prohibiting idling.

The Mayor launched the Drive Clean Seattle Initiative earlier this year to help leverage Seattle City Light’s carbon neutral electricity across the transportation sector and accelerate the city’s transition away from oil.

“Seattle’s commitment to reducing our greenhouse gas pollution is stronger than ever,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “We are leading by example as we pursue cutting edge solutions to our climate challenges. The Drive Clean Seattle Initiative is helping Seattle set an example for how cities can cut emissions even as they grow.”

A primary goal of the Drive Clean Seattle Initiative is to reduce climate pollution from the City fleet by 50% by 2025. The Executive Order gives departments clear direction on how to pursue this goal and includes annual reporting expectations. The City of Seattle has long been a leader in sustainability and because of early investments in green vehicles, and a continuing commitment to biodiesel, is nationally recognized as operating one of the greenest fleets in the country.

Specifics of the Executive Order include:

  • Green fleet procurement and measurable outcomes: The City will establish a standard green fleet procurement methodology to ensure the cleanest, greenest, most efficient vehicles will be operating in every City department. A green vehicle is defined as zero emission, near-zero emission, hybrid or other technology designed to reduce pollution and fuel consumption.
  • Fleet electrification: As vehicles are replaced at the end of life, the City will purchase a plug-in vehicle when a cost effective, market ready-vehicle is available in that vehicle class.
  • Anti-idling and operational efficiency: Department drivers are prohibited from idling city vehicles. Fuel use will be tracked by vehicle as a reporting accountability tool for departments.

“Emissions from transportation are responsible for nearly two-thirds of Seattle’s climate pollution,” said Kimberley Cline, Coordinator of Partnerships, Policy & Outreach for Western Washington Clean Cities. “Mayor Murray’s commitment to Seattle’s green fleet is a great model for how public fleets can lead by example and pave the way for meaningful reductions in climate pollution, and toward a clean energy future.”

Mayor Murray also included funds in the 2017-18 City budget for 20 publicly accessible fast charging stations spread throughout the city and new charging infrastructure for the City’s growing electric vehicle fleet. The City of Seattle has one of the largest electric vehicle fleets in the country with nearly one million miles driven by electricity with 125 on-road electric vehicles (25% of the light duty fleet), 71 pieces of electric off-road equipment, and over 500 conventional hybrids.