”Public access to charging stations is a critical step to increasing the adoption and use of electric vehicles. The more EV charging stations there are, the faster we can scale the number of EVs in the ReachNow fleet and make sustainable urban transportation services more widely available,” said ReachNow CEO, Steve Banfield. “Seattle is home for ReachNow and we are incredibly proud to make this much needed EV infrastructure available to the city.”
Woodland Park Zoo, which hosts more than 1.3 million visitors every year, is an ideal home for the first Light & Charge station. For many years, the zoo has focused on sustainability programs. For example, the zoo is one of the leading institutions nationally on sustainable exhibit design. It also was awarded the first LEED gold building certification in any zoo across the country. Making the Light & Charge system available to the public also supports the zoo’s initiative to reduce carbon emissions stemming from zoo operations.
“Woodland Park Zoo has the highest attendance of any cultural institution in the Puget Sound area, which will provide major visibility for the benefits of EVs and car sharing,” said Alejandro Grajal, President and CEO, Woodland Park Zoo. “Our members and guests have a keen interest in doing their part to improve the environment and we are expecting this new station will inspire them to act. We are thrilled to be the first home for a Light & Charge station in the city.”
“As a leader on climate change, Seattle is working to connect drivers to our clean, carbon-neutral electricity,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. “This investment from ReachNow and the BMW Group demonstrates that together, government and private industry can help the City reduce pollution and create a healthier community. This partnership will also help Seattle become carbon neutral by 2050 and brings the City closer to achieving the goals laid out in Seattle’s Drive Clean Seattle initiative.”
The addition of Light & Charge stations in Seattle will also allow ReachNow to expand its shared fleet of EVs. Today, the electric BMW i3 vehicle makes up 10 percent of the total ReachNow fleet and, with less than a year on the road, ReachNow’s shared electric fleet has saved more than 55 tons of CO2 emissions.
“Our hope is that this is just the beginning. ReachNow is committed adding EVs to our fleet and is working closely with the City of Seattle and other organizations across the city to make more EVs and EV charging infrastructure more accessible to everyone who lives in Seattle,” said Banfield.
The Light & Charge system, developed by BMW together with its partner, eluminocity US Inc., transforms existing street and parking lot light poles into connected nodes on a smart city network. The system combines high-efficiency LED lighting, EV charging and a sophisticated Sensor Bus that senses various parameters and connects the site to the cloud. The Sensor Bus also provides edge-computing power for other connected devices nearby.
In Seattle, each Light & Charge site will include one ChargePoint DC Fast Charger and two to four AC, Level II chargers. The chargers all run on the ChargePoint network, the largest EV Charging network in the U.S. Each site will all be available to the public and compatible with any EV that has a standard SAE J1772 charging port.
ReachNow is a mobility service company from the BMW Group. Headquartered in Seattle, ReachNow has more than 50,000 members and is available in Seattle, Portland and Brooklyn. ReachNow offers members the ability to hop into a BMW, BMW i3 or MINI vehicle anytime of the day, keep the vehicle for as long as they like and park in a location convenient to their destination. ReachNow is also building the future of mobility services, with pilots for ReachNow Ride, Reserve, Fleet and Share live in Seattle and other markets. Registration for ReachNow is available through the ReachNow app for iPhone and Android. ReachNow is currently offering free lifetime membership (a $39 value) for a limited time. More information can be found at www.reachnow.com.
About the BMW Group
With its three brands BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 31 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.
In 2016, the BMW Group sold approximately 2.367 million cars and 145,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax was approximately € 9.67 billion on revenues amounting to € 94.16 billion. As of 31 December 2016, the BMW Group had a workforce of 124,729 employees.
The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.
About Woodland Park Zoo
Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, award-winning Woodland Park Zoo is famed for pioneering naturalistic exhibits and setting international standards for zoos in animal care, conservation and education programs. Woodland Park Zoo is helping to save animals and their habitats through more than 35 field projects in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. By inspiring people to care and act, Woodland Park Zoo is making a difference in our planet’s future ecological health and sustainability. Free Wi-Fi is available for zoo guests, made possible through products donated by Cisco. For more information, visit www.zoo.org.
About the City of Seattle
The City of Seattle has long been a leader in sustainability, carbon reduction, and vehicle electrification. Seattle City Light, the nation’s greenest utility, has been carbon-neutral since 2005, and Seattle’s Department of Transportation is driving national leadership in shared mobility. Putting these pieces together, Drive Clean Seattle is the City’s program to tackle climate change at the local level and take meaningful action to reduce greenhouse gas pollution by leveraging our carbon neutral electricity for transportation.