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Austin Mayor Pushes Plug-In Hybrids

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.


roger duncan

Your report is not exactly correct. i am writing the report for Council and drafted the recommendations listed above. i will have the full report in a couple of weeks.
But we did not commit to a bulk purchase of the sprinter van, but rather joined the research coalition of EPRI/Chrysler and will be receiving one van for testing.
i do intend proposing a coalition type package for the 50 largest cities of the US, but not sure where you got the 30,000 vehicle number. Could be much larger.
Will send the report in a few weeks, and show the strategy in more detail.


Sorry for the error! I retrieved that from one of the publications about the program last year. Thank you very much for the correction.

Nice to hear the number may be larger. I’ll look forward to the greater detail. :-)

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