From gas to electric: Austin Energy launches ‘Buyer’s Guide’ persuading people to switch

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — At the beginning of the year, Bloomberg included Austin as a winning city in it’s American Cities Climate Challenge.

The article states: “Austin will use the support from the Climate Challenge to cut emissions in the transportation sector by advancing innovative incentive programs to encourage sustainable commuting, implementing new parking management and pricing programs to reduce vehicle emissions, and working directly with local car dealerships to increase electric vehicle sales.”

Austin Energy is leading the switch from gas to electric. Their goal is to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, per their press release.

The company offered the public an interactive experience Tuesday morning at Town North Nissan’s dealership showroom to help the cause.

That location is one of many dealerships identified as the top sellers of electric vehicles (EVs) in Austin. People will have the chance to interact with digital kiosks.

The digital kiosks will help potential buyers understand EV charging levels as well as help consumers visualize how far they can travel using electric fuel.

The EV experience

Karl Popham has worked as Austin Energy’s Manager of Electric Vehicles and Emerging Technologies since 2011. He said of Austin’s growth: “Austin right now, there’s about 300 new EVs every month that get sold and are on our roads.” That amount lead the city to hit a milestone recently: 10,000 total EVs on the roads.

How does that compare to national numbers? A recent AAA study found that 40 million Americans say they would likely consider an EV for their next car purchase. However, a JD Power study found two-thirds of consumers have never been in an electric vehicle.

A big factor for that increase is consumers trying out the EVs. Their feelings change when they drive one.

“It’s just change. It’s a little different,” Popham said. “A lot of that quickly goes away when people actually drive one.”

That’s why they launched their “Electric Vehicle Buyer’s Guide.” The website allows users to research sustainable vehicles in the Austin area. You can also compare models to see if it fits your needs and budget.

Buyer incentives include:

  • $2,500-7,500 Federal Tax Credit
  • Up to $1,200 Austin Energy Charging Station Rebate
  • $4.17/month Austin Energy Plug-In EVerywhere Charging Subscription
  • $2,500 State of Texas EV Incentive Program

Austin Electric also states in their press release they want to make electric transportation “accessible and affordable for everyone.” Part of that accessibility is charging stations. You can’t have EVs without them. Austin already has an expansive network of 850 spots. A detailed map of those is located on their website.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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