Texas to Get Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

John Davis

ReliantEnergyOil-rich Texas is beginning to look like an alternative fuel paradise. Drivers in Texas will soon have more opportunities … thanks to new infrastructure … to run their electric vehicles.

Reliant Energy and Nissan Motor Company have announced that the two companies will work together to establish infrastructure, policies and services to support electric vehicle owners across Texas. The
NissanDallas Environmental Policy Examiner reports
the move comes as the state has put into effect a new law that requires Texas government agencies to use alternative fuels in half of the state fleet of 27,000 vehicles 80 percent of the time:

“We can now see a clear path to having thousands – even hundreds of thousands – of zero-emission vehicles on Texas roads in the next several years”, said Jason Few, President of Reliant Energy. “By adding a robust charging network and services dedicated to electric vehicles, we will be able to offer a viable alternative to fossil-fuel powered transportation”.

NissanLEAFReliant and Nissan will initially focus on the Houston region and expect infrastructure and services to be in place in the late 2010 to support the commercial introduction of the Nissan LEAF. Nissan’s new five-passenger, compact all-electric car that will be eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit, will be capable of achieving 100 miles on a single charge…

A new Texas law requires state agencies to run 50 percent of their vehicles on alternative fuels 80 percent of the time, and to increase the percentage of newly purchased low-emission state vehicles from 10 to 25 percent. The state fleet is currently comprised of about 27,000 vehicles distributed among 95 agencies.

“House Bill 432 addresses the fact that our state is a leader in the research and production of alternative fuels, but we lack the infrastructure to get drivers who would use it to fuel their vehicles”, Governor Perry said at a ceremonial bill signing in Dallas in August. “Since our state already spends money on a fleet, this bill requires it to include vehicles that use alternative fuel. That will drive the creation of a basic distribution infrastructure and take advantage of the fuels we produce in Texas, including natural gas coming from the Barnett Shale”.

This alternative energy kick seems to be a trend for Texas. As you might remember from my post on March 16, 2009, Dallas-based AT&T is putting 15,000 alternatively-fueled vehicles on the road… a $565 million venture aimed at helping the environment and saving the company gasoline costs. Part of AT&T’s plan includes building up to 40 new compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations.

Car Makers, Electric Vehicles