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Baby, you can charge my car

Plug it in, plug it in.

The city of Houston will make it easier for locals to buy and own electric cars, including speeding up permitting of home charging stations and opening up HOV lanes to the vehicles.

Mayor Annise Parker announced some of the measures Thursday at an event introducing power plant operator NRG Energy’s plans for a citywide electric vehicle charging system.

“I recognize that Houston is a car city,” she said. “But let’s make sure if you have a particular type of car you want to drive, and it’s an electric vehicle, let’s make sure it’s supported.”

The NRG network, branded eVgo, will begin with 150 charging stations throughout the city at retailers and offices.

Walgreens will have chargers at 18 of its local stores, HEB at 10 of its H-E-B or Central Market stores, Best Buy at up to 10 locations and Spec’s at eight.

Fifty of the public stations will be rapid chargers that can charge a vehicle fully in about 30 minutes. The other 100 chargers can do a full charge in about four hours.

OK, I think I’ve run out of cheesy musical allusions. It’s a small step towards a greener planet – it would be nice if we were doing more on the back end, to make sure that the electricity powering these cars comes from green sources and not just more coal-fired plants, for instance – but every little step is needed and helpful. Swamplot has a map of where you can go to get your recharge on, and Hair Balls has more.

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2 Comments

  1. Peter Wang says:

    If you had a wind energy contract, and an e-car, it would definitely help improve the environment. Granted, the electric grid collapses without the coal baseload, but if you use 1kw-hr of energy, the wind utility has to deliver 1 kw-hr on your behalf into the grid.

  2. Martin says:

    Even with coal-powered generation, it is cleaner. It is more efficient (i.e. less carbon-output per mile) and reduces the amount of ambient air pollution (ozone, smog, etc.) in major populated areas. Most coal plants are in rural areas, where ambient air pollution is generally not a problem, and those plants have scrubbers and other pollution-mitigating mechanisms to reduce pollution. Greenhouse gas emissions are, of course, still a problem (which is why we need more subsidies for green energy, carbon tax, etc.), but it is a step in the right direction.

    Switching to these types of cars will be a HUGE help for cities like LA, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Phoenix, etc. where ambient air pollution from automobiles is a major problem.