The Buzz Is Building, Somehow, For Houston And Its Alleged Love Of Electric Cars

Earlier this month city officials announced they'll be buying more electric cars and also providing (temporarily) free charging stations for such vehicles downtown.

The photo op seems to be paying off -- there seems to be the beginning of a small groundswell in the national media citing Houston as the very unlikely capital of the electric car in the U.S.

It probably seems far-fetched to most Houstonians, but it's apparently irresistable to outsiders: Those SUV-lovin' Texans with electric cars? Have you ever heard of such a thing?

Slate goes the "Houston, we have" route, but -- just when you think the sentence will finish with the words "a problem," they throw a complete curve and end it with "electric cars." Fresh!!

The webzine says we're ahead of San Francisco, the other electric-car mecca:

Far better situated are cities like Houston. The grid there is stable, and besides, lots of Texans have garages, making it possible for commuters to put aside their devotion to Ford F-150s and enjoy cheap overnight charges without plunging the city into the dark. The Economist recently argued that Texas is the new California, for reasons along along these lines [Sorry, sub. only].

Texas as perfect EV country. Who'd have thunk it? But them again, if it moves the nation forward, toward an eventual shift over to electrified transport in 40 years, then Frisco will just have to suffer.

Reuters alleges that Houston has the nickname "The Petro Metro," which we're sure we've heard countless times, but then again probably not.

"Texas drivers have a well-established affinity for over-sized cars, but the case for electric cars is strong," Reuters says.

SmartPlanet piggybacks off the Reuters report:

Houston, the Energy Capital of the World, is making moves to become the electric car capital of the nation.

How's that for turning over a new leaf?

Known for the countless oil and gas companies that call the city home, Houston wants to compete with San Francisco for the title, and is entering into partnerships with automakers and power utility companies to materialize its vision.

If you've ever visited Houston, the fourth-biggest city in the U.S, you'll know that the city's residents love their cars -- and the city's spread-out planning has accommodated for this affinity.

So it's official: We're the Electric Car Capital of America, or soon will be. Suck it, San Francisco.

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly