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Seattle To Install More Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Tom Banse

The city of Seattle is partnering with a car-sharing company to install more charging stations for electric vehicles.

ReachNow is headquartered in Seattle and run by BMW. They have invested $1.2 million to install 100 new chargers in 20 locations around the city.

"That increases the density of electric charging infrastructure that makes it easier to own and use an electric car in Seattle," ReachNow CEO Steve Banfield said.

It's estimated there are more than 100 public charging stations around the city already, but they can be hard to access, according to the city's climate and transportation policy advisor, Chris Bast.

"Many of our public chargers are really public in name only because they're hidden in parking garages," Bast said. "What BMW is doing and what the city is doing is installing charging stations in places where people can see them."

The first of the new chargers was unveiled Monday at Woodland Park Zoo.

The move is part of the city's Drive Clean Seattleinitiative, which encourages sustainable transportation.

Part of the goal is to make driving electric vehicles more convenient for people who already have them. The other hope is to encourage more people to go electric by making the charging stations more visible.

The city also wants to encourage car- and ride-sharing companies to add more electric cars to their fleets. About 10 percent of ReachNow's cars are electric.

These new chargers will be owned and maintained by a private company. Seattle City Light is also expected to begin installing public charging stations.

A Seattle native and former KNKX intern, Simone Alicea spent four years as a producer and reporter at KNKX. She earned her Bachelor's of Journalism from Northwestern University and covered breaking news for the Chicago Sun-Times. During her undergraduate career, she spent time in Cape Town, South Africa, covering metro news for the Cape Times.