Axios San Antonio

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๐Ÿซ Hiya, it's Wednesday!

Today's weather: Lots of sun. High 81, low 51.

๐ŸŒณ Situational awareness: You can pick up free fruit trees from the city at the Viva Poesรญa Festival on Saturday, and free shade trees at Sรญclovรญa on Sunday.

Today's newsletter is 901 words โ€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: EV charging is costly in Texas

Average EV charging station prices, January 2024
Data: Stable Auto; Note: Does not include Tesla charging stations; Map: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Electric vehicle drivers in Texas face some of the highest charging rates at public stations.

By the numbers: It costs an average of 50 cents per kilowatt-hour to charge an electric car at a public charging station in Texas, Axios Pro's Alan Neuhauser reports.

  • That's compared with the national average of 45 cents per kWh, according to data from Stable Auto, an EV charger software developer.

Context: A typical EV with 300 miles of range usually takes about 75-100 kWh to go from empty to full.

Why it matters: Charging an EV at a public charging site in Texas costs about three times as much as in Nebraska โ€” a gap that suggests EV charging companies are still figuring out how to price a top-off.

Zoom out: At least we've got it better than other states, like West Virginia, Connecticut, Arizona, Massachusetts and Kentucky, where prices range from 52 to 54 cents per kWh, according to Stable's survey of about 9,000 Level 3 fast-charging stations in January.

What's happening: Charging networks such as Electrify America, EVgo and ChargePoint consider a host of factors in setting their charging price โ€” not least the local electricity rate.

  • Cheap electricity in the Midwest, for example, may explain the discounts in Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota and Kansas, which aren't exactly hotbeds of EV adoption.

Yes, but: The big gap in prices suggests something is amiss, Stable argues.

  • The older a charging location, for example, the closer it hews to 40 to 50 cents per kWh.
  • Gasoline prices also differ across state lines, of course, but not as greatly as EV charging rates.

What we're watching: More networks in the past six months have started adopting Tesla's variable pricing model, which accounts for the site location, time of day, and amount of power a station is delivering.

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2. The solar eclipse and education

A child views the annular solar eclipse in October last year. Photo: APHOTOGRAFIA/Getty Images

Many Texas schools in the path of totality for Monday's total solar eclipse have called off classes, but others in San Antonio are planning to make the eclipse an educational experience.

Why it matters: Local students outside the path of totality, which will be concentrated on the city's Northwest Side, wouldn't get the same eclipse learning opportunity without a little planning.

Zoom in: Students from Compass Rose, Lighthouse Public Schools, Harmony Public Schools, IDEA Ewing Halsell and IDEA Brackenridge will travel to the Northwest Side to view the eclipse from The Rock at Frost Plaza.

  • They โ€” and students from several elementary schools in Northside and Southwest ISDs also making the trip โ€” will also get to participate in learning activities related to coding, robots, circuits, virtual reality, space exploration and more.
  • The Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Texas at San Antonio will help elementary students learn about astrophysics, cosmology and space exploration.

What they're saying: As the space economy and astronautics industry evolve in Texas and near San Antonio, more career opportunities will open up related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, Chris Packham, UTSA professor of physics and astronomy, said in a statement.

  • "We hope that our audience will be inspired to help in these cosmic endeavors," Packham said of the students.

The big picture: Other schools closer to the path of totality, like Boerne ISD, are closing on Monday partly because they anticipate traffic problems from the thousands of people expected to travel there.

The bottom line

3. Inside the Loop

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

๐Ÿ™๏ธ Pearl developers are set to double the footprint of the entertainment destination by the end of 2026, with plans for more apartments, restaurants, bars, offices and a hotel nearby. (Express-News ๐Ÿ”’)

๐Ÿšง The popular land bridge at Phil Hardberger Park will close for the month on Tuesday to undergo repairs. (KSAT)

๐Ÿค– You can get tacos al pastor with sliced meat from a trompo robot at Ro-Ho Pork & Bread in San Antonio. (Texas Monthly)

4. Your bird flu FAQ

A public health sign warns people about bird flu in May 2022 in Brighton, United Kingdom. Photo: Andrew Aitchison/In pictures via Getty Images

Bird flu is spreading among dairy cows in at least three U.S. states, and one person in Texas has been infected with the virus, health officials said.

  • Here's what you need to know.

What threat does bird flu pose to humans?

While human infection is possible, its occurrence is rare.

  • People with close or prolonged, unprotected exposures to infected birds or other animals โ€” or to contaminated environments โ€” face a greater risk of infection.
  • The Texas case is only the second human case of H5N1 in the U.S., CDC data shows. The first was reported in Colorado in 2022 after a person was exposed to poultry.

Do outbreaks impact cow milk supply?

The bird flu was recently detected in unpasteurized milk samples and swabs from dairy herds in Texas, Kansas and Michigan.

  • But federal authorities said there is "no concern" about the safety of the U.S. milk supply.
  • Still, the FDA recommends that people avoid unpasteurized (raw) milk and cheese products.

How bird flu spreads

5. ๐Ÿน 1 total eclipse cocktail to go

The Total Eclipse cocktail from the bartenders at Cibolo Moon. Photo: Courtesy of JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa

As the solar eclipse nears, restaurants and bars have a plethora of themed food and drinks to offer.

  • Here's one take on a cocktail from the Cibolo Moon restaurant inside the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 ounces bourbon
  • ยพ ounce fig vanilla simple syrup
  • 2 lemon halves
  • 3-5 mint leaves
  • 3-4 blackberries

Directions:

  • Muddle simple syrup, lemons, mint and blackberries
  • Shake
  • Double strain
  • Top with club soda and Sprite

๐Ÿฅ‚ Cheers to the eclipse and enjoy.

Thanks to our editor Chloe Gonzales and copy editors Steven Patrick and Yasmeen Altaji.

๐Ÿ‘ Madalyn is happy to see Victor Wembanyama was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month.

๐ŸŒต Megan is enjoying her homemade nopales tacos this week.