I am a recent graduate of William and Mary with a double major in environmental science and policy and public policy. I will be an energy blogger. How can the U.S. reduce its dependence on foreign oil? Is green technology going to happen sooner than we think? What kind of message is needed to sell individuals on the need to stop drill baby drill? These are some of the questions I'd like to ex...
Austin, TX Leading the Way with Plug-In Hybrids
Reducing the amount of oil consumed and still being able to drive--sounds like one of those too good to be true commercials. When first thinking about green and driving a car, the first thought that many people have is one of pollution and the seeming incompatability of driving a car with today's movement to go green. Nevertheless, the city of Austin, Texas has shown that driving a car and going green are not incongruent.
As it is going to take the U.S. a relatively long time to get away from the use of the car, Austin, Texas like many cities have embraced the car culture, but have come up with an innovative way to embrace it--plug-in hybrids. The plug-in hybrid initiative in Austin, Texas is part of Mayor Wynn's initiative down there of "combining the electric utility and transportation sectors." Yes, because of the plug-in hybrid, it is now possible to have a fusion of both the electric utility and transportation sectors. This is important because having a car powered by electricity saves money for the consumer as they do not have to go to the gas station to refuel and instead can recharge their car with a battery like they already may do with various consumer products such as when they use cell phones.
The commitment from Mayor Wynn in Texas dates back to 2005 where he submitted as part of his plan "A request to the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce to become active advocates for plug-in hybrids." Plug-in hybrids, therefore, are an important part of the green transportation portfolio that Austin, Texas has clearly shown a commitment to with their mayor setting forth a vision.
As such, going green with transportation means having a vision that something must be done and then effectively executing that vision with concrete plans and results. In the case of Austin, Texas, their mayor showed all the way back in 2005 their commitment to plug-in hybrids when at the time it was still in the relatively early stages. In the case of Austin, they want to show that cars do not have to fueled by going to a gas pump, but rather they can be plugged in to the electric grid. That is an important development since plug-in hybrid cars are more fuel efficient and enable the consumer to drive while simultaneously helping the environment. Thus, Austin, Texas is an example of combining the best of both worlds--embracing America's appetite for driving with the necessity to go green.
Photo Credit: Mariordo