AUSTIN (KXAN) — A $1 Trillion infrastructure bill is headed to President Joe Biden’s desk on Monday. Attached to it is a plan to spend billions on electric charging stations across the U.S.
The decision comes as the City of Austin looks to expand its electric car footprint. “This is the biggest electrification and transportation showcase that they have ever done in the country,” said Austin Energy Electric Vehicle Specialist Bobby Godsey.
At the Circuit of the Americas this weekend you’ll find the first ever electrify expo. The massive outdoor Electrify Expo promises a one-stop shop for people looking to experience electric vehicles and new products. Attendees experienced test drives, new product unveilings and future technologies.
“We provide the fuel for these electric vehicles that are going to be on the road soon,” said Godsey. According to Austin Energy, there are over 1200 electric charging stations across the City of Austin. Bobby Godsey says Austin ranks number five in the nation for being electric vehicle ready. “Other cities still need to come along,” said Godsey. “There’s already fast charging stations available to users, but with this bill, we can add a lot more infrastructure on the highways.”
The City of Austin is taking this beyond their own charging stations and partnering with other cities and organizations. Godsey says smaller, more rural cities have reached out to Austin Energy about how to get their own charging fleet on the grid.“The city of Austin is really forward thinking,” said Matt Teske, Founder of Charge Way.
Matt Teske founded charge way, an app that helps electric owners navigate how to use their vehicle. “We use colors and numbers,” said Teske. “The numbers you see on the map show you the power there at that station. If there’s a higher number, then you can charge faster.”
Teske is on board with President Biden’s infrastructure push. “The bill is going to play a role in that, and more fast chargers on the interstate would be helpful for people to see how they can road trip but that’s still an educational thing,” said Teske.
An organization called Ferry just launched in Austin and is also working to put more electric users on the grid. “You can try it out, if you’ve never driven an EV before, if you’re not sure if it’s right for your lifestyle,” said Mayra Del Bello, Marketing Director for Ferry. Ferry allows people to lease an electrical vehicle for six months. The company says it’s a move to accelerate electric mobility across the U.S.