The City of Houston is getting closer to its goal of all non-emergency, light-duty municipal vehicles to be electric by 2030.
According to late-June status report from the city, Houston now has 333 hybrid electric vehicles and 88 battery electric vehicles. An additional 67 battery electric pickups, 20 hybrid electric pickups, and 21 hybrid electric SUVs deliveries are expected to be up and running before the end of the calendar year, and expects to receive 27 battery-electric SUVs and 13 battery-electric pickups in the next 12 months.
"With almost half of carbon emissions in Houston coming from the transportation sector and a majority of those emissions coming from single occupancy vehicles, electrification is an important part of our climate action plan," Mayor Sylvester Turner said in the statement. "I am pleased to see the ongoing progress and am confident we will meet our goals."
According to Evolve Houston — a public-private partnership founded with CenterPoint, NRG, Shell, and the University of Houston to promote EV sales — about 9 percent of new cars in Houston were registered as EVs last year. This means that Houston's EV adoption rate was 2.5 percent over the US average, according to the statement.
As part of the Houston Climate Action Plan, the city is also working with Evolve Houston to build upon the Bayou City's EV charging infrastructure as well.
Houston currently has 57 installed chargers, two of which are DC fast chargers, according to the status report. The city recently signed a contract to purchase 144 level 2 battery chargers from Siemens and another 15 chargers are slated to be installed at the Houston Health Department's Stadium Drive location in the coming weeks.
Due to supply chain issues, the City's Fleet Management Department is also considering rolling out a mobile charging option and home-charging vehicles for emergency response employees to help reduce costs while still moving toward the city's goals.
Evolve Houston, founded in 2019 through Houston's Climate Action Plan, relaunched about a year ago with a new Equity Program to address poor air quality and limited access to public transportation in vulnerable communities.It's one of many efforts related to Houston's goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050 and leading the global energy transition. In March the city partnered with The Hertz Corp. to triple Houston's EV rental fleet, as well add to the city's charging infrastructure and EV education and training opportunities. In recent years the city has launched a solar co-op, opened new labs and is slated to introduce a new fleet of 20 battery-powered electric buses in the near future.