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Travis County powers up for electric car drivers

Friday, July 7, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

Soon some drivers in Austin will be able to fill ’er up inside Travis County’s massive parking garage at 800 Lavaca St. The Travis County Commissioners Court gave the green light on Thursday for Austin Energy to install an electric vehicle charging station on the ground level inside the garage at no cost to the county. Facilities Management Director Roger El Khoury told the court that equipment, installation and maintenance will all be covered by the utility. The county will only be on the hook if it decides to remove the station within five years. After that, the cost of taking it away or moving it inside the garage will fall back on Austin Energy. The utility will also reimburse the county for the power needed to operate the station, while drivers will pay for all electricity they put into their vehicles. The station will be open to drivers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A single charge could take as long as 20 minutes and El Khoury stressed that signs will be posted warning drivers their cars will be towed if left plugged in for more than 30 minutes. The court voted 4-0 to approve the station, with Commissioner Gerald Daugherty absent.

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