GREEN NEWS: Central Texas Pushes Plug-Ins
Central Texas Pushes Plug-Ins
The Central Texas Clean Cities Coalition in Austin has been instrumental in the national Plug-In Partners campaign. Coordinated by local and state governments, utilities, as well as environmental, consumer, and business organizations, the campaign aims to create a market for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) to attract the attention of vehicle manufacturers. Partners encourage rebates and incentives, soft fleet orders, petition drives, and endorsements.
The national campaign was launched at Austin Energy in 2005 and quickly moved across the country. The Central Texas coalition, housed at Austin Energy, was involved early on. “At the planning meetings, we made sure everyone knew Clean Cities has the best networking connections for this type of project,” says Central Texas Coordinator Stacy Neef. “We provided all the names and addresses for each coalition and recommended that whoever had meetings in each region, contact the Clean Cities coordinator first.”
The plug-in campaign is a natural fit for Clean Cities. National Renewable Energy Laboratory analysts estimate that PHEVs will demonstrate a 50 percent reduction in fuel use over conventional vehicles when they are ready for market–possibly as early as 2010. One and a half million PHEVs on the road could save approximately 20 million barrels of oil annually.
Currently, more than 200 utilities; non-profits; city, county, and local governments; national security organizations; alternative fuel associations; and environmental groups have joined the Plug-In Partners Campaign.