Deep in the heart of a state that’s famous for petroleum and pickup trucks, Austin Energy, the electric utility that serves the capital city, is a leader in promoting electric vehicles. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded the company an additional $500,000 to encourage plug-in vehicle adoption in Central Texas. Austin Energy has released a 500-page readiness plan that it calls one of the most comprehensive plug-in vehicle infrastructure plans in the US.
“This plan represents thought leadership from utilities, universities, industry, government, and community groups,” said spokesman Karl Popham. “This additional federal award recognizes the community benefit and quality of the plan by giving us the resources to deliver.”
The latest grant adds to $500,000 that the DOE awarded to Austin Energy in 2011 to set up the Texas River Cities initiative, which represents 50 partners in a 10-county region that includes the Austin and San Antonio metropolitan areas. There are over 250 utility-operated public charging stations in the area, including 148 that are part of Austin Energy’s Plug-In EVerywhere Network. The coalition is working to promote installation of charging stations at multifamily housing and workplace locations, and to simplify the driver experience by making equipment, membership and fees similar throughout the region.
“The Austin community recognizes the utility, environmental, and energy security benefits of plug-in electric vehicles. And the Texas River Cities PEV plan is an important part of a larger strategy in Austin’s clean energy, energy efficiency, and transportation electrification leadership,” said Larry Weis, Austin Energy General Manager.
Image: Dennis Yang (flickr)