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Technology & Entrepreneurship

San Antonio Opens First Of 50 Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Mandy Woodburn
Brian Kirkpatrick
/
Texas Public Radio
Mandy Woodburn, the zoo's integrated marketing manager, demonstrates the EV charging station on the second level of the zoo.

The City of San Antonio on Wednesday opened the first of 50 charging stations for electric vehicles, also known as EVs, on the second level of the zoo parking garage.

The station locations around the city were strategically selected by the installer, Blink Charging Company, and by CPS Energy.

Mayor and EV driver Ron Nirenberg said all-electric vehicles are part of the city's long range plan to be carbon neutral by 2050.

"We know the market is ultimately driving the conversion to electric vehicles and we have to keep up with it and stay in front of it," he said.

Tim Morrow, the president and CEO at the zoo, said he was delighted the zoo could be the home of the first station.

"It's a perfect fit for us to have this here in our garage on the grounds of a conservation organization next to a nature-based preschool and inside of a park," Morrow said.

The EV Level 2 stations can provide a vehicle range up to 65 miles per charging hour and can charge up to 10 times faster than Level 1 chargers.

Morrow said the charging station is open to the public and not just zoo visitors, but he said visitors would have the advantage of being able to charge their EVs as they strolled through the zoo.

Gasoline-powered vehicles are one of the largest contributors of polluting emissions, according to SA Climate Ready, Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. Electric vehicles produce zero emissions.

The new EV chargers are part of the state-wide Texas Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Program through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

The program's $10.4 million fund is specifically for establishing Level 2 charging across Texas in order to improve air quality. Blink and the city will share revenue from the charging stations.

“Blink is proud to work with the City of San Antonio to help achieve its climate, sustainability, transportation, and air quality goals,” said Brendan Jones, President of Blink. “Encouraging widespread adoption of EVs is core to Blink’s mission, and this includes minimizing the barriers to EV charging for all residents. Texas continues to be a growth market for EVs, and this project will help drive public awareness by increasing the number of charging options available in the state.”

Florida-based Blink has deployed over 30,000 charging ports in 13 countries.

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