Austin’s suburbs are deserts for electric car charging – find a charger near you

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Forget pump pain. In parts of Central Texas, you’ll have to look harder for the EV charger.

“To be honest, it’s quite narrow, I drive weekly from Houston to here and there aren’t many chargers,” said Sai Krishnachitneni of Houston.

EV chargers are rated from level 1 to 3, from slowest to charging to fastest.

When you stop at a charging station, you will usually find two types of plugs, the CHADeMo and the CCS. There is a third type of plug, but it only charges Tesla vehicles.

A slower charge may work well for an overnight refuel, but a faster charger may be necessary if you live somewhere without a charger, such as an apartment.

KXAN has been mapping the availability of Level 2 and 3 chargers here in Central Texas, looking for deserts for charging EVs, or areas where there are no charging options.

We found that these deserts are mainly in the suburbs of Austin.

Drivers say this lack of infrastructure could make the switch to an electric vehicle difficult.

“There could certainly be more. Without a home charger it becomes very difficult. There are a lot of small level 1 or level 2 chargers out there, but… with the level 3 charger we could really use a lot more,” says John Sandage of Killeen.

The city of Hutto just got its first public electric charging station, but it’s a Tesla supercharger.

Non-Tesla drivers have to drive out of town to recharge their batteries.

According to Ashley Lumpkin, director of development services at the city of Hutto, “it’s really more market-driven than city-driven.”

Lumpkin says the city has left its EV charging infrastructure to the private sector for now, a policy that may not last much longer.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will restart a $12 million stimulus program this spring. This will partially pay up to 50% of the cost of new chargers and they specifically target these EV charging deserts in the application process.

“As we review those applications, we score them and we score them on critical factors and one of those factors, one of the most important factors is looking for stations that won’t be placed near other comparable stations,” said Nate Hickman , technical specialist in the Air Grants Department at TCEQ.

The greater the need in your city, the more likely these chargers will be installed at a discount.

Incentives are also available for home chargers, the most convenient way to refuel and go green.

What can you do if you plan to buy an electric car until new chargers are installed?

Check out the interactive maps above to find out how close a charger is to where you live and work.

See if the car you’re buying qualifies for TCEQ discounts.

Apply for TCEQ incentives for a home charger. The program will start again this spring.

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