The City of Houston is currently working on two major efforts in preparation for the electrification of vehicles. Houston is home to some of the world’s largest oil and energy companies and covers 624 square miles. The challenge of bringing electric vehicles to our city is more than just creating an infrastructure of charging stations, it is overcoming a mindset. However, over 35% of the municipality’s electricity load is from renewable sources and we have the nation’s third largest hybrid fleet.
Houston’s first electric vehicle initiative is a pilot program in cooperation with Reliant Energy in which we will convert 15 Toyota hybrids into Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicles as additions to our fleet. We will build a 1:1 charging infrastructure for these vehicles and two home charging stations. This project will be marketed with a media campaign along with educational programs and events. The vehicles will be equipped with monitoring devices and we will use multiple vendors of charging stations installed at city owned facilities. This pilot program is instrumental in the success of a much larger project.
During the ongoing study, City of Houston will begin to install approximately 100 charging stations around town at city owned facilities such as libraries, parks, sport venues, the zoo, etc. We are enlisting the help of the Greater Houston Partnership, private businesses, real estate developers, other governmental agencies and neighboring municipalities to also install and commit to purchasing EVs for their fleets and installing additional stations. This infrastructure is more for peace of mind than a necessity, but we understand without this initial level of comfort the adoption process will be long and drawn out.
Please visit www.greenhoustontx.gov/ev/20110908.html