Plans for a regional electric vehicle corridor are getting a $500,000 boost from the Department of Energy.
Tuesday, Austin Energy announced the federal grant, meant to bolster the Texas River Cities (TRC) initiative. A new effort, Texas River Cities is a partnership between electricity providers from Williamson to Bexar counties, with buy-in from Austin Energy, San Antonio’s CPS Energy, and several other city utilities and electric cooperatives. The idea is to promote plug-in electric vehicle travel in and along the corridor by promoting their use, offering more charging stations and creating integrated charging infrastructure and payment structures. It would also help relieve "range anxiety," the fear that an electric car will run out of juice, which keeps some away from making the jump to them.
“The TRC vision is to develop a convenient, dependable charging infrastructure network for the widespread deployment of plug-in electric vehicles throughout the Central Texas region, including Austin and San Antonio,” Austin Energy General Manager Larry Weis writes in an executive summary of the TRC plan.
The summary contains five recommendations:
- Recognition of the TRC “as a formal entity.”
- The launch of an education and outreach campaign.
- Support and promotion of plug-in vehicle rebates.
- Installing charging stations at targeted centers like workplaces and multifamily residences.
- Standardization of the technical requirements, charging fees and more in the TRC corridor between Bexar and Williamson counties.