Electric Vehicle Fans Predict Tesla’s Potential Impact on Texas

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin resident Aaron Choate has been an electric vehicle enthusiast for decades. As president of the Austin Area Electric Vehicle Association, he and other electric vehicle fans are focused on how to expand the electric vehicle model in central Texas, as well as educating residents. on the sustainability of the technology.

With Tesla’s Austin gigafactory coming online this spring, that interest has only grown, Choate said.

“There have definitely been people who have heard about electric vehicles because of Tesla, and because of other cars that are delivered to other automakers,” he said. “So it was great to bring new members into the group and talk about the technologies and what you can do with the cars.”

Just this week GM and Honda announced the partnership of their companies on creating more affordable electric vehicles, with a launch target of 2027. Choate also highlighted the efforts of other automakers, like Kiato develop sustainable options.

This price of entry, Choate said, is the most crucial factor in expanding the accessibility of EV technology and having a more pronounced impact on environmental conservation efforts. He also added that the availability of charging stations and related infrastructure will play a key role in accessibility and interest.

“Beyond the technology itself, efforts to reduce costs will have the greatest impact for us as a company,” he said. “People won’t be able to buy these cars unless they’re accessible and affordable.”

For him, his entry into electric vehicles began with an interest in renewable energies and solar energy. For others, Tesla might have been that spark that inspired their enthusiasm.

When it comes to electric vehicles, Choate said while people’s initial interests and curiosities vary, the end result has led to a more dynamic and engaging curation on how this technology can best serve its users.

“You can be a performance enthusiast and still want to drive a Tesla. You can be an environmental person and want to drive a Tesla. And I think that’s, that’s a big confluence of interests right there.

Aaron Choate, President, Austin Area Electric Vehicle Association

“Not everyone has exactly the same reason for wanting to drive an electric vehicle,” he said. “Especially when you’re talking about the modern cars that are available today, Tesla and so on, you can be a performance enthusiast and still want to drive a Tesla. You can be an environmental person and want to drive a Tesla. And I think that’s, that’s a great confluence of interests right there.

While Tesla’s Texas footprint has been a source of interest for a few years, the field is growing here in Austin. This year, the South by Southwest conference and festivals featured a dozen events focused on EV technologiesincluding panelists with companies based here in Austin.

As Austin expands its tech hub plan, Choate said he hopes electric vehicles will continue to be part of that conversation.

“[Tesla’s factory] is going to attract a whole variety of manufacturing partners that wouldn’t normally locate in a city like Austin,” he said. “So it’s going to change that ecosystem in a significant way, and it’s going to change the needs of places like Austin Community College and our research universities. It’s going to be a big deal for us.”

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