Environmental groups are urging the City of San Antonio to move quickly to ramp up infrastructure for electric cars, saying 40,000 electric vehicles will be on the streets of San Antonio within 12 years, and the City has not moved to make sure there are enough charging stations and other facilities to accommodate them, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
"We know that electric cars are incredibly popular and they are coming," Luke Metzger of Environment Texas said. "If we are going to plug into this opportunity we really need to prepare."
Metzger says electric car sales have increased by more than 30% over the past two years, and as the cost of the vehicles comes down and their availability increases, that number will be going up.
The key, Metzger says, is to make sure the City has the infrastructure needed to support this boom. Without it, he says, San Antonio will lose its tech edge and will not be in a position to embrace the future of transportation.
He says the city will need 1340 new charging stations in public places, to compliment the chargers which car owners will install at their homes.
"We also need to make sure that we have charging stations in places of business that people can use during the work day," he said. "We also need to provide incentives for business to install charging infrastructure that people can use during the work day."
Northwest side Counciwoman Ana Sandoval, who is an environmental engineer by profession, signed onto the challenge, saying it will become an 'economic opportunity' for the city to be a leader in this transportation revolution.
Metzger says there are ideas being implemented all over the world that San Antonio can learn from in beefing up its electric car preparations.
"In London, they've converted streetlights into electric charging infrastructure," Metzget said. "So you just pull into a parking space and plug into the street light."
Metzger says Texas is also in line to receive some $200 million from a settlement of a lawsuit against Volkswagon for lying about its emissions testing, and he says that money is earmarked for construction of EV infrastructure.