NTX Magazine Volume 3 - Page 63

Industry spotlight Sustainability daily commute for workers in the U.S. is 25.5 minutes, and one in four commuters leaves their county to work. Other reports put North Texas commutes up over 28 minutes each way because of the desirability of inexpensive housing and more square feet of space farther out from major city areas. With 30 plug-in vehicle models for sale in the U.S. today, North Texans are finding several different options for EV automobiles. Major automakers such as General Motors, Nissan and Mitsubishi have plug-in vehicles for sale, which are seeing a response from North Texas drivers. The Dallas-Fort Worth region is currently the 14th-best-selling market for the Nissan LEAF, for example. Putting EVs to Work Opportunities abound for employers in North Texas to put the infrastructure that is already in place to work for them. Local businesses from couriers to utilities and more are seeing the fuel-savings advantage of a fleet comprised of electric vehicles. Other employers, seeking to attract environmentally-conscious employees who are interested in getting to work in a way that is sustainable, have taken advantage of a program from eVgo called REV Work- place. In this program, workplaces are trained on how to be ready for electric vehicles. Incentives are there for drivers who want to shift their transportation lifestyle, as the State of Texas is currently considering a $2500 sales tax exemption, according to Plug In America, and drivers are already taking advantage of a $2500-$7500 tax credit for electric drive and PHEVs, an incentive brought on by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Already in North Texas, employers are incentivizing their employees to encourage adoption of EVs. For example, employees of Green Mountain Energy in Plano and Reliant Energy in Irving, both NRG entities, have $2,000 incentives available for employees who choose to purchase an electric vehicle. The biggest asset to North Texans is not just the availability of charging stations, but also the fastcharging nature of the Freedom Station network, an attractive option to fast-moving North Texans. “These fast chargers allow you to charge your car on the go in a manner of minutes, rather than hours,” Buckland says. “Not every major area has this capability; it’s one of the largest fast-charging DC networks in the country, right here. DFW competes with places you might think have a lot of charging infrastructure.” “You can drive confidently from Rockwall in the east to Weatherford out west, Little Elm up north to DeSoto and Lancaster in the south.” 61