Austin Launches Electric Vehicle Website and Sales Training

As we close out the second-hottest summer in Austin history, it’s probably no surprise that Austin is one of the 25 hottest cities in the nation. Here’s what you might not know: Austin is also one of the 25 fastest-warming cities.

The consequences of extreme heat in Austin are clear, and we can see what’s causing it. About 36% of Austin's GHG emissions come from transportation according to the 2017 emissions report.That’s why it’s so important that Mayor Steve Adler is tackling a significant source of climate-warming pollutants in the city, the transportation sector, by educating residents and car dealers alike about electric vehicles (EVs).

Launching innovative programs to educate drivers and car dealers about EVs, both at dealerships and online, Mayor Adler joins cities across the country in creating opportunities for people to explore EV models and learn about the financial and environmental benefits. In San Antonio and Seattle, there are more electric vehicle charging stations than ever before, while Albuquerque and Orlando are working to purchase electric city cars, from downtown buses to passenger vehicles. 

These cities are five of the twenty-five total participants in the American Cities Climate Challenge, a national initiative to tackle climate change and promote a sustainable future for citizens. Most of the cities in the Climate Challenge are working hard to get more EVs on the road, setting a standard for cities and states across the country to follow suit.

As the transportation industry is responsible for over 29% of total carbon emissions nationwide, getting more EVs on the road is essential. EV drivers keep our air clean by preventing tailpipe emissions that exacerbate health problems for our most vulnerable residents, including children, the elderly, and anyone with pre-existing respiratory conditions, like asthma. 

Reducing our carbon emissions by getting more EVs on the road is essential to tackling the global climate crisis, which we’re already feeling locally with this record-breaking summer heat. Finally, EV drivers save money because EVs have much lower maintenance costs, and it’s cheaper to charge an EV with electricity than it is to fuel a car with gasoline.

Keeping our air clean, tackling the climate crisis, saving money at the pump—there are so many reasons for Austin residents to drive electric. Here’s how Mayor Adler and Austin Energy are leading the way by helping drivers and dealers feel confident in their decision to make the switch:

  1. A new online EV Buyer’s Guide to learn about EVs: EV.AustinEnergy.com makes it easy to browse through a variety of EVs available at local dealerships, including information from cost to mile range. The website also discusses the benefits of EVs, helps locate charging stations throughout the city, and explains available EV incentives and tax credits. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new car or just interested to learn more about EVs, the website is a valuable resource. 
  2. EV Dealership training: Austin Energy is offering an EV training program to help dealerships feel more comfortable and confident discussing and selling EVs. 
  3. Digital Education Kiosks at dealerships: The city is launching 3 pilot  ChargeWay Beacons that will be available for public use. These stations complement information from the website and the training, providing another opportunity for Austin residents to learn about and purchase EVs while on-site at the dealer.  

About the Authors

Eloisa Portillo-Morales

City Strategist, American Cities Climate Challenge

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