AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Palmer Events Center was buzzing this week with the who’s who of mobility and transportation technology. Everywhere you looked, there was a booth, a conversation or a speaker discussing electric vehicles.
“There’s been a shift towards electric revolution, every single major manufacturer is declaring an electric future. It’s a certainty now we’re all going to be driving electric cars over the years ahead,” said cofounder of UFODrive Aidan McClean.
The all-electric car rental company is launching in Austin next week.
“It’s a simple arrival and dry process using a smartphone only. So it’s not like a traditional car rental. There’s no queuing, no paperwork, no extra insurance, one price per day with your phone, two minutes book and drive away. That’s it,” McClean explained.
KXAN Traffic Anchor Erica Brennes also spoke with Austin Energy at the MOVE Mobility Conference about its efforts to make electric vehicles more accessible to all.
“I think we’re really talking with people when they’re considering a couple of things. One, their next vehicle purchase, because that’s a long-term investment, and over the lifetime of that vehicle, people are going to see the cost savings,” said Amy Atchley, senior lead of the EV Equity Program with Austin Energy.
Austin Energy has an EV For Schools Program, which includes curriculum around electric vehicles and charging stations at more than 100 schools across Central Texas.
“We found that a lot of our teachers are in used EVs, or they’re in the lower-priced EVs, because they’re efficient. And a lot of them, you know, believe in science. And they’re teaching science, and they love to talk about electric vehicles, renewable energy, climate impact,” said Atchley.
For now, UFODrive is only renting Tesla vehicles.
“In the Austin region, there’s plenty of supercharging options with Tesla — that’s quite good. Not so good to other brands yet, but it’s getting there,” said McClean.
This week, all 50 states just got approval to install a nationwide network of electric vehicle charging stations that would put EV chargers every 50 miles along our nation’s highways.
The Biden administration has set a goal of 50% of new U.S. car sales being electric by 2030; they may also offer a $7,500 tax credit if you make the switch.
Austin Energy launched a new tool that allows you to browse new and used electric vehicles available in the Austin area. You can find some for under $10,000.