Federal dollars will build car charging stations - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Federal dollars will build car charging stations

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Austin, (TX) - Whether he's home or out and about, Dave Tuttle saves on fuel. His Chevy Volt runs on electric and when the charge runs low it switches to fuel.

Tuttle, an electrical engineer, says the environmental and economical benefits are pretty cool.

"Not consuming oil and letting me buy my fuel in essence from Austin Energy and then they can in turn fund libraries and fireman and policeman and city streets and all that but it's a great car overall," said Tuttle.

The U.S. Department of Energy sees those benefits, too and wants to attract more customers like Tuttle.

They've awarded municipal energy companies like Austin Energy with a half a million dollars to promote plug-in vehicles and add charging stations.

One goal is to have charging stations at some work places and residences between Austin and San Antonio along I-35.

However, some think a half million dollars of tax payer money should go towards something else. Texans for Fiscal Responsibility says without subsidies a market for electric cars would not exist.

So they say why not put money towards something all taxpayers can benefit from.

"We do look at 5 o'clock rush hour on Mopac and on I-35. Right now we need roads we don't need to be using taxpayer money on cars that people aren't buying themselves," said Dustin Matocha, a Social Media Coordinator with Texans for Fiscal Responsibility.

However, if you ask Tuttle it is something everyone will benefit from.

"This is good not just for the state of Texas but for the country," said Tuttle.

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