ZEV bus.

King County lawmakers voted to speed up converting the county's vehicle and bus fleet to electric vehicles, moving the deadline ahead by five years to 2035.

The proposal significantly expands the county's charging infrastructure to support the conversion.

The legislation also increases county support for clean energy jobs and expands the number of level two chargers at transit park and rides by 500 percent by 2030. The county currently has 37 chargers at park and rides.

The bill passed the council's Mobility and Environment Committee in a 7-1 vote Jan. 22 [No. 2019-0435]. The change was proposed as part of a part of the county's Strategic Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Recent large demonstrations calling for more action to address climate change prompted the bill's backers to put it to a vote.

The legislation's sponsor, Councilwoman Jeanne Kohl-Welles, told Crosscut, a Seattle-based news organization, that the 2035 deadline is mostly aspirational and that 2037 is more likely.

Transitioning King County Metro to a zero-emission fleet could cost $194 million by 2047, according to a 2017 feasibility report by the county.

Puget Sound Energy is working on an electrification pilot program with King County Metro.

Contributing Editor

Dan has covered stories from Seattle to Tbilisi; spent time with the AP, Everett Daily Herald and Christian Science Monitor; and was twice a member of a team nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He and his wife have three young children and live in Seattle.