New and “substantially renovated” apartment buildings in unincorporated King County will be required to have 10% of their parking spaces capable of electric vehicle charging and 25% of the spaces must have the infrastructure in place to convert them one day charging electric vehicles.
The new rules were approved last week by the King County City Council, which covers an area including Seattle, Bellevue and Redmond. The new rules apply to unincorporated areas of the county, which excludes cities in the region.
Seattle leaders passed rules in 2019, requiring new single-family homes to include EV-ready parking spaces and that 20% of spaces be EV-ready in multi-family developments. For non-residential developments, this percentage drops to 10% of parking spaces.
Washington State has a objective that by 2030 all cars and light trucks sold, purchased and registered in the state will be electric. The state already ranks fourth nationally in electric vehicle ownership, second only to much more populous states like Texas, Florida and California. Residents of cities in King County own the most electric vehicles per capita in the state.
Rapidly scaling battery charging infrastructure is key to meeting EV sales targets.
“As we continue to deal with the growing impact of climate change on our daily lives, it is essential that we think creatively and proactively about how to make environmentally friendly choices, such as electric vehicles, accessible,” said Council member Jeanne Kohl-Welles, who co-sponsored the legislation, said in a statement.
Last month, Seattle City Light announced a new service in which the utility plans to install EV chargers at select curbside locations throughout the city. The goal is to give EV drivers who may not have access to off-street parking the opportunity to charge their vehicle.
Pacific Northwest startups are working to support electric vehicle charging. They understand:
- The Electric Age, a Seattle company that builds battery systems for electric vehicle charging stations. Its founders have roots with SpaceX and the company has raised over $3 million.
- OpConnect, a Portland, Oregon-based company that offers electric vehicle charging infrastructure and payment software. He raised $720,000, according to PitchBook.
- flexible loada Redmond, Washington company that develops software for off-peak electric vehicle charging.