Austin, Texas, a leading city on a variety of sustainability fronts, now offers people the opportunity to charge their electric vehicles (EVs) for less than $5 a month.
Its utility, Austin Energy, is offering unlimited EV charging at more than 100 locations.
If that doesn't entice people to buy EVs, what can?
Drivers in the Austin area can fuel up at this low price by buying a pre-paid Plug-in EVerywhere network card for $25, which allows unlimited public station charging for six months.
Importantly, the charging network is the first in the country to be powered 100% by renewable energy.
One of the largest solar PV projects in the US, the 30 MW Webberville Solar project, is near Austin, which has a goal of using 35% renewable energy by 2020.
"Our Plug-In EverywhereTM network takes the anxiety over ‘refueling' out of deciding to switch to electric transportation," says Karl Rábago, Austin Energy Vice President for Distributed Energy Services.
The 100 charging stations are located at Austin Community College campuses, City of Austin public facilities such as libraries and recreation centers, and retail and commercial businesses such as restaurants and hospitals.
The installations are part of a Dept of Energy program funded under the Recovery act to outfit America with charging stations. As of May 2011, 1800 EV charging stations were installed across the country.
Austin Energy is also making charging at home more affordable by offering a $1500 rebate on a Level 2 charging system, which typically costs about $2000. Although people can charge a car in any outlet it takes about 8 hours.