Making range anxiety old news for EV drivers.

Have you considered an electric vehicle (EV)?

While EVs are better for the environment and can even be better for your pocketbook, they’re not always convenient for people who don’t have a reliable place to charge them. Even if you do have a place to charge your car at home or work, EV drivers can still struggle with “Range Anxiety” – a term named after the intense fear of running out of charge while driving your EV.

When you realize the next charging station is 500 miles away. 

 

EVCROW Pilot Program

We’re working to address Range Anxiety by getting more EV chargers on the streets through the Electric Vehicle Charging in the Public Right-of-Way (EVCROW) pilot program. The pilot newly enables applicants to install EV charging stations next to curbside parking spaces. Of course, there are some restrictions to where these stations can go (i.e. not blocking pedestrian/bike traffic, not in residential zones), but generally they’ll be easily accessible in places you may already visit around the city. Hooray! 

Fighting “range anxiety.”

Right now, most EV owners charge their vehicles at night in their private garage. But here in a city where most people are renters, installing a home charging station is not an option for everyone. More public charging options through EVCROW can help provide diverse charging options to meet the needs of more potential EV drivers, including people who drive EVs for rideshare companies.

 

EV charging stations have come a long way since this pic of City Light Superintendent Gordon Vickery with a prototype electric car in 1973.

Curbside chargers can help recharge shared vehicles and increase the number of cleaner cars in shared mobility services. By installing more EV charging stations near transit hubs (i.e. Light Rail stations), car sharing and ride-hailing drivers with EVs can power-up along their driving route saving valuable time. More EVs in shared mobility services means more trips will be powered by cleaner electricity, particularly first mile/last mile trips from the end of public transit to your final destination.

 

EV charging at curbside parking spots helps replace gasoline miles with cleaner electric miles. This switch leads to better air quality that everyone can enjoy because EVs don’t have tailpipe emissions and the electricity they’re charged within Seattle is 100% carbon neutral. With curbside EV charging, locals can charge on-the-go and those that live outside the city can take their EV on longer city trips because they have more places to charge it when they get here.

 

We’ll do two!

Two EVCROW stations are already up and running on the 2500 block of 16th Avenue South in the North Beacon Hill neighborhood. SDOT is also processing more applications with the hopes of installing at least 5 more stations by the completion of the pilot this summer. Lessons learned from the EVCROW pilot will be integrated into a permanent EVCROW program later in 2018.

 

Drive Clean Seattle Plan

EVCROW is part of the broader Drive Clean Seattle implementation plan, which aims to achieve 30% of a vehicles being electric by 2030. To do this the plan calls for investments in more charging stations, policy changes, and public-private partnerships. So, if you’re on-the-fence about going electric, consider that Seattle is working hard right now to make EV driving easier for you.

 

Questions? Comments?

Questions, comments, or know of an area you’d like a curbside EV charging station? Give us a shout at newmobility@seattle.gov.