Five dollar maximum for charging electric and hybrid cars
The Metropolitan King County Council today gave its unanimous approval to the next step in assisting the growing number of drivers behind the wheel of “green” vehicles. The Council adopted legislation establishing the fee for plugging into a County recharging station for the owners of battery and plug in hybrid electric cars.
“The $5 cap fee approved today should give the economic viability of electric cars a real jolt,” said Council Vice Chair Jane Hague, prime sponsor of the ordinance. “Green vehicles are the future of transportation and providing commuters with a variety of practical options is definitely a good thing.”
“Our goal is to make driving electric vehicles convenient and affordable in King County because they’re the wave of the future for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on foreign energy,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips, Chair of the Transportation, Economy, and Environment Committee. “Operating electric vehicle charging stations at county facilities makes use of existing capacity, and offering recharging services for a low cost means they will be accessible to drivers while covering their cost of operation.”
“It is exciting to have the grant support from partners to develop charging stations at park-and-ride facilities,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert. “This modest cost-recovery measure will provide citizens with convenient access to charging stations now and into the future, and will prepare our infrastructure to meet the needs of a growing number of green vehicles on the road.”
New technologies are making electric vehicles—battery and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles—economically feasible to own. A growing number of mass-produced, reasonably priced, plug-in electric vehicles are on County roads. In 2009, the Council adopted a motion calling on the County Executive to establish policies for the development and operation of electric vehicle charging stations located on property owned or leased by King County.
Last year, the Council approved a program to install up to 200 charging stations at County owned, leased or partnering organizations’ facilities, such as Metro Transit Park and Ride lots. The cost of operating those facilities, which would be available by reservation to commuters and casual users as well as vanpool and vanshare programs, would be covered by the fee.
The ordinance adopted by the Council today establishes a per-use fee of those charging stations, and directs the County’s Department of Transportation to set a fee with a maximum of $5 per use. The proposed maximum rate is based on maintenance costs, vendor costs, and electricity.