As gas prices go, so too go the frustrations of drivers who have learned to live with the burden of filling their cars with $3 gasoline. But that does not mean they would not welcome some kind of alternative.
In Austin, electric cars are being given the opportunity to become that alternative in the future.
“On a couple of occasions, I have gone months without purchasing a drop of gasoline,” said Chevy Volt owner Tom Smith.
It is an emerging technology Austin Energy is buying. The electric utility received approximately $650,000 in grant money last year to purchase the Charge Point stations that power electric cars.
The area was one of nine in the country to receive the grant. There are now 113 stations in the network that can be found at parks, parking garages, supermarkets and restaurants.
“You can go to a meeting and recharge your car or go to lunch or go shopping,” said Smith.
Austin Energy has also paid nearly $100,000 in rebates for the almost 85 car owners who have installed the stations at home in an effort to encourage usage of the technology.
Indications are it is becoming more and more popular. Usage of the charge stations has nearly doubled just since December 2011.