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Plug-In EVerywhere Program – Austin, Texas gets 103 public EV charging stations!
A network of 103 plug-in charging stations for electric vehicles has been completed in Austin Texas, under the watch of city utility Austin Energy.
The Plug-In EVerywhere network successfully fulfills Austin’s commitment to the ChargePoint America program, a federally-funded nationwide build-out of electric vehicle charging facilities on which Austin was one of only nine metropolitan regions in the country to participate.
The locations of the Level 2 (220/240 volts) charging stations in Austin are diverse, including restaurants, hotels, medical facilities, educational institutions, retail stores, public facilities such as libraries and recreation centers and at other public, private and non-profit partners.
The locations also are geographically distributed throughout all parts of Austin, said Austin Energy, which believes around 36,000 electric vehicles will be on the city’s streets within the next nine years.
A map with all of the locations is available at www.pluginpartners.org.
The charging stations are available for use by everyone with an electric vehicle. Austin Energy offers a $25 six-month subscription swipe card for unlimited charging at
any network location. Otherwise, a credit card can be used for $2 per hour of charging.
Austin Energy offered rebates of up to $2,500 per charging station to the private, public and non-profit sectors to help defray the costs of installing the free charging stations offered by Austin Energy through the ChargePoint America program.
More than 40 community partners responded by a July 2011 deadline indicating their interest in hosting the charging stations at their locations for public use.
“We are delighted to be a part of the Plug-In EVerywhere program,” said Rich Glicini, Pearson’s senior vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility. “Extending access to electric vehicles certainly chimes with our company’s sustainability goals and it is great to help our employees and the people of Austin to save on gasoline by making it easier to charge up rather than fill up. Pearson looks forward to welcoming all users to the charging station here at our facility.”
A public charging network such as the Plug-In EVerywhere network enables drivers of electric vehicles to identify online through smart phones and computers where charging stations are located and which ones are currently available for use.
Charging stations also are capable of sending the vehicle owners e-mails and text messages alerting them about the charging status of their vehicle.
The Level 2 charging stations can fully charge a Chevy Volt in 2 to 3 hours and an all-electric Nissan LEAF in 6 to 8 hours.
“This network of public charging stations will make it possible for electric vehicle owners to ‘top off’ their batteries at locations easily accessible from almost anywhere in Austin. It should go a long way toward making our customers feel much more comfortable owning and driving electric cars in Austin,” said Richard Morgan, Austin Energy Green Building and Emerging Technologies Manager.
Electric vehicles reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil and are cleaner than gasoline vehicles. At $3.50 a gallon for gasoline, it costs about 11.6 cents per mile to fill up a vehicle that gets 30 miles to the gallon. Plug-in electric vehicles at Austin Energy electricity prices average 2.5 cents per mile.
The Plug-In EVerywhere network will enable Austin Energy to gather data about when the charging stations are used and how much energy is used and will help the utility research and plan for how plug-in electric vehicles will help shape the electric and transportation sectors in the years to come.
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