The state of Washington is set to invest more than $85 million to facilitate the installation of nearly 5,000 new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across the region. Notably, half of the allocated grants will be directed towards communities facing elevated health risks due to pollution linked to fossil fuels.
The Washington State Department of Commerce announced that the entirety of the funds will be allocated to non-profit organizations, electric utilities, tribes, and public agencies. The selection of locations was based on a comprehensive scoring system, with an interactive map aiding applicants in identifying areas where EV chargers would be most effective in combating pollution and promoting EV adoption.
Projects that committed to collaborating with electrical worker apprenticeship programs for the installation of new charging stations received additional points.
The initiative will see the installation of 4,710 Level 2 EV chargers (equivalent to 5,362 charge points) and 271 DC fast chargers (420 charge points). Commerce Director Mike Fong and Governor Jay Inslee announced the first recipients, with projects like the Women of Wisdom (WOW) Tri-Cities electric car-sharing scheme securing funding to provide transportation in areas with limited mobility.
A diverse array of recipients includes 213 multifamily properties, 211 fleets and workplaces, and 141 public locations such as recreation centers, libraries, and grocery stores.
Commerce Director Mike Fong emphasized the commitment to ensuring broad benefits from decarbonizing Washington's economy and highlighted the potential for job creation for electricians and technicians statewide.
Governor Jay Inslee underscored the importance of expanding charging infrastructure, stating, “One of the most important ways we can make electric vehicles an option for more people is by providing more charging stations.” He noted Washington's increasing adoption of electric vehicles and expressed gratitude for legislative climate investments that will enable thousands more residents to choose environmentally friendly electric cars.