WHY TEXAS?

Texas, already the nation's leader in wind power, is poised to become a leader in electric vehicles:

  • The widespread use of electric vehicles would dramatically reduce carbon dioxide and other emissions, including ozone, particulates and greenhouse gases.

  • In the Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, Houston and Austin metropolitan areas alone, more than 40 million cars are on the road.  Two of these urban centers – Houston and the D-FW Metroplex – are considered “non-attainment” areas by the Environmental Protection Agency and are under strict mandates to improve air quality.

  • Texas leads the nation in wind power, which releases zero emissions, and has enormous potential for the further development of solar power and other renewable sources of energy.

  • Wind power is an ideal complement to plug-in technology, as wind generation peaks at night, when most motorists will recharge their vehicles.  Nighttime recharging also enables consumers to tap into under-utilized generating capacity during off-peak hours.

  • The Public Utility Commission of Texas has given approval to several major transmission lines that will bring more than 18,000 megawatts of additional wind power to Texas homes and businesses within the next few years.

  • State leaders, including Gov. Rick Perry, are strongly supportive of electric vehicles.  In the recently concluded 2009 legislative session, state lawmakers considered several bills that would have encouraged Texas’ emerging plug-in vehicles industry, including a study on the potential for wide-scale adoption of plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles; a statewide program providing a $4,000 rebate for Texans who purchase a hybrid or all-electric vehicle; implementation of a low-emission vehicle initiative; and elimination of the sales and use tax on plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles.

  • Future policy support for plug-in vehicles from the state could easily dovetail with existing policy under the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Texas Emission Reduction Program.

  • Several Texas companies are developing a new generation of batteries for use in plug-in vehicles and are seeking federal funds that would further accelerate the development and commercial production of longer-lasting batteries.

  • Texas is home to more Fortune 500 companies than any other state, and has tax policies that support investment by its business community.  State policies also feature a streamlined site and permitting process that encourages development in the Texas energy infrastructure.

  • ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS

    Vehicles powered by internal combustion engines are a major source of emissions in Texas, significantly contributing to smog (ozone) and other greenhouse gases. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) estimates that roughly 46 percent of all NOx emissions in Texas can be attributed to mobile sources.

    A 2007 study conducted by Electric Power Research Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council found that widespread use of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles could dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve ambient air quality.

    The report also found that by using electricity produced from diverse domestic resources, plug-in cars can reduce U.S. dependence on imported oil. The study (www.epri-reports.org) measured the impact of increasing numbers of plug-in hybrid vehicles over the next 40 years, including the environmental benefits of using large vehicle fleets powered by electricity from the grid as their primary fuel source.

    Among the EPRI study's key findings:

     

    JOB CREATION & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

    While it is difficult to predict just how many jobs will be created from the mass production of vehicles and components powered by electricity, there is enormous potential for economic development in this emerging industry.  A new study released by the Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology at the University of California, Berkeley, estimates up to 350,000 new jobs may be created from the mass-market adoption of electric vehicles by 2030.

    Last December, several U.S. battery companies formed a consortium to spur innovation of the next generation of plug-in vehicles batteries domestically.  Growth in this industry is expected to not only put downward pressure on the cost of the batteries, but create new jobs for scientists, engineers, designers and others.   In Texas, several technology companies and investors have signaled interest in building manufacturing facilities that could create thousands of new jobs.  The construction of an infrastructure needed to support plug-in vehicles, including public and private re-charging stations, also should stimulate economic activity and add new jobs.

    THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S ROLE

    The Obama Administration has indicated strong support for measures intended to create new “green,” including jobs specifically associated to the manufacture of plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles.  In fact, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (aka, the stimulus package) specifically sets aside funds designed to promote plug-ins:

    ADDITIONAL ADVOCACY RESOURCES AND STAKEHOLDERS

    Austin Energy’s Plug-In Austin Initiative
    http://www.austinenergy.com/About%20Us/Environmental%20Initiatives/Plug-in%20Hybrid%20Vehicles/index.htm

    The Center for the Commercialization of Electric Technologies (CCET)
    http://www.electrictechnologycenter.com/

    Central Texas Clean Cities – Electric Vehicle Incentives
    http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/cleancities/electricvehiclerebate.htm City of Houston: Power of the Plug-In http://www.houstontx.gov/plugin/index.html

    Electric Drive Transportation Association
    http://www.electricdrive.org/

    Electrification Coalition
    http://www.electrificationcoalition.org/

    Environment Texas study Plug-in Cars: Powering America Toward a Cleaner Future
    http://www.environmenttexas.org/reports/energy/energy-program-reports/plug-in-cars-powering-america-toward-a-cleaner-future

    Environmental Defense Fund Green Jobs Guidebook
    http://www.edf.org/article.cfm?contentid=8466

    The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) Clean Cities/Alternative Energy Program
    http://www.nctcog.org/trans/clean/cities/

    Project Get Ready, an RMI Smart Garage Initiative – Partner City: Houston
    http://projectgetready.com/city/partner-city/houston-texas

    The Pecan Street Project – An Austin community smart grid project
    http://pecanstreetprojectaustin.org/