FOLLOWUP: City picks proposed electric-vehicle ‘fast-charging’ site for West Seattle

Last fall, when the West Seattle Transportation Coalition got briefed on a possible WS location for a public electric-vehicle “fast-charging” location (WSB coverage here), the city was looking at Don Armeni Boat Ramp. Now, there’s an official proposal, and the location has changed: City Light is proposing a site in The Junction, alongside West Seattle Bowl.

Here’s a ground-level rendering of where it would be:

From the City Light one-sheet (PDF) about the proposal:

If built, the location will include two 50-kilowatt (kW) fast chargers located along the curb. Two existing street parking spaces would be converted to “EV charging only” spaces, and drivers would be limited to one hour of parking while charging at these spaces. These 50kW fast chargers can provide a typical EV with about three miles of range for every minute of charging. Average charging sessions are expected to last for 15 to 30 minutes. The chargers are anticipated to have a useful life of ten years.

The one-sheet also explains why this location is proposed, and why others were ruled out, including Don Armeni; that explanation – “(Seattle Parks) identified Don Armeni Boat Ramp as a potential charging station site in West Seattle. However, the site development costs were too high.”

The charging station would cost the city almost $200,000 (users pay for charging, in case you’re not familiar with how these work); regarding a timeline, City Light says it would “begin the engineering and design process in the second/third quarter of 2019. Construction is scheduled to follow.”

If you have feedback about this proposal, the city has set up an online survey that’ll remain open until the end of the month – see it here. The SCL program has already opened one station on Beacon Hill – here’s a city-provided photo:

The city has five others on the drawing board (also listed on the one-sheet) in addition to, potentially, this one. Questions? The City Light Public EV Charging Team is at 206-684-3800 or

21 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: City picks proposed electric-vehicle 'fast-charging' site for West Seattle"

  • Frequent Bowler May 3, 2019 (1:58 pm)

    I wonder if they will have to park head-in to use the chargers, rather than back-in as the signs say?

  • WSJoy May 3, 2019 (2:17 pm)

    Will part of what users pay for charging go toward recovery of the installation costs?

    • Eric1 May 3, 2019 (4:42 pm)

      Most of the stations charge more than the cost of electricity to charge your car.  Some vendors try to break even, others try to make a profit.  I didn’t see who SCL is contracting with so the price and purpose can vary.  Also, depending on how SCL sets up the contract, users could pay for the system through use or SCL might be providing the hardware for “free” and the contractor administrates the use (most likely)..In any case, this is a classic chicken and egg problem.  People don’t buy electric cars because you can’t charge them easily (no infrastructure).  No private company wants to put in infrastructure because there aren’t enough electric cars to use the infrastructure to make a profit. Somebody has to pony up the original infrastructure (at a loss) and most of the time that will by some form of government entity (Elon Musk might be the exception).  Then owning electric car might become a viable option for enough consumers to get the ball rolling..It isn’t like I enjoy filling up the car with gasoline.  The oil comes here either via ocean tanker or rail car, neither of which I enjoy having around. I get that everything we purchase uses oil at some point along the way.  But at least with an electric car, you can minimize your consumption of oil products after purchase and the million dollars or so SCL spends for these projects across the city isn’t much considering all the other nefarious costs in this city.  

  • tl May 3, 2019 (4:10 pm)

    In case anyone is unfamiliar with EV cars, the proposed charger is considered a “Level 3” charger, which is top of the line and very fast.  The charging company EVGO charges ‘by the minute’ usually 29-cents a minute for members  to use a charger like this.  Other companies charge ‘per use’ usually 30min or so, for around $7.95.  And some charge based on how much power is transferred into the vehicle, such as Blink which is around 49-cents per kwh.

  • M.B. May 3, 2019 (4:25 pm)

    While those two parking spots aren’t officially designated handicapped spots, one of them DOES have a striped area and is right by a curb cut. Removing what is potentially a stellar spot for people with disabilities to park in the area seems ill advised. The front of the bowling alley doesn’t seem particularly ADA accessible, but would probably provide valuable disabled parking for other very nearby businesses. No spot that is next to a curb cut like this should be considered when ideal spots for persons with disabilities are so hard to find.

    • dsa May 3, 2019 (8:36 pm)

      I agree with your excellent observation about the use of the non designated handicap spot.  It would be a simple matter to move the two EV slots one space north.

    • J May 3, 2019 (9:10 pm)

      Maybe it’s so handicap EV drivers also have an option to charge their cars

    • Ice May 3, 2019 (9:43 pm)

      The front of the bowling alley not having ADA accessible parking may actually be a violation of the law. I counted 21 spots, so by federal law there should be one van accessible ADA spot. Take this with a grain though, I am no expert. There may be some loop hole that let’s them get away with this.

      • John May 4, 2019 (10:39 am)

        The parking is in the city’s ROW.  It is not a private parking area covered by ADA.  

    • Mark H May 4, 2019 (9:28 am)

      The driveway isn’t an ADA ramp.  But I hope SCL is providing equivalent ADA accessible charging…..

    • dsa May 7, 2019 (10:45 am)

      The point is people who need vans with side ramps to access their handicap vehicles need the  extra space next to their parking spot.  Otherwise they cannot park anywhere.   Bonus spots such as this are cherished by them.

  • Andrea May 3, 2019 (5:28 pm)

    Great location!   Thank you City Light!

  • MJ May 3, 2019 (6:17 pm)

    Frequent Bowler I drive a EV and back in.  I agree the City drawing is in error showing front end in parking when the signage clearly mandates back in only.  

  • Michael Truog May 3, 2019 (7:46 pm)

    This is great news!  The other DC charger in West Seattle at SCCC can’t be used when the parking lot closes.  Now I can go to Pegasus Bookstore or Trader Joe’s while charging….can’t wait!

  • Shoo May 3, 2019 (9:42 pm)

    Yes, Please!!!

  • CW May 4, 2019 (8:29 pm)

    It’s nice to have a DC charger near the Junction. Now, when we come down to visit from Bellingham, we have a place to charge. As it stands now, we generally stop in Lynnwood to charge. We would much rather spend that time in West Seattle.

  • nancy r. May 7, 2019 (9:53 am)

    Yay for the expansion of electric charging stations,  and this is a great location.   There are so many reasons to consider an EV for your next car.    

  • WSB May 7, 2019 (11:07 am)

    FYI for those following this thread – the city was too and I have a few answers I will be writing into a followup a bit later. – TR

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