AUSTIN (KXAN) — As the City of Austin works toward reducing its carbon footprint, city officials are working to expand programs and infrastructure to help make electric vehicle technology more accessible citywide.
Amy Atchley, senior lead with Austin Energy’s EV equity program, spoke Tuesday at MOVE America 2023, a mobility conference held in downtown Austin. Atchley’s presentation centered around providing EV access to underserved community members, particularly as the city moves toward a 2040 goal of net zero carbon emissions.
With that goal in mind, she noted transportation is the leading emitter of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In order to achieve that benchmark, she said the city must have at least 40% of its vehicle miles traveled done via electric vehicle technology by 2030.
Currently, there are more than 28,000 registered electric vehicles and more than 1,600 charging ports citywide. Among its program offerings, Austin Energy runs a home rebate program for charging infrastructure, electric bike rebate offers as well as a charging infrastructure program that offers unlimited access to city charging stations for $4.17 a month.
Austin Energy also provides an EVs for Schools program, which features EV charging stations along with electric vehicle technology curricula at Title I schools in Austin and throughout Central Texas. Since the program’s launch, Atchley said Austin Energy has collaborated with 150 schools and is also working with cities nationwide to deploy the curriculum.
This fall, Austin Energy will debut a revamped, “2.0 program” for EVs for Schools, she teased at MOVE America.
With more than 50% of Austinites living in multifamily housing, Atchley said the energy provider is looking to expand its multifamily charging network and collaborate with more residential communities on making that infrastructure more accessible.