Environment
1:38 pm
Wed August 3, 2011

Austin Energy Installs Dozens of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

You don’t see many plug-in vehicles on the roads these days. But Austin Energy expects one in ten cars in Central Texas to be electric by the year 2020.

That’s why it announced today more than 100 new charging stations at 53 locations across Austin.

This announcement comes on a day when the state is approaching a shortage of electricity. Austin Energy spokesman Carlos Cordova says they’re studying how to deal with peak demand in the summer.

“We want to encourage people, for example, to charge their vehicles off peak," Cordova told KUT News. "We’re developing incentives to provide reduced prices, say, at midnight when we want people charging their cars, and not at 5 p.m. or 6 p.m."

The charging stations will cost $2 an hour, payable with a credit card. Austin Energy will also offer unlimited charging for six months for $25.

It takes about three hours to fully charge a Chevy Volt, which can drive for 40 miles before switching to gasoline. A Nissan LEAF takes six to eight hours, and can drive about 100 miles per charge.

Austin Energy had already announced rebates of up to $1,500 for customers who install a Level 2 electric vehicle charging station in their homes.