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Seattle has big electrification goals. (Photo via City of Seattle)

Seattle City Light opened two fast-charging stations for electric vehicles in the city’s Beacon Hill neighborhood Tuesday. The facilities allow for about 80 miles of range per 20 minutes of charge time, according to the city. SCL plans to install up to 18 additional stations by the end of the year.

The stations cost 43 cents per kilowatt-hour to charge. It will cost a Nissan LEAF about $10.70 to fully charge from empty, the city says. Increasing the number of EV charging stations is part of the “Drive Clean Seattle” initiative which seeks to reduce the number of cars powered by gas on city streets.

Seattle is building out its EV charging infrastructure to encourage private transportation companies, like ReachNow and Chariot, to increase the number of electric cars in their fleets. The additional chargers will also help the city transition its municipal fleet to hybrid and electric vehicles.

“Investment in charging infrastructure is one of the most important ways we can speed up the adoption of electric vehicles in Seattle,” said ReachNow CEO Steve Banfield in a statement. “This new Beacon Hill charging station is in a prime location to help EV owners and ReachNow with energy management of our shared electric fleet, while filling a critical EV infrastructure gap.”

Last May, ReachNow began rolling out its own EV charging stations in Seattle. In November, Chariot CEO Ali Vahabzadeh told GeekWire he expects his company’s fleet of commuter vans to begin going electric by 2019. Down the road, he expects they will be 100 percent electric.

The goal of this broad push toward electrification is reducing carbon emissions.

“We won’t wait on the other Washington to act,” Mayor Jenny Durkan said in a statement. “Seattle believes in science and will lead the nation in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Leveraging the nation’s greenest utility, we can clean our air with more electric vehicles on our roads.”

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