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Enthusiasm for EVs high at Electric Car Guest Drive

Attendees had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a Tesla Model Y, Rivian R1S, Hyundai Ioniq 5, and other EV models at the test drive event on Saturday.

On September 23, as a kickoff to National Drive Electric Week, Seattle City Light sponsored an Electric Car Guest Drive at South Seattle College. During the event, attendees were able to test drive a variety of electric vehicles and learn about charging options at home, work, and in public.

The event ran from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. We spoke with a number of attendees who were excited about the opportunity to drive a variety of electric vehicles without pressure from a dealer or manufacturer.

Seattle has a plan to “electrify everything that moves people, goods, or services in and around the city.” The City’s environmental goals include a call for 90% of all personal trips to be zero emissions by 2030. That’s why we are working with many public and private sector partners to electrify all transportation modes that our customers rely on.

EV sales doubled in Washington state over the past two years, with 104,050 electric vehicles now registered in Washington, ranking fourth in the nation. In King County, a quarter of all new car registrations in August were either a battery vehicle or a plug-in hybrid. Within our service area, the number of EVs surged in 2022 to 27,439.

As our customers use more electric vehicles, and demand for electricity increases, a more flexible and resilient grid is paramount. We are investing in charging infrastructure and continually upgrading and modernizing our power grid, planning more flexible and efficient energy storage and use of electricity, and piloting new technologies to support affordable services and a reliable, resilient system.

By 2030, two out of every three new cars sold must be zero-emission in Washington; by 2035, all new vehicles sold in the state must be zero-emission. We have a lot of work to do in anticipation of this transition and it will be a team effort. We are pleased to have sponsored this event and look forward to continued efforts in our service area to help us move toward an affordable, equitable, and reliable clean-energy future for everyone.