Seattle has a vision to transform how its transportation systems are fueled and is preparing to overhaul all city-owned transport fleets with electric vehicles.

The Challenge

Sixty-five percent of Seattle’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the transportation sector. The city confronts this issue head-on with its Drive Clean Initiative and other ambitious measures that will drive mass electrification and reform its transport system for the future.


The Solution

In order to help reach its ambitious goal of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions attributable to transport by 2050, Seattle is spurring the mass electrification of many modes of transport, including passenger cars, trucks, transit, off-road vehicles, and maritime transportation through its Drive Clean Initiative. The measure includes a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the city’s municipal fleet through significant investment in energy-efficient vehicles and cleaner fuels and deployment of 15,000 electric vehicles by 2025. The initiative includes not only the municipal fleet electrification strategy but also infrastructure investment by Seattle City Light, opportunities for public-private partnerships, and use of regulations to accelerate the process. The city’s commitment to low-carbon transportation modes has already attracted investments, as BMW relocated the North American headquarters of its carsharing service – ReachNow – to Seattle.


Environmental Benefits - The shift to electric vehicles will help abate the 60% annual pollutant load attributable to vehicle emission runoff into Puget Sound, the nation’s second-largest estuary.

Economic Benefits - The city’s expenditure on energy will decrease with the transition to electricity-powered transport, as it will reduce fuel expenses and turn resources towards in-state electricity providers.

Health Benefits - The elimination of tailpipe emissions from fossil fuel-burning engines provides significant health benefits to local communities.


About Cities100

In its second year, Cities100 – presented by C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), Sustainia and Realdania – showcases leading solutions to urban climate challenges in ten sectors, ranging from solid waste management to transportation. For the first time, this year’s publication features solutions that address the nexus of climate change and social equity.

Available online and in print, Cities100 provides stakeholders an accessible format to explore achievable solutions for climate action in cities, and will be a useful tool for relevant groups ranging from impact investors and development organizations, to mayors and city governments.  You can access the full Cities100 2016 publication online here and read more about how may­ors will de­liver the aims of the Paris Agree­ment in a fore­ward by Anne Hidalgo, C40 Chair and Mayor of Paris, here.