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Austin Looks to Curb Range Anxiety with More EV Charging Stations

“Range anxiety”.  It’s an unfamiliar term to many, but for those who have purchased electric vehicles or who have sat down to weigh the pros and cons, it is certainly a familiar concept.  Most electric vehicles are designed to go at most 100-200 miles on a single charge, and for those who travel frequently, get stuck in traffic, or have limited opportunities to recharge, the fear of losing charge away from home can make people reluctant to travel.

This same fear has led many to stray away from electronic vehicles, opting instead to wait until more charging stations are created.  For some time, it appeared as though it would be a standoff- no stations would be built until enough cars had been sold to prove them worthwhile, but no cars would be purchased until there were enough charging stations for consumers to be comfortable leaving home.

Thankfully, cities around the nation have finally started to realize the problem and have started seeking out grant funding and other funding to install public charging stations.  Austin, Texas is among these cities, and recently announced plans help put the city atop the list of those that will soon have one of the largest numbers of stations in the country.  By September 2011, the city plans to have 103 electric vehicle charging stations up and running.  The stations will be found in a total of 53 locations. Of course, this isn’t the only way that the city is helping to usher in the electric vehicle movement with greater speed.

Austin Energy has also offered a rebate of up to $1,500 for every customer who installs a level 2 charging station in their home.  When combined with Federal incentives of $7,500 for the purchase of a new electric vehicle, there are certainly many reasons why now may actually prove to be the best time to take advantage of the technology.  Many consumers are still battling with range anxiety, but with these new stations, as well as those just installed at the Austin airport and the many high quality electric vehicles due on the market later this year, this anxiety may soon start to ebb.  It will still be years before these vehicles comprise the bulk of the vehicle market, but with cities like Austin looking to quell consumer fears, that goal may not be as far off as many originally predicted.

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