On Friday, it was announced that Austin will be the first U.S. City to see the BMW I-3, the luxury car maker’s first electric car.
"BMW's done their homework, and they've determined that this is the second largest market in the United States for registrations of electric and hybrid vehicles," Steve Late with BMW of Austin said.
Austin Energy's charging network—now with more than 170 stations—is one reason people are looking at electric cars.
"Every major manufacturer either has an electric vehicle or is coming out with one," Karl Popham with Austin Energy said. "Our customers appreciate the flat fee price - under five bucks a month, unlimited fill ups. People like that."
And the electric car craze is catching on. Popham said more than 20,000 people have charged their cars in Austin over the last 18 months.
"A lot of folks, they just plug into the regular outlet. You don't need a special charging station at home,” Popham said. “If you decide to do faster charging, Austin Energy does have home rebates for that."
The city is also part of a new effort to build a regional E-V charging network extending from Georgetown to San Antonio.
"It's no longer a niche market. You'll see more and more options available, more and more cars," Popham said.
The initiative to build a regional electric vehicle charging network is called the Central Texas Fuel Independence Project. To learn more about the effort and electric vehicles, visit TexasRiverCities.com.