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City goes for electric cars

This is cool.

A deal between the city and Reliant has the electric retailer converting 10 of the city’s new Toyota Prius gasoline-electric hybrids into plug-in vehicles with greater fuel efficiency and the ability to recharge through a standard home power socket. Reliant is also installing 10 charging stations for the cars around the city, including seven that will be available to the public.

The project is designed to raise consumer awareness about plug-in electric cars and promote the city and state as a hub for future advances in the industry, said Jason Few, president of Reliant. The company also benefits through the possibility of more electricity sales, Few said, and more information on how customers will use public charging stations.

“We firmly believe there’s a business model behind this,” Few said. “The more we know about consumer habits, the better we can provide the infrastructure and the products and services to meet the needs of electric vehicle owners and drivers in Texas.”

[…]

The city of Houston already owns one of the largest fleets of gasoline-electric hybrid cars in the country, with 750 of its 12,500 vehicles powered by such systems.

The new Priuses were part of the city’s ongoing car purchase plan, but the $10,000-per-vehicle conversion and the charging stations are being covered by Reliant.

“Without Reliant we never would have done this project” said James Tillman, the city’s assistant director of finance. “We anticipate saving about $1,400 per year per car, including fuel and maintenance costs. Even if we had to pay for the conversion ourselves, we likely would have broken even.”

Presumably they’ll keep doing more of this as they buy more replacement vehicles. It’s a good idea, and I’m glad to see it happen.

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One Comment

  1. Bob Brown says:

    With out a proper dateline, I had to assume by the reference to Houston half way through the story, that Houston was the subject of the story.
    Other than that it was an interesting and hopeful story thank you.