Belltown EV Charging Station

Example EV Charging Station in Tukwila, Wash. 
Example of EV charging station installed in Tukwila, Wash.

Project Description

Seattle City Light is seeking community feedback on a proposal to install a public electric vehicle (EV) fast charging station in the Belltown neighborhood. If built, this charging station would become part of the utility's EV charging network across the service area and provide equitable access to EV charging. The Belltown area currently lacks access to public EV charging infrastructure.

Location

City Light is proposing to install four EV fast chargers and two Level 2 EV chargers in a new surface parking lot. The project would occur on utility-owned property next to the intersection of Blanchard Street and Western Avenue.

Map showing proposed electric vehicle charging site in Belltown

What's Happening Now?

Project Update (March 2022): City Light is currently reviewing the survey results. Additional project updates may be shared at a later date.

Project Details

  • Anyone with an electric vehicle will be able to use the charging station.
  • Drivers will need to pay a fee to use the charging station. The fee is designed to pay for the electricity and the cost of building the station.
  • The Washington State Department of Commerce is providing a $600,000 grant through the Clean Energy Fund program to support this project.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Seattle City Light's Public EV Charging Program?

City Light is installing publicly accessible EV fast chargers throughout the utility's service area to ensure that neighborhoods have equitable access to EV charging. The utility is running this program to provide a service to customers and better understand electric vehicle impacts on the electrical system. The program also supports Seattle's clean transportation initiative to remove barriers to EV adoption and reduce pollution and carbon emissions.

City Light owns and operates EV fast chargers in seven locations throughout the greater Seattle area. To find active and proposed City Light EV charger locations, visit our map at seattle.gov/city-light/electric-vehicles.

Why is City Light proposing this project?

Public EV fast chargers do not exist in the Belltown neighborhood. The nearest EV fast chargers are in Lower Queen Anne, South Lake Union, and Downtown Seattle. These chargers are in parking garages, which are less convenient and more expensive than chargers at surface lots. Increasing access to EV chargers in the city will allow people who choose to drive an EV to get the most out of their cars. EVs have much lower air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline vehicles. Electric vehicles are just one part of the city's efforts to improve air quality and fight climate change.

How much will it cost to use the chargers?

Drivers must pay a fee per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to use the EV chargers. One kWh provides enough energy for an average EV to travel about 3 miles, depending on the efficiency of the EV. Learn more about our fee structure by reading our EV Charging Program FAQ.

How might this EV charging station affect Belltown?

City Light anticipates that this charging station will have minimal impacts on the Belltown area. Drivers typically spend about 20-30 minutes at a fast charger or two hours at a Level 2 charger during a single charging session. City Light estimates this charging station may have up to six vehicles charging per hour during peak usage times from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. In 2019, the section of Western Avenue next to the proposed location had an average of 9,000 vehicle trips per day.

Why is this a good location for a charging station?

City Light believes this is a good location for an EV charging station because it will provide a service that is currently unavailable in the area. The site is near many popular high-traffic destinations, including the commercial core of Belltown, the Pier 66 cruise terminal and Pike Place Market. There are also several high-density offices, condominiums, and apartments in the area. Residents, workers, and visitors in the area can use and benefit from these chargers. Increasing EV use will reduce vehicular air pollution and noise. The importance of public charging stations like these will increase as EVs rapidly continue to drop in price and grow in popularity.

Street view of proposed EV charging location (facing northwest on Blanchard Street)
Street view of proposed EV charging location (facing northwest on Blanchard Street)

What types of EV chargers are proposed?

The proposed charging station will have both Level 2 and fast chargers. The Level 2 chargers can charge a typical EV at up to 9.6 kilowatts (kW), providing about 30 miles of range per hour of charge time. The fast chargers will charge at up to 150 kW, offering a typical EV with up to 450 miles of range per hour of charge time.

Each fast charger will include CHAdeMO and CCS connectors, which will allow all EVs capable of fast charging to use these stations (Tesla vehicles will require an adapter).

Seattle City Light is continuing to engage with the Belltown community as this project progresses.