Austin Mayor Pushes Plug-In Hybrids
14 February 2005
Austin Business Journal. Austin, Texas Mayor Will Wynn will introduce a resolution at an upcoming City Council meeting that calls for the increased use of and aggressive advocacy for plug-in hybrid vehicles.
“By providing incentives and employing the bully pulpit of City Hall, we can set the course for Austin to be a leader in the development and acceptance of gas-optional vehicles,” Wynn says
“Really, the true beauty of this system is the fact that vehicles charged by the electric system will run on alternate energy sources, such as West Texas wind, instead of Middle East oil.”
Last October, the Austin City Council passed a resolution in support of
the bulk purchase of work with DaimlerChrysler’s plug-in hybrid Sprinter van (earlier post).
Under consideration are plans include approaching other cities with
municipally owned utilities (such as New York, L.A., and Seattle) to
join Austin, and placing one very large bulk order of
up to 30,000 plug-ins.
Austin Energy, the Austin electric utility and a department of the City of Austin, is taking the lead on the project. Depending on the number purchased, Austin could use the Sprinters as city fleet vehicles or make them available for resale to Austin Energy customers.
The mayor’s resolution will coincide with a report from the city staff on the feasibility of combining the electric utility and transportation sectors.
Wynn’s resolution will outline six actions:
Creation of incentives for retail consumers and public and private transportation fleets.
A commitment by the city to place fleet orders for plug-in hybrids.
A request to the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce to become an advocate for plug-in hybrids as an integral part of business fleets.
A request to the environmental community of Austin to become active advocates for plug-in hybrids.
A commitment by the city to support local, state and federal policies that will promote plug-in hybrids.
A commitment by the city to initiate an effort to establish similar programs in the 50 largest cities in the United States.
Great policy move, and we’ll follow its progress with interest.
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