Electric Vehicle Readiness - What & Why

What's Happening Now?

On May 8, 2019, Mayor Durkan signed the Electric Vehicle Readiness legislation into law. The new rules went into effect on June 7, 2019. 

Research shows that access to convenient charging is a key factor in someone's decision whether to buy an electric vehicle (EV). EVs are typically charged at home, at work, or at publicly-accessible charging stations located in neighborhoods or business districts or along highway corridors. Installing the necessary infrastructure to support EV charging after a building has been constructed can be cost prohibitive. As such, there is a need to help ensure that buildings are designed to include some amount of charging infrastructure. This concept is known as "EV readiness".

We are studying possible changes to the Land Use Code to require new development in Seattle that includes off-street parking to provide power outlets for EV charging. We are doing this work in partnership with the Office of Sustainability and the Environment. Our effort is part of the Drive Clean Seattle initiative and was included in Mayor Jenny Durkan's 2018 Climate Action Strategy as one of her 12 priority climate actions.

Project Benefits

The new rules will:

  1. Save substantial costs on future charging station installation
  2. Reduce barriers to owning electric vehicles
  3. Help reshape our transportation systems for a fossil fuel-free future 

The End Result

The Mayor sent legislation to City Council on February 19, 2019. The City Council's Sustainability & Transportation Committee held deliberations on the proposal (CB 119472) in Spring 2019 and adopted the bill on April 29. The Mayor signed the legislation into law on May 8. The new rules went into effect on June 7, 2019.