By transitioning the city’s transportation sector from oil to electricity, Seattle is one step closer to becoming carbon neutral.

Drive Clean Seattle is the city’s strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and localized air pollution in the highly emitting transport sector. Leading by example, Seattle wants at least 30% of light-duty vehicles in the municipal fleet to be electric by 2030 and to halve emissions from the fleet by 2050. To accelerate progress in the privately owned vehicle sector, the city is installing 20 fast-charging stations, and is establishing rules to allow curbside EV charging. Seattle is also part of a $10-billion, multi-city demand aggregation agreement designed to spur increased EV manufacturing.

1.6 million km driven by electric vehicles due to Drive Clean Seattle

Cities100 – 2017

Regionally, Seattle is also expanding electric transit via a $50-billion light-rail expansion. And by partnering with the private sector, the city hopes to facilitate a record-breaking purchase of all-electric transit buses. By driving the transition from oil to electricity in transportation, Seattle moves closer to its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

The challenge

In Seattle, the transportation sector accounts for 60% of greenhouse gas emissions, which is why the city is jump-starting its transition from oil to electricity, with the ultimate goal of eliminating emissions from transportation in 2050.


Economic In Seattle’s municipal fleet, each hybrid vehicle replaced with an EV saves $6,929 in total cost of ownership. With 150 EVs in the fleet, and at least 100 purchases planned for 2017, the city saves $1.7 million.

Environmental With one electric vehicle saving approximately 19 tons of carbon dioxide over its life-cycle, the city’s fleet will save 4,750 tons of CO2 emissions. The 40% increase in EVs throughout Seattle since 2016 represents an even greater CO2 reduction.

Health Air quality improves with the shift to electric vehicles as pollutants from gasoline and diesel combustion are reduced.

About Seattle

Seattle is a seaport city on the west coast of the United States. With an estimated 704,352 residents as of 2016, Seattle is the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest region of North America. Seattle has a noteworthy musical history and is the birthplace of rock musician Jimi Hendrix, origin of the bands Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and the alternative rock movement grunge.

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