Getting Ready for Mass Electrification of Transport

Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Population: 4,018,762 (metropolitan area)

Climate: Oceanic

Duration: N/A – 2025

Sector: Transport

Funding sources: Public

City networks:  C40

Savings: 50% reduction in the municipal fleet’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2025.

Solutions: Drive Clean Seattle is a detailed plan to shift the transportation industry away from harmful fossil fuels and clean, carbon-free electricity. The strategy calls for efforts in passenger automobiles, trucks, transit, and maritime transportation to encourage this transformation.

Multiple benefits: Environmental, economic and health co-benefits.

With its Drive Clean Initiative and other ambitious steps, the City is tackling this issue head-on, driving broad electrification and reforming its transportation system for the future.

Objective – Support the elimination of GHG emissions attributable to transport by 2050.

Solutions – Through its Drive Clean Initiative, Seattle is encouraging the mass electrification of many modes of transportation, including passenger cars, trucks, transit, off-road vehicles, and maritime transport, to help it meet its ambitious goal of eliminating GHG emissions attributable to transportation by 2050. The strategy includes a proposal to cut GHG emissions from the City’s municipal fleet by investing heavily in energy-efficient vehicles and cleaner fuels and deploying 15,000 electric vehicles by 2025.

Drive Clean Seattle builds on the history of Seattle City Light, the city’s carbon-neutral municipal electric service.

Seattle City Light will develop and operate two pilot initiatives to study ways to promote more electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Seattle: one focused on residential charging and the other one on direct public current (DC) fast chargers. Furthermore, the City will make substantial investments in public DC fast chargers (source).

Funding – Seattle City Light estimates ~$80,000 for each DC fast-charging station (source)

Innovation – The Drive Clean Seattle agenda’s fleet electrification and emissions reduction components are already among the most innovative solutions presented by city governments across the United States. This agenda, which makes use of our clean energy, will establish Seattle as a bold and inventive leader in clean mobility (source)

Success factors: The plan involves a municipal fleet electrification strategy and infrastructure investment by Seattle City Light, prospects for public-private partnerships, and the use of legislation to speed up the process. The city’s commitment to low-carbon transportation options has already drawn investments, with BMW relocating the North American headquarters of its carsharing program –  ReachNow, to Seattle.

Significant outcomes:

  • The transition to electric vehicles will help reduce the annual pollutant load attributable to automobile emissions flow into Puget Sound, the nation’s second-largest estuary, by 60%
  • The city’s energy expenditure will fall when it transitions to electric-powered transportation, as it will lower gasoline costs and redirect money to in-state electricity providers.

Synergies with local policies:

  • Seattle’s 2013 Climate Action Plan. Seattle’s climate objective of carbon neutrality by 2050 requires a shift away from oil in the transportation sector;
  • Transit Master Plan (TMP). The TMP is a comprehensive 20-year forecast of the type of transportation infrastructure needed to meet Seattle’s transit needs through 2030;
  • 10-year Strategic Vision for Transportation. Move Seattle is a strategic declaration that lays out the work Seattle will undertake and how the city will do it over the next ten years and beyond, using three essential aspects: secure, integrated, dynamic, affordable, and innovative city.

Political alignment:

Marketability: N/A

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Sector: Transport

Country / Region: United States

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In 1 user collection: Good practices of cities

Knowledge Object: User generated Initiative

Published by: Cities 100