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Planning for Electric Vehicles


In the coming years, residents will see more plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) on the roads, as well as PEV charging stations and other infrastructure at public and private facilities around the state. Using this energy for transportation fuel is a chance to increase the effectiveness of our energy system, reduce the use of imported fuels, spur new technology, and reduce our carbon footprint. For information on the use of electric vehicles, see the Electric Drive WA website, a portal to information about electric vehicles in Washington State created by the Electric Vehicle Task Force.

This page focuses on presenting local governments measures that create the infrastructure to support the use of electric vehicles in Washington, as required by measures passed in the 2009 legislative session.


In 2009, the Washington State Legislature passed 2SBH 1481 to encourage the transition to electric vehicles. The act required development regulations of cities located adjacent to I-5 in Snohomish, Pierce, and Thurston counties, and larger King County jurisdictions adjacent to I-5, I-90, I-405, and SR 520 to allow electric vehicle infrastructure (EVI), such as rapid charging stations and battery exchange stations as a use in all zones, except for residential, resource, or critical areas. Counties were required to allow EVI as a use within one mile of these highways by July 1, 2010. The requirement to allow electric vehicle infrastructure extended statewide to all cities adjacent to these highways, and to counties for areas within one mile of these highways on July 1, 2011. All cities and counties statewide were required to allow battery charging stations as a use in all zones, except for residential, resource, or critical areas by July 1, 2011. (From AWC Legislative Interim Bulletin #1, 06/18/2010)

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

Installation of Charging Stations

Local Zoning and EV Charging Station Programs

This section provides examples of zoning provisions enacted by Washington local governments, websites providing citizen information about planning for EV Plug-in sites, and location of public EV charging sites.

Additional References

  • Coulomb Technologies Charge Point - An electric vehicle charging solutions company that provides EV charging via ChargePoint Network - Coulomb Technologies' ChargePoint America program offered EVSE at no cost to individuals or entities in the Bellevue and Redmond metropolitan areas, excluding Seattle
  • Electric Vehicle Safety Training Resources, National Fire Protection Association - Information for fire fighters and other first responders
  • Electricity, Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center Studies, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Electrification Coalition - Nonprofit - Primary mission is to promote the deployment of electric vehicles on a mass scale through a wide variety of policies and actions, including the creation of electrification "ecosystems," limited geographic areas where electrified vehicles and infrastructure can be introduced so the concept can take root and grow.
  • Seattle City Light, Appendix D - The Impact of Electric Vehicles on System Load, 2010 Integrated Resource Plan
  • Western Washington Clean Cities - A public/private partnership that works to advance energy security, environmental and public health and economic development by promoting policies and practices that reduce petroleum consumption.

Last Modified: September 21, 2016