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Council approves requirement for electric vehicle charging in new development

When new development happens in unincorporated King County, much of it will now need to include charging stations for electric vehicles, a nod toward a future shifting away from fossil fuels and toward electric power.

The King County Council on Tuesday approved legislation adding requirements for much of new development in unincorporated King County to include charging stations and dedicated parking for electric vehicles. The legislation pushes toward one of the key goals of the Council’s Strategic Climate Action Plan.

“As we continue to face the growing impact of climate change on our day-to-day lives, it's vital that we think creatively and proactively about how to make eco-friendly choices accessible, such as electric vehicles,” said Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles, who sponsored the legislation along with Councilmembers Reagan Dunn and Rod Dembowski. “As electric vehicles become more common, affordable, and in-demand, this legislation will ensure that eco-friendly infrastructure exists in King County and that individuals are supported as they transition to more sustainable alternatives.”

Specifically, the legislation would require that new or substantially remodeled apartment buildings make 10% of parking spaces capable of charging electric vehicles (meaning they include all needed equipment to connect and charge) and 25% of spaces EV-ready (meaning the infrastructure is in place to install a charger at some future time).

"The pace of transportation electrification is growing exponentially,” said King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski. “This legislation is essential to build the infrastructure King County needs to lead the nation in decarbonizing our transportation network. As we are now seeing, our planet can't wait."

With a countywide target of having all light-duty vehicles sold by 2035 be electric, charging infrastructure is critical to making EVs accessible to more drivers. Already, one barrier for many potential EV owners is inconsistent access to charging stations, according to a report on EV infrastructure from the Executive (page 46 in this linked packet).

“With more charging stations, it will be much easier to own an electric vehicle in King County,” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn. “I’m excited to see the infrastructure put in place that will allow consumers to choose zero-emission vehicles that help preserve our air quality.”



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