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Electric cars hit Houston’s roads as more charging stations become available

by Katherine Whaley / KHOU 11 News

Posted on September 15, 2011 at 5:41 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 19 at 9:16 AM

HOUSTON—Have you ever thought what it might be like to spend no money on gasoline for your car?  It’s possible, thanks to emissions-free vehicles, and more and more of them are hitting Houston’s streets. 

Komal Shah drives a Nissan Leaf; an all-electric, gasoline-free vehicle. 

"The pickup is what really surprised me," Shah said. "It’s really spacious. We wanted to get a car that was fuel efficient."

Rather than go to the gas station, Shah just goes to her garage to charge her car through a special wall outlet. 

NRG’s EVGo group installs and maintains the equipment. It costs $89 a month to give a household unlimited driving.  Electric cars can point you to public places to plug in your car.  The Nissan Leaf uses GPS to locate the nearest charging stations to your location, and it will update as more charging stations become available.

Thanks to efforts by the mayor and the city of Houston, there will be more of an electric presence on Houston’s roadways.  The city will have 40 electric and plug-in hybrids in their fleet by the end of the year, and add 28 public charging stations at libraries and parks.

"We are the number one city in America right now with electric vehicle technology," Houston Mayor Annise Parker said.

Even grocery stores like HEB and Whole Foods are getting in on it.

"We’re hoping that it inspires more folks to get into alternative transportation," Elizabeth Brown, Whole Foods Montrose Store Team Leader, told KHOU 11 News.  The incentive here at the Montrose Whole Foods is a free charge and front row parking for plug-ins.

So if gas prices and fumes are driving you crazy, consider driving a car that doesn’t need gasoline, at all.

"It’s neat to be able to explain that it is a special car, that it doesn’t have emissions," Shah says.