May 19, 2024 1:02 pm

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Western WA communities get $41.19 million for new electric vehicle charging infrastructure

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) is awarding Western Washington communities tens of millions of dollars to add 180 Electric Vehicle charging stations in Port Angeles, Mount Vernon, and rural cities. The grant will also fund a new electric charging hub for 300 trucks at the Port of Seattle and the Port of Tacoma.

Maria Cantwell
Maria Cantwell

“These grants will help build out the EV charging infrastructure our state needs to reduce driving costs, lower carbon pollution, and improve the air quality at our two largest ports,” Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, announced on Tuesday. “More charging stations make it easier for Washingtonians to go electric and enjoy savings over the life of their cars from fueling with clean and affordable electricity instead of gasoline.”

The $41.19 million grant funding comes from DOT’s Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Grant Program, which was established under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to strategically deploy publicly accessible EV charging and alternative fueling infrastructure nationwide.

electric vehicle
Rick Larsen

“Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the vision of local leaders, Mount Vernon is building a cleaner and greener future,” said Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02), the lead Democrat on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. “Mayor Boudreau and her team championed the innovative Library Commons project, and I look forward to working with Mayor Donovan and his team to deliver more jobs, drive long-term economic growth and pull more pollution out of transportation in Mount Vernon and in communities along the I-5 corridor.”

Mount Vernon Mayor Peter Donovan and former Mayor Jill Boudreau celebrated the historic grant funding and emphasized the importance of building cleaner and greener infrastructure in the city and the region.

community transit electric
Community Transit’s first-ever all-electric bus that is being temporarily leased Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02) toured on July 6, 2023.Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

“This grant award—and this entire project—are wonderful examples of the cooperation that should exist among all levels of government when it comes to addressing the infrastructure needs of Americans, today and well into the future,” said Mayor Donovan. “Mount Vernon owes a debt of gratitude to all of the City’s state and federal delegation. Representative Larsen was instrumental in advocating for this visionary project in Mount Vernon. Thank you!”

“The City is honored to receive this funding,” said Mayor Boudreau. “Our Mount Vernon Library Commons project fulfills local, state, and federal transportation goals by building the largest publicly accessible EV charging facility in the United States. We are thankful for Congressmember Larsen, and Mount Vernon’s entire delegation, for their unwavering support and advocacy.”

The grant recipients include:

  • $14,588,384 for Energy Northwest: Energy Northwest, a joint operating agency in Washington state, will install 40 fast chargers and 12 Level 2 chargers across western Washington state and northern Oregon. The project will provide EV access to largely rural and disadvantaged communities, including on indigenous lands. Impacted communities are Forks, Sequim, Quilcene, Shelton, Raymond, Ilwaco, Kamilche, Longview, Kalaloch, and Port Ludlow.
  • $12,500,000 for the City of Mount Vernon: The City of Mount Vernon will install 78 EV charging ports in a public parking garage located in a historic downtown area by the Skagit River and Interstate 5, an Alternative Fuel Corridor. The project will be constructed to allow the installation of another 200 charging ports in the future. The project will also help support a regional transit stop linking Skagit, Whatcom, and Snohomish counties.
  • $2,103,611 for the City of Port Angeles: The City of Port Angeles will install 50 fast EV chargers along State Road 101, which provides access to Olympic National Park and ferry service. Port Angeles is a small, rural community where improved EV infrastructure will help to reduce the environmental impacts of combustion engine vehicles.
  • $12,000,000 for the Northwest Seaport Alliance: The Northwest Seaport Alliance, the agency overseeing the Port of Seattle and the Port of Tacoma, will receive $12 million to develop one or more shared electric truck charging hubs. These hubs will serve a network of about 4,500 heavy-duty trucks that provide cargo hauling services to the ports of Seattle and Tacoma. The project also will help reduce emissions from an estimated 300 diesel trucks, including greenhouse gas emissions that disproportionately impact disadvantaged, overburdened communities near the seaports and along major freight corridors between Seattle and Tacoma.

Larsen has been a strong supporter of the Mount Vernon Library Commons project, which will feature a combined library, community center and parking structure that will house the largest public EV charging center in the United States.

Last May, Larsen sent a letter to Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt in support of the City’s Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Grant Program grant application. He also requested a $3 million earmark in the Fiscal Year 2024 spending bill to support construction costs for the Mount Vernon Library Commons project; the FY24 spending bill has not yet been passed by both the House and Senate. For more information on the Mount Vernon Library Commons project, click here.

In 2022, Cantwell championed a key provision in the Inflation Reduction Act that provided up to $7,500 in tax credits for the purchase of a new electric vehicle, and up to $4,000 for the purchase of a used electric vehicle.

SOURCES: Offices of Senator Maria Cantwell and Representative Rick Larsen

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