Houston continues leadership in implementing clean and economic driving alternatives
Houston, TX.-The City of Houston and its electric vehicle partners today launch Houston Drives Electric, a comprehensive city-wide electric vehicle program. The press event will highlight new additions to the City’s electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid fleet as well as new infrastructure to support EV drivers. Houston Drives Electric takes place on Thursday, September 8th at 11 am at H-E-B, 5225 Buffalo Speedway.
“The City of Houston is proud of its vision and ongoing leadership in electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid technology,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “This innovative technology is part of our alternative transportation future, helping the City save money by reducing gasoline costs while also reducing in-city tailpipe emissions. Due to the significant support from the City’s partners, Houstonians can feel confident about charging their cars anywhere.”
What is Houston Drives Electric?
City Fleet Vehicles: The City of Houston recently purchased two Nissan Leafs. These are the first all-electric vehicles in the City’s fleet. They will be on display at the event. Another 23 electric vehicles will be added to the City fleet by year’s end, bringing the 2011 total to 40 electric and plug-in hybrids.
Charging Station Infrastructure on City Property: In addition to the privately-funded charging station commitment made last year by NRG EV Services (eVgo), the City and ECOtality will be installing 28 additional public charging stations at City libraries and parks with funding through State Energy Conservation Office and EPA Climate Showcase Communities grant funds. GRIDbot will handle the installation of an additional 28 municipal charging stations in the parking garage underneath Tranquility Park for City fleet vehicles, funded by TCEQ grant funds.
Planning for the Future: A robust stakeholder process led by the City, ECOtality and the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) has led to the development of major planning documents to guide the City’s deployment of electric vehicle infrastructure. These documents include the Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Deployment Guidelines, Long-Range Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Plan and Micro-Climate Plan.
Education: The City has also developed a new website to educate residents about electric vehicles and give them the resources needed to make smart decisions about electric vehicle technology:
The City’s partners are making major announcements regarding their infrastructure commitment to Houston:
NRG’s eVgo will unveil Houston’s first Freedom Station site. The eVgo electric vehicle charging network now includes Freedom Station sites, located at the H-E-B Buffalo Speedway Market and the Shops at Houston Center in downtown Houston. eVgo subscribers will be able to plug in their vehicles while they are shopping and take advantage of a new charger that can add 30 miles of range in as little as 10 minutes.
The eVgo Freedom Station sites are, currently, part of the only network in the nation to offer this extremely fast charging option.
In addition to charging stations installed on City property, ECOtality will announce details about Houston’s participation in The EV Project. As part of The EV Project, the largest rollout of EVs and EV charging infrastructure in history, ECOtality has plans to install over 200 charging stations in the Houston area over the coming months.
ECOtality will oversee the installation of approximately 14,000 commercial and residential charging stations in 18 major cities and metropolitan areas in six states and the District of Columbia. The project is a public-private partnership, funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy through a federal stimulus grant and made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
The City of Houston has long been considered the energy capital of the world, and the City is committed to continuing its leadership in energy, and alternative transportation. City of Houston partnerships with eVgo, GRIDbot and ECOtality will ensure Houston’s continued commitment to implementing and promoting electric vehicle technology, powered by electricity generated from domestic fuels, including zero-emission wind in Texas. Electric vehicle technology has the potential over time to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and save Houstonians money.