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Spokane regional transportation council awarded $2.5 million for electric vehicle charging infrastructure

In partnership with The City of Spokane, Spokane City Council and regional municipalities (Spokane Valley, Cheney, Airway Heights, Liberty Lake), Spokane Regional Transportation Council (SRTC) was awarded $2.5 million dollars from the Washington State Department of Commerce for the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructures throughout the Greater Spokane Region. Collaborations from Spokane County, Spokane Tribe, Spokane Airport, Spokane Library, Spokane Transit Authority, Avista, University District, Urbanova, and the City’s Fleets & Parks department also contributed in the application process among others.

“This grant is the result of many months of collaboration between Spokane City Council, its staff, Avista, the Spokane Regional Transportation Council, the Department of Commerce and many other partners,” says City Council President Breean Beggs. “It will provide a financial boost to the installation of a regional charging network for electric vehicles and particularly those governments who are early adopters of an electric vehicle fleet, like the City of Spokane.”

The state’s Clean Energy Fund Electrification of Transportation Systems (ETS) grant program provided conditional awards for 14 projects in communities across the state including Spokane. Priority was given to projects designed to close gaps in availability of EV charging infrastructure and aid communities disproportionately impacted by climate change and pollution from transportation systems. The funding is conditional upon finalization of project details and execution of contracts. Avista has agreed to match the grant through its Transportation Electrification Plan with an extra $2.5 million for a total of $5 million dollars toward EV infrastructure in the SRTC region.

“2020 has taught us the importance of investing in our neighborhoods, both in terms of health and economic outcomes,” says Councilwoman Betsy Wilkerson. “Incorporating electric vehicles and charging stations in public spaces throughout the county broadens access to a cleaner, cheaper fuel choice. This progression is exciting, specifically because the cleaner air and cost savings will be enjoyed across the region especially in areas often overlooked when it comes to environmental sustainability and economic investments.”

In a step towards clean transportation, Spokane City Council voted Monday on the purchase of four Tesla Model Y SUV electric patrol cars for the Spokane Police Department. This grant will help provide installation of charging stations for the department.

Lisa Gardener, city council communications director